CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE — POST-CONVICTION RELIEF
14-2-7407 State v. Hall, App. Div. (per curiam) (10 pp.) Defendant appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief . On September 25, 2000, pursuant to a plea agreement, defendant, a Jamaican national, pled guilty to two counts of first-degree armed robbery. On June 8, 2010, defendant filed a PCR petition, alleging counsel was ineffective because he failed to warn defendant about the deportation consequences of his guilty plea. The PCR judge denied the PCR request without a hearing, concluding defendant’s petition was time-barred.The PCR judge did not consider the merits of defendant’s request. On appeal, defendant argues his PCR request was not time-barred because the immigration consequences of his plea were not revealed until his 2009 release from prison, followed by the effectuation of the immigration detainer. He then consulted with counsel who advised he was subject to deportation based upon his prior guilty plea.
The record demonstrates that when the five-year filing deadline elapsed, defendant had no reason to suspect his attorney had potentially rendered ineffective assistance by failing to advise him of the deportation consequences of his guilty plea. Not until defendant was taken into custody by ICE in 2009, upon release from state custody, did he realize the consequences of his guilty plea and the possible deficiencies of his attorney’s performance. Concluding these are exceptional circumstances warranting a delay in the filing of the PCR petition, the appellate panel reverses and remands for an evidentiary hearing. \
Source – NJSBA Daily Briefing