Rule 9.141. Review Proceedings In Collateral Or Postconviction Criminal Cases

(a) Death Penalty Cases. This rule does not apply to death penalty cases.

(b) Appeals from Postconviction Proceedings Under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a), 3.801, 3.802, 3.850, or 3.853.

(1) Applicability of Civil Appellate Procedures. Appeal proceedings under this subdivision shall be as in civil cases, except as modified by this rule.

(2) Summary Grant or Denial of All Claims Raised in a Motion Without Evidentiary Hearing.

(A) Record. When a motion for postconviction relief under rule 3.800(a), 3.801, 3.802, 3.850, or 3.853 is granted or denied without an evidentiary hearing, the clerk of the lower tribunal shall electronically transmit to the court, as the record, the motion, response, reply, order on the motion, motion for rehearing, response, reply, order on the motion for rehearing, and attachments to any of the foregoing, together with the certified copy of the notice of appeal.

(B) Index. Unless directed otherwise by the court, the clerk of the lower tribunal shall not index or paginate the record or send copies of the index or record to the parties.

(C) Briefs or Responses.

(i) Briefs are not required, but the appellant may serve an initial brief within 30 days of filing the notice of appeal. The appellee need not file an answer brief unless directed by the court. The appellant may serve a reply brief as prescribed by rule 9.210.

(ii) The court may request a response from the appellee before ruling, regardless of whether the appellant filed an initial brief. The appellant may serve a reply within 20 days after service of the response. The response and reply shall not exceed the page limits set forth in rule 9.210 for answer briefs and reply briefs.

(D) Disposition. On appeal from the denial of relief, unless the record shows conclusively that the appellant is entitled to no relief, the order shall be reversed and the cause remanded for an evidentiary hearing or other appropriate relief.

(3) Grant or Denial of Motion after an Evidentiary Hearing was Held on One or More Claims.

(A) Transcription. In the absence of designations to the court reporter, the notice of appeal filed by an indigent pro se litigant in a rule 3.801, 3.802, 3.850, or 3.853 appeal after an evidentiary hearing shall serve as the designation to the court reporter for the transcript of the evidentiary hearing. Within 5 days of receipt of the notice of appeal, the clerk of the lower tribunal shall request the appropriate court reporter to transcribe the evidentiary hearing and shall send the court reporter a copy of the notice, the date of the hearing to be transcribed, the name of the judge, and a copy of this rule.

(B) Record.

(i) When a motion for postconviction relief under rule 3.801, 3.802, 3.850, or 3.853 is granted or denied after an evidentiary hearing, the clerk of the lower tribunal shall index, paginate, and electronically transmit to the
court as the record, within 50 days of the filing of the notice of appeal, the notice of appeal, motion, response, reply, order on the motion, motion for rehearing, response, reply, order on the motion for rehearing, and attachments to any of the foregoing, as well as the transcript of the evidentiary hearing.

(ii) Appellant may direct the clerk to include in the record any other documents that were before the lower tribunal at the hearing.

(iii) The clerk of the lower tribunal shall serve copies of the record on the attorney general (or state attorney in appeals to the circuit court), all counsel appointed to represent indigent defendants on appeal, and any
pro se indigent defendant. The clerk of the lower tribunal shall simultaneously serve copies of the index on all non-indigent defendants and, at their request, copies of the record or portions of it at the cost prescribed by law.

(C) Briefs. Initial briefs shall be served within 30 days of service of the record or its index. Additional briefs shall be served as prescribed by rule 9.210.

(c) Petitions Seeking Belated Appeal or Belated Discretionary Review.

(1) Applicability. This subdivision governs petitions seeking belated appeals or belated discretionary review.

(2) Treatment as Original Proceedings. Review proceedings under this subdivision shall be treated as original proceedings under rule 9.100, except as modified by this rule.

(3) Forum. Petitions seeking belated review shall be filed in the court to which the appeal or discretionary review should have been taken.

(4) Contents. The petition shall be in the form prescribed by rule 9.100, may include supporting documents, and shall recite in the statement of facts

(A) the date and nature of the lower tribunal’s order sought to be reviewed;

(B) the name of the lower tribunal rendering the order;

(C) the nature, disposition, and dates of all previous court proceedings;

(D) if a previous petition was filed, the reason the claim in the present petition was not raised previously;

(E) the nature of the relief sought; and

(F) the specific acts sworn to by the petitioner or petitioner’s counsel that constitute the basis for entitlement to belated appeal or belated discretionary review, as outlined below:

(i) A petition seeking belated appeal must state whether the petitioner requested counsel to proceed with the appeal and the date of any such request, or if the petitioner was misadvised as to the availability of appellate review or the status of filing a notice of appeal. A petition seeking belated discretionary review must state whether counsel advised the petitioner of the results of the appeal and the date of any such notification, or if counsel misadvised the petitioner as to the opportunity for seeking discretionary review, or

(ii) A petition seeking belated appeal or belated discretionary review must identify the circumstances unrelated to counsel’s action or inaction, including names of individuals involved and date(s) of the occurrence(s), that were beyond the petitioner’s control and otherwise interfered with the petitioner’s ability to file a timely appeal or notice to invoke, as applicable.

(5) Time Limits.

(A) A petition for belated appeal shall not be filed more than 2 years after the expiration of time for filing the notice of appeal from a final order, unless it alleges under oath with a specific factual basis that the petitioner was unaware a notice of appeal had not been timely filed or was not advised of the right to an appeal or was otherwise prevented from timely filing the notice of appeal due to circumstances beyond the petitioner’s control, and could not have ascertained such facts by the exercise of reasonable diligence. In no case shall a petition for
belated appeal be filed more than 4 years after the expiration of time for filing the notice of appeal.

(B) A petition for belated discretionary review shall not be filed more than 2 years after the expiration of time for filing the notice to invoke discretionary review from a final order, unless it alleges under oath with a specific factual basis that the petitioner was unaware such notice had not been timely filed or was not advised of the results of the appeal, or was otherwise prevented from timely filing the notice due to circumstances beyond the petitioner’s control, and that the petitioner could not have ascertained such facts by the exercise of reasonable diligence. In no case shall a petition for belated discretionary review be filed more than 4 years after the expiration of time for filing the notice to invoke discretionary review from a final order.

(6) Procedure.

(A) The petitioner shall serve a copy of a petition for belated appeal on the attorney general and state attorney. The petitioner shall serve a copy of a petition for belated discretionary review on the attorney general.

(B) The court may by order identify any provision of this rule that the petition fails to satisfy and, pursuant to rule 9.040(d), allow the petitioner a specified time to serve an amended petition.

(C) The court may dismiss a second or successive petition if it does not allege new grounds and the prior determination was on the merits, or if a failure to assert the grounds was an abuse of procedure.

(D) An order granting a petition for belated appeal shall be filed with the lower tribunal and treated as the notice of appeal, if no previous notice has been filed. An order granting a petition for belated discretionary review or belated appeal of a decision of a district court of appeal shall be filed with the district court and treated as a notice to invoke discretionary jurisdiction or notice of
appeal, if no previous notice has been filed.

(d) Petitions Alleging Ineffective Assistance of Appellate Counsel.

(1) Applicability. This subdivision governs petitions alleging ineffective assistance of appellate counsel.

(2) Treatment as Original Proceedings. Review proceedings under this subdivision shall be treated as original proceedings under rule 9.100, except as modified by this rule.

(3) Forum. Petitions alleging ineffective assistance of appellate counsel shall be filed in the court to which the appeal was taken.

(4) Contents. The petition shall be in the form prescribed by rule 9.100, may include supporting documents, and shall recite in the statement of facts:

(A) the date and nature of the lower tribunal’s order subject to the disputed appeal;

(B) the name of the lower tribunal rendering the order;

(C) the nature, disposition, and dates of all previous court proceedings;

(D) if a previous petition was filed, the reason the claim in the present petition was not raised previously;

(E) the nature of the relief sought; and

(F) the specific acts sworn to by the petitioner or petitioner’s counsel that constitute the alleged ineffective assistance of counsel.

(5) Time Limits. A petition alleging ineffective assistance of appellate counsel on direct review shall not be filed more than 2 years after the judgment and sentence become final on direct review unless it alleges under oath with a specific factual basis that the petitioner was affirmatively misled about the results of the appeal by counsel. In no case shall a petition alleging ineffective assistance of appellate counsel on direct review be filed more than 4 years after the judgment and sentence become final on direct review.

(6) Procedure.

(A) The petitioner shall serve a copy of the petition on the attorney general.

(B) The court may by order identify any provision of this rule that the petition fails to satisfy and, pursuant to rule 9.040(d), allow the petitioner a specified time to serve an amended petition.

(C) The court may dismiss a second or successive petition if it does not allege new grounds and the prior determination was on the merits, or if a failure to assert the grounds was an abuse of procedure.

Committee Notes

2000 Amendment. Rule 9.141 is a new rule governing review of collateral or post-conviction criminal cases. It covers topics formerly included in rules 9.140(i) and (j). The committee opted to transfer these subjects to a new rule, in part because rule 9.140 was becoming lengthy. In addition, review proceedings for collateral criminal cases are in some respects treated as civil appeals or as extraordinary writs, rather than criminal appeals under rule
9.140.

Subdivision (a) clarifies that this rule does not apply to death penalty cases. The Supreme Court has its own procedures for these cases, and the committee did not attempt to codify them.

Subdivision (b)(2) amends former rule 9.140(i) and addresses review of summary grants or denials of post-conviction motions under Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a) or 3.850. Amended language in subdivision (b)(2)(A) makes minor changes to the contents of the record in such cases. Subdivision (b)(2)(B) addresses a conflict between Summers v. State, 570 So. 2d 990 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990), and Fleming v. State, 709 So. 2d 135 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998), regarding indexing and pagination of records. The First District requires clerks to index and paginate the records, while the other district courts do not. The committee determined not to require indexing and pagination unless the court directs otherwise, thereby allowing individual courts to require indexing and pagination if they so desire. Subdivision (b)(2)(B) also provides that neither the state nor the dpost-convictionefendant should get a copy of the record in these cases, because they should already have all of the relevant documents. Subdivision (b)(2)(D) reflects current case law that the court can reverse not only for an evidentiary hearing but also for other appropriate relief.

Subdivision (b)(3) addresses review of grants or denials of  motions under rule 3.850 after an evidentiary hearing. Subdivision (b)(3)(A) provides for the preparation of a transcript if an indigent pro se litigant fails to request the court reporter to prepare it. The court cannot effectively carry out its duties without a transcript to review, and an indigent litigant will usually be entitled to preparation of the transcript and a copy of the record at no charge. See Colonel v. State, 723 So. 2d 853 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998). The procedures in subdivisions (b)(3)(B) and (C) for preparation of the record and service of briefs are intended to be similar to those provided in rule 9.140 for direct appeals from judgments and sentences.

Subdivision (c) is a slightly reorganized and clarified version of former rule 9.140(j). No substantive changes are intended.

 

Updated with rule changes effective October 1, 2017.  For more information about these changes, check out the Florida Appellate Procedure Blog.

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