Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Eliza J. Ovrom, Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Doyle, P.J.
Michael Ford appeals from the district court's denial of his application for post-conviction relief. AFFIRMED.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.
Michael Ford appeals from the district court's denial of his application for post-conviction relief. He claims the attorney who represented him in the probation violation proceedings leading to his incarceration was ineffective for failing to investigate the violations and explain the meaning of the word "stipulate" to him. He additionally claims post-conviction counsel was ineffective for failing to argue that his probation officer did not adequately assist him in his "quest for rehabilitation." We affirm.
I. Background Facts and Proceedings.
Ford pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree theft and one count of fourth-degree theft on October 16, 2009. He was sentenced to a suspended sentence totaling five years in prison and placed on probation for two years.
Ford violated his probation on June 21, 2010, when he was arrested for spying on women in a public restroom. He was charged with three counts of third-degree harassment and one count of trespassing. A probation violation report was filed the day after the arrest.
After pleading guilty to the harassment charges, Ford stipulated to the violations. He was continued on probation and ordered to undergo a psychosexual exam and risk assessment. Ford was to remain in custody pending placement at the Fort Des Moines Residential Facility. He unfortunately failed to meet the criteria for the facility. Ford's probation officer consequently filed another addendum recommending that Ford "reside at his mother's home until a more appropriate placement can be secured," complete the psychosexual exam and risk assessment, and "actively participate in therapy and psychiatric services."
Ford thereafter stipulated to new violations and was found in contempt of court. He was ordered to serve twenty-five days in jail with credit for twenty-five days already served and continued on probation.
Soon after Ford's release from jail, the probation violation report giving rise to this case was filed. In that report, the probation officer asserted Ford had breached his probation in the following ways:
Mr. Ford is not being financially responsible with his money. He has admitted to sending money to a married woman he has met on the internet even though he does not have enough money to support himself.
. . . On July 20, 2010 Mr. Ford admitted to accessing pornography on the internet. He admitted that the pornography includes naked pictures of minor females. He also admits to masturbating to these pictures.
. . . Mr. Ford was released from jail to his mother's home; however his mother's landlord has stated that Mr. Ford is not allowed to reside on his property.
. . . Mr. Ford had told his aunt and mother that he did not have to attend therapy since it was not in his court order. When evaluated by Dr. Tatman from DCS, he failed to report his collection of pornography/child pornography and his sending naked pictures of himself to others. He also reports receiving sexual pictures from internet "friends." He admits ...