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Scott Alan Kruckenberg v. State of North Dakota

August 1, 2012

SCOTT ALAN KRUCKENBERG, PETITIONER AND APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA,
RESPONDENT AND APPELLEE



Appeal from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable Gail H. Hagerty, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Maring, Justice.

N.D. Supreme CourtKruckenberg

v.

State, 2012 ND 162

This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents]

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REVERSED AND REMANDED.

Opinion of the Court by Maring, Justice.

[¶1] Scott Kruckenberg appeals from the trial court's November 4, 2011, order denying his application for post-conviction relief. We reverse and remand the trial court's order denying Kruckenberg's application for post-conviction relief to allow the trial court to make detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law and to address Kruckenberg's arguments that his sentence was imposed in violation of N.D.C.C. § 12.1-32-09, North Dakota's habitual offender statute and that his attorney was ineffective for failing to raise the issue.

I

[¶2] In May 2007, Kruckenberg was charged with delivery of methamphetamine. The State filed a notice of intent to seek habitual offender finding on January 16, 2008, alleging Kruckenberg had previously been convicted of three other methamphetamine-related felonies. On March 12, 2008, the State filed an amended notice of intent to seek habitual offender finding and a jury trial was held. The amended notice was the same in all respects as the original notice, except it excluded one of the previously alleged prior convictions. Kruckenberg was subsequently convicted of delivery of methamphetamine. Following the trial, a bifurcated hearing was held. At the hearing, the trial court first found Kruckenberg was a habitual offender and then sentenced him to twenty-five years' imprisonment. Kruckenberg appealed his conviction, and this Court affirmed. State v. Kruckenberg, 2008 ND 212, 758 N.W.2d 427.

[¶3] On September 16, 2010, Kruckenberg, self-represented, filed an application for post-conviction relief, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel, and the State answered. On December 20, 2010, with the aid of counsel, Kruckenberg filed an amended application for post-conviction relief. In the amended application, Kruckenberg alleged his rights were violated by the State's improper use of a mandatory minimum sentence and disproportionate reliance on the habitual offender statute. Kruckenberg filed an addendum to his application for post-conviction relief on March 18, 2011. In the addendum, Kruckenberg complained his sentence was imposed in violation of the laws of North Dakota and that the State, in five different respects, had failed to comply with the requirements of the habitual offender statute. Kruckenberg argued the sentence was imposed in violation of the laws of North Dakota because he was not given adequate notice of the amended notice of intent to seek a habitual offender finding; no authenticated copies of prior judgments against him were introduced; a separate hearing on habitual offender status was not held; a presentence investigation was not conducted; and the notice and amended notice of intent to seek habitual offender finding inaccurately stated Kruckenberg's prior convictions occurred in Stutsman County. The court held a hearing and subsequently entered an order denying Kruckenberg's application for post-conviction relief.

[ΒΆ4] On appeal, Kruckenberg argues the trial court erred by denying his application for post-conviction relief without addressing his claims of an illegal sentence resulting from alleged defects in the amended notice of intent to seek habitual offender finding, and the court erred by not determining he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his counsel failed to ...


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