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Phillips v. State

Supreme Court of North Dakota

January 14, 2014

Casey PHILLIPS, Petitioner and Appellant
v.
STATE of North Dakota, Respondent and Appellee.

Page 732

Robert W. Martin, North Dakota Public Defenders' Office, Minot, N.D., for petitioner and appellant.

Marjorie R. Kohls, Assistant State's Attorney, Bismarck, N.D., for respondent and appellee.

SANDSTROM, Justice.

[¶ 1] Casey Phillips appeals from a district court order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief. Concluding the district court abused its discretion in denying Phillips's request for a transcript of the post-conviction hearing, we reverse and remand.

I

[¶ 2] In prosecutions underlying this post-conviction proceeding, Phillips applied for indigent defense services, and the district court appointed counsel to represent him. Phillips pled guilty to charges of violating a domestic violence protection order, stalking, terrorizing, and criminal trespass. He did not directly appeal the convictions.

[¶ 3] Phillips applied for post-conviction relief in January 2013, claiming his trial counsel was ineffective, his convictions were obtained as a result of a coerced confession and unlawfully induced guilty plea, and evidence not previously presented requires the convictions be vacated. Phillips again applied for indigent defense counsel, and attorney Charles Stock was assigned to represent him. Following a hearing, the nature of which we cannot ascertain because of the unavailability of the transcript, the district court dismissed Phillips's application for post-conviction relief, concluding, " For the reasons stated on the record, the Petition for Post-Conviction Relief is hereby dismissed."

[¶ 4] Phillips appealed and requested a copy of the transcript of the hearing on his application for post-conviction relief. He was granted indigent defense counsel for his appeal. The district court, however, denied his request for a free transcript, stating, " In this case, neither the petition for post-conviction relief nor the request for transcript state a legal or factual basis for the transcript. Phillips has not made a particularized showing that the hearing transcript would be beneficial to assist in establishing his claims."

[¶ 5] The district court had jurisdiction under N.D. Const. art. VI, § 8, and

Page 733

N.D.C.C. § 29-32.1-03. Phillips's appeal is timely under N.D.R.App.P. 4(d). This Court has jurisdiction under N.D. Const. art. VI, §§ 2 and 6, and N.D.C.C. § 29-32.1-14.

II

[¶ 6] Phillips argues the district court abused its discretion in refusing to order preparation of the transcript ...


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