Courts May Relax 5-Year Laurick Limitation Routinely – State v. Bringhurst

This morning’s Appellate Division decision in State v. Bringhurst creates a procedure by which defendants who seek to file a post-conviction relief (PCR) petition seeking relief under State v. Laurick, 120 N.J. 1 (1990) may obtain a relaxation of the 5-year limitation the filing of PCR applications. The Court ruled that a defendant who seeks relief under Laurick must first comply with the procedural requirements of Rule 7:10-2(g). In so doing, the defendant must establish a prima facie case in his verified pleadings that he is entitled to relief under Laurick in that he was not represented by an attorney at the time of his previous conviction, that he did not effectively waive his right to counsel and that he was either an indigent or having had an attorney would have made a difference in the outcome of his case. Once a defendant can establish these criteria in the verified pleadings, the motion court may, as a matter of routine, relax the 5-year limitation for PCR applications set forth under the Rule 7:10-2(g)(2).

Download a copy of State v. Bringhurst.

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