from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable David E. Reich, Judge.
A. Gereszek, East Grand Forks, MN, for petitioner and
M. Vaagen, Assistant State's Attorney, Bismarck, ND, for
respondent and appellee.
VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
Lekemia D'Andre Caster appealed from a district court
order summarily denying his application for post-conviction
relief. We conclude the court failed to explain its reasoning
in its order. We remand for further proceedings.
On May 6, 2015, Caster pleaded guilty to two counts of child
neglect or abuse and was sentenced to eighteen months'
probation. The State filed a petition for revocation in June
2016. On August 1, 2016, Caster applied for indigent defense
services but was denied due to his income. The letter
notifying Caster of this denial was returned undeliverable on
August 12, 2016. A revocation hearing held on September 13,
2016, resulted in Caster's probation being revoked and he
received an eighteen month prison sentence. Caster appealed
the revocation judgment to this Court, which we summarily
affirmed. State v. Caster, 2017 ND 87, 894 N.W.2d
On October 8, 2018, Caster filed an application for
post-conviction relief alleging newly discovered evidence and
an unlawful sentence. The State filed an answer, a motion for
summary disposition, and a proposed order granting the
State's motion on November 8, 2018. The State's
motion for summary disposition alleged Caster's
application was untimely, did not raise an issue of material
fact, constituted a misuse of process, and presented claims
that were fully and finally determined in a previous
proceeding. Caster filed a reply brief and an amended
petition for relief on November 26, 2018, disputing that his
petition was untimely and raising a new issue under the Sixth
Amendment. The State did not respond to the amended petition
at any point. On January 30, 2019, the district court
summarily denied Caster's petition by signing the
State's proposed order. The order stated only:
reasons articulated in the State's Motion, IT IS ORDERED:
Petitioner's Application for Post-Conviction Relief is
The standard of review for a summary denial of
post-conviction relief is well-established:
This Court reviews an appeal from a summary denial of
post-conviction relief as it reviews an appeal from a summary
judgment. The party opposing the motion for summary
disposition is entitled to all reasonable inferences at the
preliminary stages of a post-conviction proceeding and is
entitled to an ...