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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Sep 27, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Sean Lewis and Patrick G. Frogge, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ricardo Rodriguez.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Renee Erb, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Ricardo Rodriguez, brings a post-conviction challenge to his 2004 guilty plea for sale of a controlled substance based on the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 1483 (2010), in which the Court concluded that trial counsel’s failure to advise a defendant that his guilty plea would result in deportation amounted to deficient representation. In this case, the post-conviction petition was not filed within the one-year limitations period specified by the Tennessee Post-Conviction Procedure Act, and it was dismissed by the post-conviction court based on the statute of limitations at Tennessee Code Annotated § 40-30-102(a). The petitioner contends that Padilla should be retroactively applied and that his claim falls into an exception to the statute of limitations for new constitutional rules with retrospective application. See T.C.A. § 40-30-102(b)(1) (2006). Alternatively, the petitioner claims that due process tolls the statute of limitations or that the rule is an old rule with retroactive application. The petitioner also challenges the knowing and voluntary nature of his plea and brings a habeas corpus challenge based on his incomplete knowledge of English. We conclude that, because Padilla does not warrant retroactive application and because due process does not require the statute of limitations to be tolled, the petition was time-barred. We further conclude that the post-conviction court properly denied relief on the petitioner’s remaining claims and affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.