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People v. Robinson

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

July 16, 2015

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
REGINALD J. ROBINSON, Defendant-Appellant.

Appeal from Circuit Court of Douglas County No. 07CF64 Honorable Michael G. Carroll, Judge Presiding.

JUSTICE APPLETON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Knecht and Holder White concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

APPLETON, JUSTICE.

¶ 1 Defendant, Reginald J. Robinson, through his appointed counsel, filed an amended petition for postconviction relief. The State moved to dismiss the amended petition on the ground of untimeliness (see 725 ILCS 5/122-1(c) (West 2008)) and the trial court granted the motion. Defendant appeals. In his view, the court should have excused the lateness of his petition because he "allege[d] facts showing that the delay was not due to his culpable negligence." Id.

¶ 2 Specifically, the fact defendant alleged was that his counsel on direct appeal had failed to notify him of the issuance of our decision on direct appeal. In our de novo review (see People v. Coleman, 183 Ill.2d 366, 378 (1998)), we are unconvinced that this fact shows a lack of culpable negligence on defendant's part. We are unconvinced because defendant provides us no analysis of the statute of limitation, section 122-1(c) of the Post-Conviction Hearing Act (725 ILCS 5/122-1(c) (West 2008)), and unless we know, from such an analysis, what triggered the running of the period of limitation (whatever that period was), we are in no position to decide whether defendant's unawareness of our decision on direct appeal serves as a valid excuse for the admitted lateness of his postconviction petition. Therefore, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

¶ 3 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 4 On December 11, 2007, on the basis of stipulated evidence in a bench trial, the trial court found defendant guilty of unlawful trafficking in cannabis (720 ILCS 550/5.1 (West 2006)).

¶ 5 On February 14, 2008, the trial court sentenced defendant to 20 years' imprisonment and fines totaling $28, 000.

¶ 6 On February 11, 2009, on direct appeal, we affirmed the trial court's judgment. People v. Robinson, No. 4-08-0353, slip order at 2 (Feb. 11, 2009) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).

¶ 7 Defendant did not petition the Supreme Court of Illinois for leave to appeal.

¶ 8 On July 26, 2010, defendant filed a pro se petition for postconviction relief. The trial court appointed counsel, who filed an amended petition. According to the amended petition, the "delay" in the filing of the petition was due to appellate counsel's failure to notify defendant of the issuance of our decision on direct appeal.

¶ 9 On January 17, 2012, the trial court granted the State's motion to dismiss the amended postconviction petition on the ground of untimeliness. See 725 ILCS 5/122-1(c) (West 2008).

¶ 10 Defendant appealed, and on June 19, 2013, we remanded the case for the limited purpose of demonstrating compliance with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 651(c) (eff. Dec. 1, 1984). People v. Robinson, 2013 IL App (4th) 120254-U, ¶ 34.

ΒΆ 11 On remand, postconviction counsel filed an amended certificate demonstrating compliance with Rule 651(c). The dismissal ...


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