In this case, the defendant was originally found guilty of first degree murder. After losing his appeal as well as several post-conviction petitions, he filed a pro se 2-1401 petition alleging his firearm enhancements were void because the issue was not presented to the jury.
The State filed a motion to dismiss because the petition was filed years after the statute of limitations elapsed and no cause was plead regarding why the statute of limitations should not apply.
The defendant’s appointed counsel answered none of this and also refused to adopt the defendant’s subsequently filed pro se response which laid out some reasons.
The trial court then granted the State’s motion to dismiss and the defendant appealed. The appellate court held that counsel did not provide adequate assistance to the defendant to plead facts in the petition to attempt to defeat the State’s dismissal motion that was grounded in the statute of limitations. The court found that counsel lacked any diligence, much less sue diligence, in assisting his/her client.