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Appellate Div Refuses Late PCR Motion


by in Criminal Appeals

State v. Raymond Grice, unpublished opinion, App. Div. Docket No. A-4328-07T4 (April 8, 2010) – Denial of PCR because it was filed beyond the time limits in R. 3:22-12 reversed, case remanded for evidentiary hearing. “We disagree … with the judge’s conclusion, made without holding a plenary hearing, that the overall circumstances of this case do not present the type of ‘exceptional circumstances’ that would warrant relaxation of the rule’s time limitations….

[T]he identity of the defendants was a crucial issue at the trial. Although we affirmed the conviction, we noted that doing so required ‘fine balancing’ because of trial errors related to that issue…. Finally, a different Law Division judge granted relief to the co-defendant on the same grounds articulated by Grice, which decision was for some reason not challenged by the State on appeal…. [W]e do not believe that a relaxable procedural bar should prevent him from having the opportunity to seek the same relief based upon the merits of his claims under the very unusual and particular circumstances of this case.”






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