Laurick Applications Must be Made in Original Court of Conviction – State v. Schadewald

In this morning’s Appellate Division decision in State v. Schadewald, the Court ruled that a post-conviction relief application under State v. Laurick, 120 N.J. 1 (1990) must be filed in the municipal court where the original conviction occurred and not where the current case is pending. In Schadewald, the defendant appeared for a third offense DWI sentence and argued before the sentencing judge that he was entitled to relief under Laurick due to an uncounselled conviction in 1989 in another court. The sentencing judge rejected this application and the defendant appealed. The Appellate Division held that the proper venue for this application, as expressed in Rule 7:10-2(g) is in the court where the original conviction was entered. Accordingly, the Court allowed the defendant to file his petition for post-conviction relief under Laurick in the proper municipal court.

Of further note in this case was the retro-active application given to Rule 7:10-2(g) related to Laurick applications. The Court held that although the Rule did not go into effect until September 1, 2007, its procedure would apply to petitions that were filed prior to that date. It should be noted that this Rule of Court provides a five-year limitation on Laurick applications (Rule 7:10-2(g)(2)) which may now apply to petitions filed prior to September 1, 2007.

Download a copy of State v. Schadewald.

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