Monday, March 28, 2011

CCA Reverses Trial Court And Allows Mail Box Rule Postconvition Petition to Proceed

The Tennessee statute says that when a post conviction petition is filed by or on behalf of a pro se petitioner incarcerated in a correctional facility, “filing shall be timely if the papers were delivered to the appropriate individual at the correctional facility within the time fixed for filing.” Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 28, § 2(G).

The defendant's petition was filed in court a few days after his one year to file had run. The state moved to dismiss the petition as time barred.  The court looked to the mail box rule to determine whether the petition was received in a timely manner.

Here, the date stamp on the envelope in which the petitioner mailed his petition was very difficult to read. The date appears to the court, to be “Mar 16” rather than “Mar 17,” which would make the petition timely under the prison mailbox rule, by one day.  Accordingly, the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the Shelby County trial court's dismissal of the petition and allowed it to proceed on the merits.

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