Current through P.A. Acts 2021-52
Section 9545 - Jurisdiction and proceedings(a) Original jurisdictionOriginal jurisdiction over a proceeding under this subchapter shall be in the court of common pleas. No court shall have authority to entertain a request for any form of relief in anticipation of the filing of a petition under this subchapter.(b) Time for filing petition(1) Any petition under this subchapter, including a second or subsequent petition, shall be filed within one year of the date the judgment becomes final, unless the petition alleges and the petitioner proves that:(i) the failure to raise the claim previously was the result of interference by government officials with the presentation of the claim in violation of the Constitution or laws of this Commonwealth or the Constitution or laws of the United States;(ii) the facts upon which the claim is predicated were unknown to the petitioner and could not have been ascertained by the exercise of due diligence; or(iii) the right asserted is a constitutional right that was recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States or the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania after the time period provided in this section and has been held by that court to apply retroactively.(2) Any petition invoking an exception provided in paragraph (1) shall be filed within one year of the date the claim could have been presented.(3) For purposes of this subchapter, a judgment becomes final at the conclusion of direct review, including discretionary review in the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, or at the expiration of time for seeking the review.(4) For purposes of this subchapter, "government officials" shall not include defense counsel, whether appointed or retained.(c) Stay of execution(1) No court shall have the authority to issue a stay of execution in any case except as allowed under this subchapter.(2) Except for first petitions filed under this subchapter by defendants whose sentences have been affirmed on direct appeal by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania between January 1, 1994, and January 1, 1996, no stay may be issued unless a petition for postconviction relief which meets all the requirements of this subchapter has been filed and is pending and the petitioner makes a strong showing of likelihood of success on the merits.(3) Suspended by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Order of Aug. 11, 1997, imd. effective.(d) Evidentiary hearing(1) The following apply: (i) Where a petitioner requests an evidentiary hearing, the petition shall include a certification signed by each intended witness stating the witness's name, address, date of birth and substance of testimony and shall include any documents material to that witness's testimony.(ii) If a petitioner is unable to obtain the signature of a witness under subparagraph (i), the petitioner shall include a certification, signed by the petitioner or counsel, stating the witness's name, address, date of birth and substance of testimony. In lieu of including the witness's name and address in the certification under this subparagraph, counsel may provide the witness's name and address directly to the Commonwealth. The certification under this subparagraph shall include any documents material to the witness's testimony and specify the basis of the petitioner's information regarding the witness and the petitioner's efforts to obtain the witness's signature. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to contravene any applicable attorney-client privilege between the petitioner and postconviction counsel.(iii) Failure to substantially comply with the requirements of this paragraph shall render the proposed witness's testimony inadmissible.(2) Suspended by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Order of Aug. 11, 1997, imd. effective.(3) When a claim for relief is based on an allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel as a ground for relief, any privilege concerning counsel's representation as to that issue shall be automatically terminated.Amended by P.L. TBD 2018 No. 146, § 2, eff. 12/24/2018. 1982, May 13, P.L. 417, No. 122, § 2, imd. effective. Amended 1988, April 13, P.L. 336, No. 47, § 3, imd. effective; 1995, Nov. 17, P.L. 1118, No. 32 (Spec. Sess. No. 1), § 1, effective in 60 days.