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State v. T.J.T.

November 19, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
T.J.T., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 92-07-2739.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 21, 2009

Before Judges Sabatino and Newman.

Defendant, T.J.T., appeals from an order denying his motion to withdraw a guilty plea. On appeal, counsel for defendant describes the appeal as one from a denial of post-conviction relief (PCR). In either event, we affirm.

Defendant pled guilty to first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree aggravated sexual assault, and third-degree terroristic threats on September 30, 1992. Before he was sentenced, pursuant to a plea agreement, he sought to withdraw his guilty plea and his application was denied. The trial judge sentenced defendant on October 26, 1993, to an aggregate term of fifteen-years imprisonment with five years of parole ineligibility. Defendant never appealed from that sentence, nor did he appeal from the denial of the motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

Defendant served his maximum fifteen-year sentence. In the interim, in 1998, the Sexual Violent Predator's Act*fn1 (SVPA) was enacted. The State moved under the SVPA in 2002 to have defendant civilly committed and was successful in doing so. Defendant appealed from the SVPA civil commitment in 2004. We affirmed, and the Supreme Court denied certification. Defendant, then, was unsuccessful in multiple habeas corpus proceedings in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey to terminate his civil confinement.

On or about June 21, 2007, defendant filed a PCR motion, seeking to withdraw his guilty plea. The motion was forwarded to Judge Michael Ravin, who treated it as a belated motion to withdraw defendant's guilty plea. The PCR judge did not hold a hearing and denied relief.

On appeal, defendant raises the following issues for our consideration.

POINT I

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING DEFENDANT'S PETITION FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF.

A. Defendant's petition is not barred.

B. The trial court denied defendant the opportunity to be heard and have assistance of counsel on his first ...


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