Home Table of Contents

RULE 4-332. WRIT OF ACTUAL INNOCENCE

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 4. Criminal Causes
Chapter 300. Trial and Sentencing
MD Rules, Rule 4-332
RULE 4-332. WRIT OF ACTUAL INNOCENCE
(a) Scope. This Rule applies to an action seeking a writ of actual innocence as provided by Code, Criminal Procedure Article, § 8-301.
(b) Filing; Caption. An action for a writ of actual innocence is commenced by the filing of a petition in the court where the conviction took place. The caption of the petition shall state the number of the criminal case to which the petition relates. If practicable, the petition shall be filed in the criminal action.
(c) Timing. A petition under this Rule may be filed at any time.
(d) Content of Petition. The petition shall be in writing, shall be signed by the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney, and shall state:
(1) the court in which the indictment or criminal information was filed and the file number of that case;
(2) if the case was removed to another court for trial, the identity of that court;
(3) each offense of which the petitioner was convicted, the date of the judgment of conviction, and the sentence imposed;
(4) if the judgment was appealed, the case number in the appellate court, a concise description of the issues raised in the appeal, the result, and the date of the appellate court's mandate;
(5) for each motion or petition for post-judgment relief, the court in which the motion or petition was filed, the case number assigned to each proceeding, a concise description of the issues raised, the result, and the date of disposition;
(6) that the request for relief is based on newly discovered evidence which, with due diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial pursuant to Rule 4-331;
(7) a description of the newly discovered evidence, how and when it was discovered, why it could not have been discovered earlier, and, if the issue of whether the evidence could have been discovered in time to move for a new trial pursuant to Rule 4-331 was raised or decided in any earlier appeal or post-judgment proceeding, the identity of the appeal or proceeding and the decision on that issue;
(8) that the newly discovered evidence creates a substantial or significant possibility, as that standard has been judicially determined, that the result may have been different, and the basis for that statement;
(9) that the conviction sought to be vacated is based on an offense that the petitioner did not commit;
(10) if the petitioner is not already represented by counsel, whether the petitioner desires to have counsel appointed by the court and, if so, facts establishing indigency;
(11) that a copy of the petition, together with all attachments, was mailed to the State's Attorney of the county in which the petition was filed;
(12) the relief requested; and
(13) whether a hearing is requested.
(e) Notices.
(1) To State's Attorney. The petitioner shall send a copy of the petition with all attachments to the State's Attorney of the county in which the petition was filed.
(2) To Victim or Victim's Representative. Upon receipt of the petition, the State's Attorney shall notify any victim or victim's representative of the filing of the petition, as provided by Code, Criminal Procedure Article, § 11-104 or § 11-503.
(3) To Public Defender. If the petitioner has requested an attorney and has alleged inability to employ one, the court shall send a copy of the petition and attachments to the Collateral Review Division of the Office of the Public Defender.
(f) Response by State's Attorney. Within 90 days after receipt of the petition and attachments, the State's Attorney shall file a response, serve a copy on the petitioner, and, if indigency is alleged, send a copy to the Collateral Review Division of the Office of the Public Defender.
(g) Response by Public Defender. Within 30 days after the State files its response, or, if no response is timely filed, the expiration of the time allowed for the State's response in section (f) of this Rule, the Office of the Public Defender shall (1) enter its appearance, (2) notify the court in writing that it declines to provide representation to the petitioner, or (3) request from the court an extension of the time for deciding whether to provide representation to the petitioner and state a specific reason for the request.
(h) Amendments. Amendments to the petition shall be freely allowed in order to do substantial justice. If an amendment is made, the court shall allow the State a reasonable opportunity to respond to the amendment.
(i) Dismissal of Petition; Appointment of Counsel.
(1) Dismissal of Petition. Upon consideration of the petition and the State's response, the court may (A) dismiss the petition if it finds as a matter of law that the petition fails to comply substantially with the requirements of section (d) of this Rule or otherwise fails to assert grounds on which relief may be granted or (B) grant leave to amend the petition to correct the deficiency. If the court finds a lack of proper venue, the court shall transfer the petition to the court with proper venue.
(2) Appointment of Counsel. If the court finds that a petitioner who has requested the appointment of counsel is indigent and the Office of the Public Defender has declined to provide representation, the court may appoint counsel after the State has filed its response unless (A) the court denies the petition as a matter of law or (B) counsel has already filed an appearance to represent the petitioner.
(j) Hearing.
(1) When Required. Except as provided in subsection (i)(1) of this Rule, the court shall hold a hearing on the petition if the petition substantially complies with the requirements of section (d) of this Rule and a hearing was requested.
(2) Right of Victim or Victim's Representative to Attend. A victim or victim's representative has the right to attend a hearing on the petition as provided under Code, Criminal Procedure Article, § 11-102.
(k) Burden of Proof. The petitioner has the burden of proof to establish a right to relief.
(l) Ruling.
(1) Actions of Court. If the court finds that the petitioner is entitled to relief, it may set aside the verdict or judgment of conviction, grant a new trial, re-sentence the petitioner, or correct the sentence.
(2) Reasons for Ruling. The court shall state the reasons for its ruling on the record.
Source: This Rule is new.

Credits

[Adopted Sept. 8, 2011, eff. Oct. 1, 2011.]
MD Rules, Rule 4-332, MD R CR Rule 4-332
Current with amendments received through May 1, 2022. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
End of Document