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Eagleman v. State

Supreme Court of North Dakota

March 15, 2016

Matthew Alan Eagleman, Petitioner and Appellant
v.
State of North Dakota, Respondent and Appellee

          Appeal from the District Court of Ramsey County, Northeast Judicial District, the Honorable Donovan Foughty, Judge.

         Benjamin C. Pulkrabek, Mandan, ND, for petitioner and appellant.

         Lonnie Olson, State's Attorney, Devils Lake, ND, for respondent and appellee.

         Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J., Carol Ronning Kapsner, Lisa Fair McEvers, Carol Ronning Kapsner. Opinion of the Court by VandeWalle, Chief Justice. Sandstrom, Justice, dissenting.

          OPINION

Page 2

          Gerald W. VandeWalle, Chief Justice.

          [¶1] Matthew Eagleman appealed from district court orders summarily dismissing his application for post-conviction relief and his motion for new trial. We

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reverse and remand for an evidentiary hearing.

         I

          [¶2] In 2002, Eagleman pled guilty to gross sexual imposition and harboring a runaway. After twice violating his probation, the district court revoked Eagleman's probation and sentenced him in 2011. This 2011 sentence included a third probationary term. In 2012, the State moved to correct this sentence because, under State v. Stavig, 2006 ND 63, 711 N.W.2d 183, a defendant cannot be sentenced to more than two terms of probation for the same crime, rendering Eagleman's 2011 sentence illegal. The district court held another sentencing hearing on October 16, 2012. On October 31, 2012, the court entered a corrective order sentencing Eagleman to twenty years in prison with credit for time served. On appeal, this Court affirmed the sentence. State v. Eagleman, 2013 ND 101, 831 N.W.2d 759.

          [¶3] In December 2013, Eagleman moved the district court to correct what he argued was an illegal sentence. This motion contained arguments similar to those we rejected in his 2013 appeal. In February 2014, the district court dismissed the motion. Eagleman appealed that order. In May 2014, Eagleman withdrew the appeal. In June 2014, Eagleman filed an application for post-conviction relief, arguing he received ineffective assistance of counsel at the October 2012 sentencing hearing because, among other alleged deficiencies, his counsel failed to request a recent risk assessment concerning his classification as a sexually dangerous individual. In April 2015, the district court summarily dismissed the application, concluding Eagleman already exercised his right to post-conviction relief, the application was a reiteration of previously adjudicated claims, and the statute of limitations barred the application.

          [¶4] Eagleman moved for a new trial on May 7, 2015, again arguing he received ineffective assistance of counsel at the 2012 sentencing hearing. On May 8, 2015, Eagleman appealed the district court's April 2015 order dismissing his application for post-conviction relief. On June 5, 2015, we temporarily remanded Eagleman's appeal from the order dismissing Eagleman's application so the district court could rule on Eagleman's motion for new trial, which the district court denied on June 16, 2015. On June 28, 2015, Eagleman filed a consolidated appeal from the order dismissing his application for post-conviction relief and from the order denying his motion for new trial.

         II

          [¶5] The district court dismissed Eagleman's application for post-conviction relief because the court concluded Eagleman previously exercised his right to post-conviction relief, the application was a reiteration of previously adjudicated claims, and the statute of limitations barred the application.

         A

          [¶6] Although not citing a specific statutory provision, by dismissing Eagleman's application as a reiteration of previous claims and because Eagleman already exercised his right to post-conviction relief, the district court presumably dismissed Eagleman's application under N.D.C.C. § 29-32.1-12(1). Section 29-32.1-12(1), N.D.C.C., provides: " An application for postconviction relief may be denied on the ground that the same claim or claims were fully and finally determined in a previous proceeding." " Petitioners are not entitled to post-conviction relief when their claims are variations of previous

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claims that have been rejected in prior proceedings." Smestad v. State,2011 ND 163, ¶ 6, 801 N.W.2d 691. The court concluded Eagleman already exercised his right to post-conviction relief because of his 2005 appeal to this Court. Eagleman v. State,2005 ND 164, 704 N.W.2d 573. The court also concluded the application was a reiteration of claims previously addressed by the district court and this Court because ...


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