Appeal from the Municipal Court of the City of Minot, Ward County, Northwest Judicial District, the Honorable Aaron C. Vibeto, Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Maring, Justice.
This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents]
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SUPERVISION GRANTED, REVERSED, AND REMANDED.
Opinion of the Court by Maring, Justice.
[¶1] Mitchell Holbach appeals from a municipal court judgment summarily dismissing his application for post-conviction relief. We conclude the judgment is not appealable but consider this appeal under our supervisory jurisdiction. We hold post-conviction relief under N.D.C.C. ch. 29-32.1 is not available in municipal courts in North Dakota. We conclude the judgment is void and direct the municipal court to dismiss Holbach's application.
[¶2] On January 5, 2006, Holbach was stopped, arrested, and charged with driving under suspension and driving without liability insurance. The officer's report indicated that when he observed Holbach driving, he recognized Holbach from a previous liability insurance arrest. He mistakenly believed Holbach's last name was Knutson. The officer's dispatch check on "Mitchell Knutson" revealed Knutson had an active bench warrant and, based on his belief that Holbach's name was Knutson, the officer stopped Holbach. Shortly after the stop, the officer recognized his error, but discovered Holbach's driving privileges were suspended, and Holbach admitted the vehicle was not insured.
[¶3] On January 6, 2006, Holbach pled guilty to both offenses in municipal court. He signed a notification of rights and acknowledgment indicating he had been informed of and understood his rights. In addition to the notification of rights portion of the form, Holbach allegedly dated and signed the "guilty plea" section and indicated he was voluntarily entering a plea, waiving his rights, and did not wish to consult with an attorney.
[¶4] On May 16, 2010, Holbach filed an application for post-conviction relief under N.D.C.C. ch. 29-32.1 in municipal court. Holbach argued his conviction was based on evidence obtained under an unlawful arrest; evidence gained under an unconstitutional search and seizure; a guilty plea unlawfully induced or not made voluntarily; and the municipal court's failure to advise him of his rights or of the minimum or maximum punishments for the offenses. The City of Minot served and filed an answer. The municipal court entered judgment summarily dismissing ...