from the District Court of Ramsey County, Northeast Judicial
District, the Honorable Lee A. Christofferson, Judge.
A. Gereszek, for petitioner and appellant.
M. Agotness, Ramsey County State's Attorney, for
respondent and appellee; submitted on brief.
1] Dylan Saari appeals from a district court's order
denying Saari's application for post-conviction relief.
Saari argues the district court erred by denying his
application for post-conviction relief. We affirm the order,
concluding the district court properly denied Saari's
application for post-conviction relief.
2] On October 24, 2014, Saari was charged with the crime of
accomplice to forgery in violation of N.D.C.C. §
12.1-03-01, a class C felony. The charge came after an
investigation into his girlfriend's attempt to post bond
for him while Saari was detained on a probation revocation.
While Saari was detained in October 2014, he made several
telephone calls to his girlfriend. During these recorded
calls, Saari and his girlfriend discussed how she could
obtain money to use to post bond. Saari's girlfriend
ultimately passed a forged check belonging to her stepfather
while on the phone with Saari. The funds were seized by
police when Saari's girlfriend attempted to post bond.
Saari pleaded guilty to the crime of accomplice to forgery in
violation of N.D.C.C. § 12.1-03-01 and was sentenced to
five years of incarceration to run concurrently with his
sentences in other cases.
3] In April 2015, Saari applied for post-conviction relief
claiming he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Saari
argued his counsel was ineffective for advising him to plead
guilty because his conduct did not constitute accomplice
liability under N.D.C.C. § 12.1-03-01. Saari argued his
conduct instead constituted criminal facilitation under
N.D.C.C. § 12.1-06-02. The district court held a hearing
on the application. Saari, his trial attorney, and an
investigating officer testified at the hearing. At the
hearing, Saari argued he did not have the requisite intent
for the criminal accomplice conviction. The State argued the
recorded telephone calls showed Saari had aided his
girlfriend with committing forgery with the intent the crime
be committed. Saari argued his trial counsel was ineffective
because the attorney did not provide Saari with all pertinent
discovery material before entry of a guilty plea. Saari also
argued his counsel was ineffective because of failure to
obtain a three-year concurrent sentence.
4] The district court denied the application for
post-conviction relief. The district court indicated phone
call transcripts supported a conviction for accomplice to
forgery and found Saari did not overcome the presumption that
his counsel's representation fell within the wide range
of reasonable, professional assistance. Saari appealed.
5] On appeal, Saari argues his conduct does not support a
conviction for accomplice to forgery. Saari argues his
conduct only supports a conviction for criminal facilitation,
a class A misdemeanor, which makes his sentence unauthorized
by law. Saari argues the district court abused its discretion
by finding he acted with intent required under N.D.C.C.
§ 12.1-03-01. Saari also argues the district court's
determination Saari's counsel was effective was an abuse
6] "Proceedings on applications for post-conviction
relief are civil in nature and governed by the North Dakota
Rules of Civil Procedure." Everett v. State,
2015 ND 149, ¶ 5, 864 N.W.2d 450. This Court does not
review a district court's decision on an application for
post-conviction relief for abuse of discretion. We review a
district court's decision in a post-conviction proceeding
A trial court's findings of fact in a post-conviction
proceeding will not be disturbed on appeal unless clearly
erroneous under N.D.R.Civ.P. 52(a). A finding is clearly
erroneous if it is induced by an erroneous view of the law,
if it is not supported by any evidence, or if, although there
is some evidence to support it, a reviewing court is left
with a definite and firm conviction a mistake ...