Chavez v. State of Oregon

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
  • Date Filed: 02-23-2017
  • Case #: A151251
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & DeVore, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The ability of a petitioner to prevail on a claim for post-conviction relief, based on new constitutional principles, depends on the retroactivity of the federal constitutional principle at work.

Chavez (Petitioner) appealed the dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief. Petitioner was convicted for delivery of a controlled substance in 1999, but did not file his petition for post-conviction relief until 2011, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Padilla v. Kentucky, which held that counsel’s failure to give correct advice regarding clear deportation consequences of a conviction had amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition, concluding that Padilla did not provide a basis for relief for convictions that were final before that decision was issued. On appeal, Petitioner argued that federal retroactivity principles did not control whether the Padilla rule applied in his state post-conviction case, because Oregon’s Post-Conviction Hearing Act has no retroactivity limitation. In Teague v. Palmateer, 184 Or App 577 (2002), the Court, after interpreting the Post-Conviction Hearing Act, concluded that the ability of petitioners to prevail on claims based on new constitutional principles depends on the retroactivity of the federal constitutional principle at work. In Chaidez v. United States, 568 US ___, (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court held the Padilla rule does not apply retroactively.  With that federal principle in mind, the Court, adhering to Teague, rejected Petitioner’s argument, and concluded that Padilla did not provide Petitioner a basis for post-conviction relief. Affirmed. 

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