Appeal from the PCRA Order of October 26, 2010 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Criminal Division, No. CP-02-CR-0006358-1981
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lazarus, J.
BEFORE: ALLEN, LAZARUS, and OTT, JJ.
Clyde Jackson (a/k/a Clyde McGriff) appeals from the October 26, 2010 order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, dismissing his fifth petition filed under the Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA").*fn1 We affirm. On December 7, 1981, Jackson pled guilty to one count each of burglary,*fn2 criminal trespass,*fn3 theft by unlawful taking or disposition*fn4 and receiving stolen property.*fn5 On January 6, 1982, the Honorable Robert E. Dauer sentenced Jackson to 20 years' probation. Jackson did not file a direct appeal. On June 3, 1988, Jackson appeared before Judge Dauer again for a probation violation hearing. Judge Dauer revoked Jackson's term of probation and sentenced him to 2 to 20 years' incarceration for his 1981 convictions, to be served consecutively to any sentence Jackson was serving or awaiting to serve.*fn6 Jackson filed a timely notice of appeal to this Court, which affirmed the judgment of sentence. Jackson filed a petition for allowance of appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which was denied on March 23, 1990.
Between 1989 and 2004, Jackson filed four PCRA petitions, all of which were denied. On May 20, 2010, Jackson filed a motion to correct illegal sentence, which the PCRA court treated as a PCRA petition.*fn7 Jackson argued that the 1988 sentence imposed for violation of his 1982 probation was illegal because the probation "did not specify . . . the authority that shall conduct the supervision," in contravention of 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9754(a). Appellant's Brief, 6/21/11, at 9.
On September 9, 2010, the PCRA court notified Jackson that the petition, Jackson's fifth, was untimely and that it intended to dismiss it for lack of jurisdiction. See Pa.R.Crim.P. 907. Jackson filed objections to the PCRA court's intent to dismiss. On October 26, 2010, after reviewing Jackson's objections and the applicable law, the PCRA court dismissed the petition. Jackson filed a timely appeal, raising one issue for our review:
WHETHER THE [PCRA] COURT ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT IT WAS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ENTERTAIN [JACKSON'S] MOTION TO CORRECT ILLEGAL SENTENCE?
Jackson concedes that he filed his petition years after his judgment of sentence became final, and that the PCRA court lacked statutory jurisdiction to consider his claim. See Appellant's Brief, at 8-9. Nevertheless, Jackson contends that his claim involves a challenge to the legality of the 1988 sentence as a violation of black letter law, and that the PCRA court had authority to consider his claim under its inherent jurisdiction to correct patent errors in sentences. We disagree.
Whether a PCRA court has jurisdiction to correct allegedly illegal sentencing orders absent statutory jurisdiction under the PCRA is a question of law. See Commonwealth v. Holmes, 933 A.2d 57, 65 (Pa. 2007) (Holmes II). "Accordingly, our scope of review is plenary and our standard of review is de novo." Id.
The PCRA "provides for an action by which persons convicted of crimes they did not commit and persons serving illegal sentences may obtain collateral relief." 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9542. When an action is cognizable under the PCRA, the PCRA is the "sole means of obtaining collateral relief and encompasses all other common law and statutory remedies for the same purpose[.]" 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9542.
In order for a court to entertain a PCRA petition, a petitioner must comply with the PCRA filing deadline. See Commonwealth v. Robinson, 837 A.2d 1157, 1161 (Pa. 2003). The time for filing a petition is set forth in 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9545(b), which provides in relevant part:
(b) Time for filing petition.--
(1) Any petition under this subchapter, including a second or subsequent petition, shall be filed within one year of the date the judgment becomes final, unless the ...