from the District Court of Cass County, East Central Judicial
District, the Honorable Norman G. Anderson, Judge.
R. Sandness, Jamestown, N.D., for petitioner and appellant;
J. Traiser, Assistant State's Attorney, Fargo, N.D., for
respondent and appellee; on brief.
1] Randy Jensen appeals from a district court order denying
his application for post-conviction relief. We affirm.
2] In February 2016, Jensen was charged in district court
case 09-2016-CR-537 with possession of methamphetamine, a
controlled substance. Gordon Dexheimer was appointed as
counsel in that matter. Attorney Ross Brandborg represented
Jensen in several other criminal cases. Dexheimer, Brandborg,
and the State reached a "global resolution" to
resolve all of Jensen's cases.
3] In May 2016, Jensen wrote a letter requesting new counsel
in 09-2016-CR-537. Dexheimer moved to withdraw from the case,
and a hearing was held. The district court allowed Dexheimer
to withdraw, and Brandborg, who was present at the hearing,
represented Jensen on all of his matters. After
09-2016-CR-537 was called, the district court incorrectly
stated that the preliminary hearing had already taken place.
The district court then asked for Jensen's plea. Jensen
pleaded guilty and was sentenced.
4] In December 2016, Jensen applied for post-conviction
relief on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel and
failure to provide a preliminary hearing. At the
post-conviction hearing, Brandborg testified to his
representation. Jensen did not present evidence. The district
court entered an order denying Jensen's application.
5] Jensen argues that he received ineffective assistance of
counsel. Ineffective assistance of counsel is a mixed
question of law and fact fully reviewable by this court.
Broadwell v. State, 2014 ND 6, ¶ 7, 841 N.W.2d
750. To prevail, a petitioner must prove his counsel's
performance fell below an objective standard of
reasonableness and this deficient performance prejudiced him.
Id. Jensen argues that his counsel's performance
fell below an objective standard of reasonableness because
his counsel "failed to ensure that he understood what
was happening in the courtroom" when he changed his plea
6] At the change of plea hearing, Brandborg stated that he
was "prepared to take care of all of the files" and
that the parties had a "global resolution as to
everything." The following exchange occurred:
THE COURT: Okay. 09-2016-CR-537, the State of North Dakota
versus Randy Scott Jensen. This was Possession of a
Controlled Substance at the C Felony level. Mr. Dexheimer was
originally appointed, he's been allowed to withdraw now
by Court ...