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Chisholm v. State

Supreme Court of North Dakota

March 13, 2019

Rodney Ray Chisholm, Plaintiff and Appellant
v.
State of North Dakota, Defendant and Appellee

          Appeal from the District Court of Grand Forks County, Northeast Central Judicial District, the Honorable Donald Hager, Judge.

          Rodney R. Chisholm (on brief), self-represented, Bismarck, ND, plaintiff and appellant.

          Haley L. Wamstad (on brief), State's Attorney, Grand Forks, ND, for defendant and appellee.

          OPINION

          JENSEN, JUSTICE.

         [¶1] Rodney Chisholm appeals from the district court's summary dismissal of his application for post-conviction relief, denial of his motion to compel, denial of his request for counsel, and denial of his request for a change of judge. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.

         I.

         [¶2] Chisholm's application for post-conviction relief stems from his conviction of murder on May 3, 2011. Chisholm was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment and we affirmed the conviction. State v. Chisholm, 2012 ND 147, 818 N.W.2d 707.

         [¶3] Chisholm previously filed multiple applications for post-conviction relief, one which was denied by the Honorable Donald Hager. In his most recent application for post-conviction relief, Chisholm alleges newly discovered evidence entitles him to a new trial.

         [¶4] In conjunction with his application for post-conviction relief, Chisholm filed a request for a change of judge referencing N.D.C.C. § 29-15-21 and including allegations that Judge Hager was not impartial. Chisholm also filed a motion to compel discovery and a request for court-appointed counsel.

         [¶5] The Honorable Lolita Hartl-Romanick reviewed Chisholm's request for change of judge and denied his request in her capacity as the acting presiding judge. Judge Hager subsequently denied the motion to compel discovery, denied the application for court-appointed counsel, and summarily dismissed the application for post-conviction relief.

         [¶6] Chisholm argues the district court erred by summarily dismissing his application for post-conviction relief, denying his request for counsel, and denying his motion to compel discovery. He further contends the court erred when it denied his request for a change of judge.

         II.

         [¶7] Chisholm's demand for change of judge referenced N.D.C.C. § 29-15-21, which allows for a peremptory challenge of an assigned judge. Within the body of the demand for change of judge, Chisholm included allegations that ...


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