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Fuller v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

October 8, 2019

ANTONIO L. FULLER
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs August 27, 2019, at Knoxville

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County Nos. 94-C-1472, 94-C-1486 Angelita Blackshear Dalton, Judge.

         The petitioner, Antonio L. Fuller, appeals the dismissal of his post-conviction petition, arguing the post-conviction court erred in dismissing the petition as time-barred. Following our review, we affirm the post-conviction court's dismissal of the petition.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          Antonio L. Fuller, Hartsville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ruth Anne Thompson, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Glenn Funk, District Attorney General; and Amy Hunter, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          J. Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Camille R. McMullen and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          J. ROSS DYER, JUDGE.

         Facts and Procedural History

         On November 10, 1994, the petitioner pleaded guilty to possession of twenty-six or more grams of cocaine and possession of less than five grams of hydromorphone. He received an effective sentence of eight years and was placed on community corrections for five years. No appeal was taken from the petitioner's convictions and sentence.

         On January 4, 2019, the petitioner filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, arguing his plea was involuntary and unknowing because he was not advised of his right against self-incrimination. Additionally, the petitioner states these prior convictions were used to sentence him as a Range II, multiple offender in 2001. The post-conviction court dismissed the petition with a written order finding the petition was time-barred and no exceptions were presented to toll the statute of limitations. This timely appeal followed.

         Analysis

         On appeal, the petitioner argues he is entitled to due process tolling of his post-conviction claims, alleging they were untimely due to attorney misconduct. He also argues his petition is timely because the judgment forms in this case do not have a "file-stamp" date. The State contends the post-conviction court properly dismissed the petition as untimely, and the petitioner has waived his claim that the petition is timely because the judgment forms are not file-stamped.

         A post-conviction petitioner has one year from "the date of the final action of the highest state appellate court" in which to file a petition for relief. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-30-102(a). If no appeal is taken, the petition must be filed within one year of the date on which the judgment becomes final. Id. "Time is of the essence of the right to file a petition for post-conviction relief." Id. Untimely filing of a post-conviction petition extinguishes a petitioner's post-conviction claims. Id. A trial ...


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