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Monday, February 09, 2009

02-06-09 State of New Jersey v. Thompson A-2748-06T4

02-06-09 State of New Jersey v. Alshamoon Thompson A-2748-06T4

When we remand a matter to a judge to reconstruct the record pursuant to Rule 2:5-3(f) in connection with a postconviction relief application based on ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel, the judge may not proceed until he has received a "statement of the evidence and proceedings" from the appellant and "any objections or proposed amendments thereto." Ibid. Where objections have been made, the judge is to settle the statement on the record within fourteen days on notice to and in the presence of the prosecutor, defense counsel, and defendant and, then, is file it with the clerk of court. The reconstructed record must "provide[] reasonable
assurances of accuracy and completeness." State v. Izaguirre, 272 N.J. Super. 51, 57 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 137 N.J. 167 (1994). Here, the judge erred when he merely secured copies of the attorneys' notes and, in an ex parte proceeding on the
record, briefly described the facts relating to defendant's conviction, referred to one of several issues raised respecting trial counsel, and very briefly summarized his ruling on that one issue. Additionally, a delay of four-and-a-half months in complying with our mandate is unacceptable.