1. A petitioner may file a motion in the trial court to reopen the first post-conviction petition only if the following applies:

    1. The claim in the motion is based upon a final ruling of an appellate court establishing a constitutional right that was not recognized as existing at the time of trial, if retrospective application of that right is required. The motion must be filed within one (1) year of the ruling of the highest state appellate court or the United States supreme court establishing a constitutional right that was not recognized as existing at the time of trial; or
    2. The claim in the motion is based upon new scientific evidence establishing that the petitioner is actually innocent of the offense or offenses for which the petitioner was convicted; or
    3. Terms Used In Tennessee Code 40-30-117

      • Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
      • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
      • Appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
      • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
      • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
      • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
      • Remand: When an appellate court sends a case back to a lower court for further proceedings.
      • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
      • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
      • United States: includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
      • Year: means a calendar year, unless otherwise expressed. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

    4. The claim asserted in the motion seeks relief from a sentence that was enhanced because of a previous conviction and the conviction in the case in which the claim is asserted was not a guilty plea with an agreed sentence, and the previous conviction has subsequently been held to be invalid, in which case the motion must be filed within one (1) year of the finality of the ruling holding the previous conviction to be invalid; and
    5. It appears that the facts underlying the claim, if true, would establish by clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner is entitled to have the conviction set aside or the sentence reduced.
  2. The motion must set out the factual basis underlying its claims and must be supported by affidavit. The factual information set out in the affidavit shall be limited to information which, if offered at an evidentiary hearing, would be admissible through the testimony of the affiant under the rules of evidence. The motion shall be denied unless the factual allegations, if true, meet the requirements of subsection (a). If the court grants the motion, the procedure, relief and appellate provisions of this part shall apply.
  3. If the motion is denied, the petitioner shall have thirty (30) days to file an application in the court of criminal appeals seeking permission to appeal. The application shall be accompanied by copies of all the documents filed by both parties in the trial court and the order denying the motion. The state shall have thirty (30) days to respond. The court of criminal appeals shall not grant the application unless it appears that the trial court abused its discretion in denying the motion. If it determines that the trial court did so abuse its discretion, the court of criminal appeals shall remand the matter to the trial court for further proceedings.