February 28, 2014
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
ERIC HAYDEN Appellant
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.
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"). 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 rights.
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, 2003. Commonwealth v. Hayden, 968 EDA 2007, slip op. at 3 (Pa. Super. April 4, 2008). Because the instant petition was filed more than one year past that date, it is facially untimely.
An untimely PCRA petition will be considered timely if the petitioner pleads and proves one of the three exceptions to the one-year time limit enumerated in subsection 9545(b) of the PCRA, which provides:
(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 petition alleges and the petitioner proves that:
(i) the failure to raise the claim previously was the result of interference by government officials with the presentation of the claim in violation of the Constitution or laws of this Commonwealth or the Constitution or laws of the United States;
(ii) the facts upon which the claim is predicated were unknown to the petitioner and could not have been ascertained by the exercise of due diligence; or
(iii) the right asserted is a constitutional right that was recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States or the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania after the time period provided in this section and has been held by that court to apply retroactively.
(2) Any petition invoking an exception provided in paragraph (1) shall be filed within 60 days of the date the claim could have been presented.
42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9545(b). When an appellant files a facially untimely petition under the PCRA, and fails to plead and prove one or more of the exceptions to the PCRA's one-year jurisdictional time limit, the petition is untimely and we must deny the appellant relief. Commonwealth v. Gam boa-Taylor, 753 A.2d 780, 783 (Pa. 2000).
In his petition, Hayden did not mention, let alone plead and prove, any of the exceptions to the PCRA's time bar. Hayden has not satisfied any of the exceptions. Therefore, we are without jurisdiction to consider the merits of Hayden's petition and we must affirm the PCRA court's dismissal.