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O'Neal v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

July 15, 2015

RALPH T. O'NEAL
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

Assigned on Briefs June 23, 2015

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 292843 Don W. Poole, Judge

Ralph T. O'Neal, Terre Haute, Indiana, Pro Se.

Herbert H. Slatery 111, Attorney General and Reporter; Ahmed A. Safeeullah, Assistant Attorney General; Neal Pinkston, District Attorney General, for the respondent. State of Tennessee.

Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ALAN E. GLENN and ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JJ., joined.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE

Facts and Procedural Background

Nearly 18 years ago. Petitioner pled guilty to driving without a license in Hamilton County General Sessions Court. According to Petitioner, he received a sentence of thirty days which was "suspended upon payment of fine [of ten dollars] and costs and good behavior for a period of eleven months and 29 days."

On September 22, 2014, Petitioner filed a pro se petition seeking relief pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 32(f), post-conviction, habeas corpus, and error coram nobis. In the petition, he alleged that his guilty plea was "unconstitutional and illegal" because he was not advised that his conviction could be used to enhance any subsequent state or federal sentence. He requested relief on the basis that the unconstitutional plea "ultimately led petitioner blindly into a[n] enhanced federal sentence."

The trial court summarily dismissed the petition on September 24, 2014. In the order dismissing the petition, the trial court observed that Petitioner was not entitled to withdraw his guilty plea under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 32(f) because that rule is not applicable to guilty pleas made in General Sessions Court. Additionally, the trial court determined that petitioner's request for post-conviction relief was untimely and that Petitioner failed to allege grounds which would toll the statute of limitations. The trial court also determined Petitioner failed to state a claim for habeas corpus relief because Petitioner did not show that he was restrained of his liberty. Lastly, the trial court determined Petitioner did not state a ground for error coram nobis relief.

Petitioner sought a timely appeal from the order dismissing the petition.

Analysis

Petitioner argues on appeal that the trial court improperly dismissed his petition for relief by ...


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