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Dupree v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

July 14, 2014

JOHN DUPREE, Defendant-Below, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff-Below, Appellee

Submitted July 3, 2014

Case Closed July 30, 2014.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been designated as "Table of Decisions Without Published Opinions." in the Atlantic Reporter.

Court Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County. Cr. ID No. 0408024419.

Before STRINE, Chief Justice, HOLLAND and RIDGELY, Justices.

OPINION

ORDER

Leo E. Strine, Jr Chief Justice

This 14th day of July 2014, it appears to the Court that:

(1) The appellant, John Dupree, is an inmate incarcerated at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware. On June 25, 2014, the Court received Dupree's notice of appeal from a Superior Court order dated April 24, 2014 and docketed on April 25, 2014 denying his motion for postconviction relief. Under 10 Del. C. § 147 and Supreme Court Rule 6(a)(iii), the notice of appeal should have been filed on or before May 27, 2014.[1]

(2) On June 25, 2014, the Clerk issued a notice under Supreme Court Rule 29(b), directing Dupree to show cause why the appeal should not be dismissed as untimely filed. In his response to the notice filed on July 3, 2014, Dupree asserts that his delay in filing the appeal was due to his extended hospitalization from February 11, 2014 until May 21, 2014, during which time his " legal work" was stored in the prison property room and was not returned until June 9, 2014, and his inability to " get to the [prison] law library" until June 23, 2014.

(3) In Delaware, " [t]ime is a jurisdictional requirement." [2] " [T]he appellate jurisdiction of this Court rests wholly upon the perfecting of an appeal within the period of limitations fixed by law." [3] The jurisdictional defect created by the untimely filing of an appeal cannot be excused unless the appellant can demonstrate that the delay in filing the appeal is attributable to court-related personnel.[4]

(4) In this case, Dupree does not contend, and the record does not reflect, that his failure to timely file the appeal is attributable to court-related personnel.[5] The case does not fall within the exception to the general rule that mandates the timely filing of a notice of appeal.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, under Supreme Court Rules 6 and 29(b), that the appeal is DISMISSED.


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