Winstead v. State of Oregon

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
  • Date Filed: 09-13-2017
  • Case #: A156458
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J. for the Court; DeVore, P.J.; & James, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 138.510(3) provides an exception for untimely post-conviction relief claims if the petitioner could not have reasonably raised the initial claim. When counsel fails to file a timely petition, the petitioner must notify the court of the failure in order to qualify for the exception in ORS 138.510(3). Church v. Gladden, 244 Or 308, 417 P2d 993 (1966).

Petitioner appealed the summary judgment dismissal of a post-conviction relief claim. Petitioner assigned error to the trial court’s holding that the claim of inadequate assistance of counsel was not raised in a timely manner per ORS 138.510(3). On appeal, Petitioner argued that her counsel's failure to "file a timely petition on her behalf" created a situation in which the contested grounds of relief "could not reasonably have been raised in the original or amended pleading." In response, State argued that summary judgment was proper since the late claim had been filed after expiration of the statutory period. ORS 138.510(3) provides an exception for untimely post-conviction relief claims if the petitioner “could not have reasonably raised the grounds for relief in the original” petition. When counsel fails to file a timely petition, the petitioner must notify the court of the failure in order to qualify for the exception in ORS 138.510(3). Church v. Gladden, 244 Or 308, 417 P2d 993 (1966). The Court of Appeals found that it was reasonable for the petitioner to have relied on her counsel to file the original petition in a timely matter, and that she did not have a meaningful opportunity to bring counsel’s failure to the court’s attention. In lieu of interpreting the statute “so narrowly that it could implicate due process concerns,” the Court determined that Petitioner met ORS 138.510(3)(a)’s requirements for exception. Reversed and Remanded.

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