Com. v. Gordon, P.

J-S13003-20 NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION - SEE SUPERIOR COURT I.O.P. 65.37 COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee v. PETER GORDON Appellant No. 1369 MDA 2019 Appeal from the PCRA Order Entered July 10, 2019 In the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County Criminal Division at No: CP-22-CR-0006831-2016 BEFORE: STABILE, J., DUBOW, J., and PELLEGRINI, J.* MEMORANDUM BY STABILE, J.: FILED MAY 28, 2020 Appellant, Peter Gordon, appeals from an order denying relief under the Post Conviction Relief Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 9541—9546. Appellant asserts that guilty plea counsel was ineffective for failing to advise of the consequences that pleading guilty might have on his immigration status. PCRA counsel has filed an Anders1 brief and an application to withdraw as ____________________________________________ * Retired Senior Judge assigned to the Superior Court. 1 Counsel filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), apparently in the mistaken belief that an Anders brief is required where counsel seeks to withdraw on appeal from the denial of PCRA relief. Where counsel seeks to withdraw on appeal from the denial of PCRA relief, a Turner/Finley “no-merit letter” is the appropriate filing. Commonwealth v. Reed, 107 A.3d 137, 139 n.5 (Pa. Super. 2014) (citing Commonwealth v. Turner, 544 A.2d 927 (Pa. 1988); Commonwealth v. Finley, 550 A.2d 213 (Pa. Super. 1988) (en banc)). Nevertheless, our practice in these situations is to accept counsel’s Anders brief and evaluate whether it substantially J-S13003-20 counsel. Due to a defect in PCRA counsel’s cover letter to Appellant enclosing her application to withdraw, we deny her application without prejudice. On May 16, 2017, Appellant pleaded guilty to (1) medical fraud, unentitled reimbursement, (2) theft by deception, false impression, and (3) tampering with public records2 pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement. The court sentenced Appellant on the same date to five years’ probation. During sentencing, guilty plea counsel advised Appellant on the record that pleading guilty could affect his immigration status. Appellant acknowledged that he understood. Counsel asked Appellant if he still wished to go forward with the plea as outlined, and Appellant stated that he wanted to continue with the plea. N.T., 5/16/17, at 7-8. Appellant also apologized to the court and promised not to commit the same conduct again. Id. at 11. After sentencing, Appellant did not request to withdraw his plea or file a direct appeal. Accordingly, Appellant’s judgment of sentence became final on or about June 16, 2017. Over one year later, on November 18, 2018, Appellant filed a pro se PCRA petition alleging that guilty plea counsel was ineffective for failing to advise him of the immigration consequences of pleading guilty. The PCRA court appointed counsel, who filed an amended PCRA petition, and the Commonwealth filed a response. In a memorandum and order dated June 4, ____________________________________________ satisfies Turner/Finley criteria. Commonwealth v. Widgins, 29 A.3d 816, 819 (Pa. Super. 2011). 2 62 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 1407(a)(12), 3822(a)(1), and 4911(a)(1), respectively. -2- J-S13003-20 2019, the PCRA court informed Appellant of its intent to dismiss ...

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