- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
- Date Filed: 09-15-2021
- Case #: A170546
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, P.J., for the Court; James, J.; & Kamins, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioner appealed summary judgment entered by the post-conviction court which found that Petitioner’s claim was filed untimely. Petitioner argued that the “escape clause” that permitted untimely petitions in certain circumstances should apply. Specifically, Petitioner claimed that he retained post-conviction counsel in 2013 but that his attorney never filed the petition and failed to communicate with Petitioner. Respondent argued that Petitioner should have been aware of the statute of limitations, and that attorney misconduct is not sufficient to trigger the escape clause. Oregon law assumes that it is reasonable for a petitioner to rely on his attorney to timely file, meeting their “most basic professional obligations.” Winstead v. State of Oregon, 287 Or App 737, 740 (2017). The Court held that it was reasonable for Petitioner to rely on his attorney to meet his professional obligations because Petitioner is entitled to as much. Further, because Petitioner’s attorney’s lack of communication prevented Petitioner from learning of the mistake until the statute of limitations had lapsed, the statute of limitations did not toll until the mistake was discovered by Petitioner. Therefore, the operative date to begin tolling the limitations was January 2016, which made the petition timely. Reversed and remanded.