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State v. Elcheikhali

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

October 18, 2013

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
ABBAS ELCHEIKHALI, Defendant-Appellant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 2, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Indictment No. 05-11-1487.

Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney for appellant (Michael C. Kazer, Designated Counsel, on the brief).

Camelia M. Valdes, Passaic County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (Marc A. Festa,

Senior Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).

Before Judges Grall and Waugh.

PER CURIAM.

Defendant Abbas Elcheikhali appeals the Law Division's May 26, 2011 order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief (PCR).

In February 2006 and June 2008, Elcheikhali accepted plea offers involving two unrelated indictments.[1] With respect to the 2006 plea, he was sentenced to probation. He was sentenced to an aggregate term of incarceration for thirty months in 2008, which was to run concurrent with a federal sentence he was serving at the time. He did not file a direct appeal in either matter.

When Elcheikhali completed his federal sentence in July 2009, he was arrested on an immigration warrant. He filed his PCR petition in October, arguing that he received constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel based on his defense attorney's failure to advise him that he would be deported if he pled guilty.

Elcheikhali was assigned PCR counsel, and both sides filed briefs. Judge Marilyn C. Clark, who accepted the 2008 guilty plea, heard oral argument on May 26, 2011.[2] On the same day, she placed an oral decision denying relief on the record and filed an order dismissing the petition. This appeal followed.

Elcheikhali raises the following issues on appeal:

POINT I: THE ORDER DENYING POST-CONVICTION RELIEF SHOULD BE REVERSED AND THE MATTER REMANDED FOR A FULL EVIDENTIARY HEARING BECAUSE THE DEFENDANT MADE A PRIMA FACIE SHOWING OF INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF ...

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