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State of New Jersey v. John A. Denofa

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


September 19, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JOHN A. DENOFA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Burlington County, Indictment No. 01-05-0600.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 10, 2012 -

Before Judges Graves, Espinosa and Guadagno.

Defendant John A. Denofa appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm, substantially for the reasons set forth by Judge Samuel D. Natal in his comprehensive written opinion. The Rules of Court set parameters on the issues that may be raised in a petition for post-conviction relief. See R. 3:22-4 and -5. Moreover, a petitioner is not entitled to an evidentiary hearing on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel unless he presents prima facie evidence to support his claim. See State v. Preciose, 129 N.J. 451, 462-63 (1992); see also Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, l04 S. Ct. 2052, 2064, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674, 693 (1984); State v. Fritz, l05 N.J. 42, 52 (l987) (setting forth the standard for a prima facie case of ineffective assistance of counsel for purposes of the Sixth Amendment).

In his detailed written opinion, Judge Natal addressed each argument raised by defendant in support of his petition, analyzed it in terms of the applicable legal principles, and determined that each argument was either procedurally barred or failed to make a prima facie showing of ineffectiveness of trial counsel within the Strickland-Fritz test. We need not repeat or add to his analysis. We are satisfied that Judge Natal correctly concluded that an evidentiary hearing was not warranted on the petition presented by defendant and that the petition was properly denied.

Affirmed.

20120919

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