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[U] Commonwealth v. Hayden

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 28, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
ERIC HAYDEN Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the PCRA Order of April 30, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal Division at No.: CP-51-CR-0808571-2001

BEFORE: GANTMAN, J., OLSON, J., and WECHT, J.

MEMORANDUM

WECHT, J.

Eric Hayden ("Hayden") appeals the April 30, 2013 order that dismissed as untimely his petition for relief pursuant to the Post-Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA").[1] We affirm.

The PCRA court summarized the factual and procedural history of this case as follows:

On July 27, 2001, [Hayden] was convicted by a jury of aggravated assault, firearms not to be carried without a license, carrying firearms on public streets, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person in connection with the armed robbery of a Drexel University student. On November 6, 2002, [Hayden] was sentenced to a term of sixteen to thirty-two (16-32) years['] incarceration. [Hayden] filed a pro se appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. On the advice of counsel, [Hayden] withdrew the timely appeal. On June 11, 2004, [Hayden] filed his first PCRA petition. The petition was dismissed on September 15, 2004. [Hayden] appealed and the Superior Court affirmed the dismissal on October 18, 2005. Thereafter, [Hayden] filed a petition for allowance of appeal which was denied on May 16, 2006.
[Hayden] filed a second [pro se] PCRA petition which was dismissed on April 2, 2007. [Hayden] is back with another PCRA petition, his third[, ] alleging the same exact issue he raised in all previously filed petitions[:] ineffectiveness of counsel. This court conducted a diligent and exhaustive review of the record and applicable case law; this Court finds that [Hayden's] third petition for post[-]conviction collateral relief is untimely filed. Therefore, this Court does not have jurisdiction to consider [Hayden's third] petition. Accordingly, it must be dismissed.

PCRA Court Opinion ("P.C.O."), 4/30/2013, at 1-2 (unpaginated).

On April 30, 2013, the PCRA court dismissed Hayden's petition in the above-cited opinion and its accompanying order. On May 28, 2013, Hayden filed his notice of appeal. The PCRA court did not order, and Hayden did not file, a concise statement of errors complained of on appeal pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b).

Hayden presents one issue for our review:

Whether direct appeal counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel when he withdrew [Hayden's] pro-se, timely filed, first time Direct Appeal, without [Hayden's] knowledge or consent, and when [Hayden] questioned counsel[']s actions[, ] counsel assured [Hayden] that he would-not lose his first time direct appeal right[]s.

Hayden's Brief at 3.

Before we reach the merits of Hayden's appeal, we must ensure that we have jurisdiction to do so. It is well-established that the PCRA time limits are jurisdictional, and must be strictly construed, regardless of the potential merit of the claims asserted. Commonwealth v. Leggett, 16 A.3d 1144, 1145 (Pa. Super. 2011). To be timely, a PCRA petition must be filed within one year of the judgment of sentence becoming final. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9545(b)(1). An appeal becomes final at the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time period during which review may be sought. 42 Pa.C.S.A § 9545(b)(3). A prior panel of this Court determined that Hayden's judgment of sentence became final on February 24, ...


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