7th Circuit: Ineffective assistance claim can’t challenge deportation

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A legal permanent resident who argued pro se that ineffective assistance of legal counsel led to his deportation after he pleaded guilty to cocaine distribution failed to persuade the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate his claim that was dismissed by a federal court.

Julio Cesar Chavarria argued in Julio Cesar Chavarria v. United States of America, 11-3549, that his criminal trial counsel told him not to worry about deportation when he pleaded guilty and told him authorities weren’t interested in deporting him.

Chavarria initially argued that Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010) could be applied retroactively, but the Supreme Court of the United States foreclosed such a possibility in affirming the 7th Circuit’s holding in Chaidez v. United States, 655 F.3d 684 (7th Cir. 2011)

Chavarria then appealed on the argument that affirmative misadvice allows an alternative constitutional claim under pre-Padilla law. Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen of the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in Hammond dismissed Chavarria’s 28 U.S.C. § 2255 claim and the 7th Circuit affirmed.

“The district court correctly concluded that it was bound by Chaidez and that Padilla had no retroactive effect on Chavarria’s case," Circuit Judge James Cudahy wrote for the panel. "(T)he distinction between affirmative misadvice and failure to advise does not somehow evade the non-retroactivity of Padilla.”



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