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Commonwealth v. Ramos

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA
Feb 12, 2020
J-S67023-19 (Pa. Super. Ct. Feb. 12, 2020)

Opinion

J-S67023-19 No. 1766 MDA 2018

02-12-2020

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA v. JOSE ANTONIO RAMOS Appellant


NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION - SEE SUPERIOR COURT I.O.P. 65.37

Appeal from the PCRA Order Entered October 4, 2018
In the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-40-CR-0003982-2012 BEFORE: OLSON, J., DUBOW, J., and STEVENS, P.J.E. JUDGMENT ORDER BY DUBOW, J.:

Former Justice specially assigned to the Superior Court.

Appellant, Jose Antonio Ramos, appeals from the Order entered October 4, 2018, which dismissed his Petition for collateral relief filed under the Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA), 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9541-9546. We vacate the Order and remand with instructions.

In January 2014, a jury convicted Appellant for Failure to Comply with Registration Requirements. Appellant timely appealed; this Court affirmed the Judgment of Sentence, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied his Petition for allowance of appeal. Commonwealth v. Ramos , 122 A.3d 441 (Pa. Super. 2015) (unpublished memorandum), appeal denied, 126 A.3d 1284 (Pa. 2015).

18 Pa.C.S. § 4915(a)(3) (effective July 5, 2012 to December 19, 2012). Appellant's conduct occurred prior to the expiration of the statute. --------

In December 2015, Appellant timely filed a Petition for collateral relief, inter alia, challenging the legality of his sentence. Petition, 12/15/15. The PCRA court denied relief, and Appellant timely appealed. PCRA Ct. Order, 11/22/16; Notice of Appeal, 12/20/16.

During the pendency of Appellant's appeal to this Court, our Supreme Court issued its decision in Commonwealth v. Muniz , 164 A.3d 1189 (Pa. 2017) (concluding that the retroactive application of the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act ("SORNA") violated constitutional prohibitions of ex post facto laws). Shortly thereafter, this Court determined that Muniz announced a new substantive rule and that "[t]he United States Constitution requires state collateral review courts to give retroactive effect to new substantive rules of constitutional law[.]" Commonwealth v. Rivera-Figueroa , 174 A.3d 674, 678 (Pa. Super. 2017) (citing Montgomery v. Louisiana , 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016)). Because the appellant therein had timely sought collateral relief, we concluded that the appellant could amend his initial timely petition to include a Muniz claim. Id. at 679.

In this case, Appellant is similarly situated. Appellant challenged the legality of his sentence by timely filing a PCRA Petition. The PCRA court denied relief, and Appellant timely appealed. During the pendency of his appeal, Muniz issued. Expressly citing Rivera-Figueroa , we vacated the PCRA Court's Order and remanded for consideration of Appellant's Muniz claim. Commonwealth v. Ramos , No. 605 MDA 2017 (Judgment Order, filed 4/11/18).

On remand, the PCRA court misconstrued our prior Order. We did not remand with instructions for the court to entertain a new collateral petition and, therefore, consider whether this new petition was timely. See PCRA Ct. Op., 5/28/19. Rather, in citing Rivera-Figueroa , we directed the PCRA court to consider Appellant's Muniz claim as an amendment to his initial, timely Petition.

Accordingly, we are constrained to vacate the PCRA Court's October 4th Order and again remand for further proceedings. On remand, the PCRA court shall consider Appellant's Muniz claim as an amendment to his initial, timely PCRA Petition.

Order vacated. Case remanded for further proceedings consistent with this decision. Jurisdiction relinquished. Judgment Entered. /s/_________
Joseph D. Seletyn, Esq.
Prothonotary Date: 02/12/2020


Summaries of

Commonwealth v. Ramos

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA
Feb 12, 2020
J-S67023-19 (Pa. Super. Ct. Feb. 12, 2020)
Case details for

Commonwealth v. Ramos

Case Details

Full title:COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA v. JOSE ANTONIO RAMOS Appellant

Court:SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Date published: Feb 12, 2020

Citations

J-S67023-19 (Pa. Super. Ct. Feb. 12, 2020)