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Chisholm v. State

Supreme Court of North Dakota

June 24, 2014

Rodney Chisholm, Petitioner and Appellant
v.
State of North Dakota, Respondent and Appellee

Appeal from the District Court of Grand Forks County, Northeast Central Judicial District, the Honorable Lawrence E. Jahnke, Judge.

REVERSED AND REMANDED.

Nicholas D. Thornton (argued), Fargo, N.D. and Erin M. Conroy (on brief), Bottineau, N.D., for petitioner and appellant.

M. Jason McCarthy, Assistant State's Attorney, and Jared J. Wall (on brief), third-year law student, under the Rule on Limited Practice of Law by Law Students, Grand Forks, N.D., for respondent and appellee.

Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J., Carol Ronning Kapsner, Lisa Fair McEvers, Daniel J. Crothers, Dale V. Sandstrom.

OPINION

Page 704

VandeWalle, Chief Justice.

[¶1] Rodney Chisholm appealed from a district court order dismissing his application for post-conviction relief. Chisholm argues the court erred in summarily dismissing his application on its own motion without providing him with notice or an opportunity to be heard. He also claims the court erred in failing to rule on every issue raised in his application. We reverse and remand, concluding the court erred in summarily dismissing the application.

I

[¶2] In 2011, a jury found Chisholm guilty of murder. Chisholm appealed, and his conviction was affirmed. State v. Chisholm, 2012 ND 147, 818 N.W.2d 707.

[¶3] On August 26, 2013, Chisholm filed his own application for post-conviction relief. Chisholm claimed he received ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel because his attorney failed to present evidence about the victim's recent prior bad acts, his attorney had a drug addiction problem which affected his representation during the trial and the appeal, his attorney failed to challenge the admission of his confession, his attorney failed to adequately challenge the search of his property, and his attorney failed to object to instances of prosecutorial misconduct.

[¶4] On September 10, 2013, Chisholm, through an attorney, filed a brief in support of the application. The brief stated:

Page 705

Mr. Chisholm now raises two main arguments in support of his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel in his application for post-conviction relief:
1) Trial counsel failed to object to the introduction of Mr. Chisholm's confession, despite the fact that it was obtained in violation of his Miranda rights, specifically the right to cut off questioning; and
2) Appellate counsel (Mr. Light, also the trial counsel) only raised the one evidentiary issue of the old firearms incident, neither noticing nor ...

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