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State of New Jersey v. Lamont Adams

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


March 15, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
LAMONT ADAMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 98-09-954.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 5, 2012

Before Judges A. A. Rodriguez and Fasciale.

Defendant appeals from an August 13, 2010 order denying his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). Defendant argues that his trial counsel was ineffective by failing to inform him that his conviction for third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a, was subject to community supervision for life (CSL). We affirm.

On September 15, 1998, defendant pled guilty to third- degree endangering the welfare of a child. At the plea hearing, defendant reviewed the plea forms with his counsel, including a form entitled "Additional Questions For Certain Sexual Offenses," which contained references to Megan's Law*fn1 and CSL.

He testified that he was satisfied with his counsel, had sufficient time to speak to him, and had no questions for him or the court. After informing defendant about both Megan's Law and CSL, the judge found that defendant pled guilty knowingly and voluntarily.

On November 16, 1998, the judge followed the plea agreement, sentenced defendant to two years probation, and imposed the appropriate fines and penalties. At the sentencing hearing, the judge repeated to defendant that he was subject to Megan's Law and CSL. There was no reference in the judgment of conviction (JOC) to CSL. In 2001, the JOC was amended to correct the clerical error.

Defendant did not file a direct appeal from his conviction.

Eleven years after he was sentenced, and nine years after the JOC was amended, defendant filed his petition for PCR. He contended that at the time of his plea he was uninformed regarding CSL, and that he was not notified that the JOC would be amended to correct the clerical error. The PCR judge found that defendant's petition was time barred pursuant to Rule 3:22- 12, and that defendant failed to establish a prima facie case of ineffective assistance of counsel. The judge denied the petition without conducting an evidentiary hearing.

On appeal, defendant raises the following points:

POINT ONE

THE FIVE-YEAR TIME BAR DOES NOT PRECLUDE A PCR COURT FROM REVIEWING QUESTIONS INVOLVING THE LEGALITY OF THE SENTENCE IMPOSED.

POINT TWO

DUE PROCESS CONCERNS REQUIRE A TRIAL COURT TO NOTIFY AND PROVIDE A DEFENDANT THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD AT RESENTENCING WHERE A SENTENCE PREVIOUSLY IMPOSED AND FULLY SERVED DID NOT IMPOSE A SPECIAL CONDITION MANDATED BY STATUTE WHICH WOULD AFFECT THE DEFENDANT'S PERSONAL FREEDOM FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

POINT THREE

THE DEFENDANT'S TRIAL ATTORNEY WAS CONSTITUTIONALLY INEFFECTIVE WHERE HE DID NOT DISCUSS WITH THE ACCUSED BEFORE ENTERING A GUILTY PLEA A SPECIAL CONDITION MANDATED BY STATUTE WHICH WOULD AFFECT HIS FREEDOM FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

After considering the record and briefs, we conclude that defendant's arguments are "without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion," R. 2:11-3(e)(2), and we affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by the PCR judge in his thorough August 13, 2010 oral opinion.

Affirmed.


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