Willamette Law Online

United States Supreme Court Certiorari Granted


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Chaidez v. United States

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: April 30, 2012
Case #: 11-820
Court Below: 655 F.3d 684 (7th Cir. 2011)
Full Text Opinion: http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/HP0YZ9JP.pdf

Criminal Procedure: Whether the rule announced in Padilla v. Kentucky—that an attorney provides ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment by failing to inform a criminal defendant that a guilty plea carries a risk of deportation—applies retroactively to persons whose convictions were already final.

In 2004, Petitioner, a lawful permanent resident, pled guilty to fraud and was sentenced to probation. In 2009 Petitioner unsuccessfully applied for citizenship and the government started deportation proceedings. In an effort to avoid deportation, Petitioner claimed her attorney erroneously advised her of her options by not telling her that a guilty plea would lead to her deportation, and filed a motion for a writ of coram nobis to overturn her conviction. While Petitioner’s case was on review, the Supreme Court decided Padilla v. Kentucky which held that an attorney does not provide sufficient counsel under the Sixth Amendment when he fails to inform a client that a guilty plea carries a risk of deportation. The district court turned to Teague v. Lane, which held that new rules may be applied to all cases, both future and retroactive. The court held that under Teague, Padilla was not a new rule but was an extension of the traditional rule under the Sixth Amendment and vacated Petitioner's conviction. The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed, concluding that because Padilla was not dictated solely by precedent and extended the reasoning of prior cases, that it was a new rule and could not be applied retroactively. Petitioner argues that the rule announced in Padilla should apply retroactively, and the Court granted the writ of certiorari to resolve a circuit split on the issue.