Is Due Process Violated If Defence Lawyes Is Not Given Notice Regarding Postconviction Petition Hearing ?
In People v. Bounds, 182 Ill. 2d 1, 230 Ill. Dec. 591, 694 N.E.2d 560 (1998), defendant's postconviction counsel filed a postconviction petition on June 30, 1995. Bounds, 182 Ill. 2d at 4.
Due to the inability of both defendant's trial counsel and the State to locate the trial record, the trial court granted defendant's counsel's request for additional time to amend the postconviction petition. Bounds, 182 Ill. 2d at 4.
The amended petition was due October 3, 1995. on September 20, 1995, the State filed a motion to dismiss. Bounds, 182 Ill. 2d at 4.
The motion was continued and, at the next court date on November 14, 1995, defendant's counsel requested another continuance because he had not yet obtained all the necessary records. Bounds, 182 Ill. 2d at 4.
At the next court date, on December 6, 1995, the State turned over defendant's trial record. Bounds, 182 Ill. 2d at 4.
On that date, the trial court continued the case until March 28, 1996, allowing defendant's counsel time to file an amended petition.
Regarding the March 28, 1996, court date, the trial court stated, "'status, you come on in and tell me what you have to do, that's all.'" Bounds, 182 Ill. 2d at 4.
On March 28, 1996, defendant's postconviction counsel appeared in court with a discovery motion and a motion for a continuance. Bounds, 182 Ill. 2d at 5.
The court did not rule on the motions but instead granted the State's motion to dismiss the postconviction petition without argument. Bounds, 182 Ill. 2d at 5.
On appeal, the supreme court reversed the dismissal and remanded for further proceedings. the court stated:
"A trial court's discretion in resolving postconviction petitions does not allow the court to convert a status call to a hearing on the merits without notice to the parties." Bounds, 182 Ill. 2d at 5.
The court then held that because there was no notice to defendant's counsel that the postconviction petition would be ruled upon, defendant's right to procedural due process under the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, 2) was violated. Bounds, 182 Ill. 2d at 5.