from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County,
Jeffrey L. Larson, Judge.
Long appeals the district court's dismissal of his
application for postconviction relief.
Patrick A. Sondag of Sondag Law, Council Bluffs, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.
found Danny Long guilty of two counts of first-degree
robbery. This court affirmed his conviction in its entirety.
See generally State v. Long, No. 99-1429, 2000 WL
1827178, at *1-6 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 13, 2000). Thirteen
years after procedendo issued, Long filed his second
postconviction relief application. The State moved for
summary dismissal. The district court granted the motion
after concluding Long "failed to file his application
within the three-year statute of limitations provided under
Iowa Code section 822.3" (2015) and "failed to
raise a ground of fact or law that could not have been raised
within the statute of limitations period."
filed a "motion for expanded findings and relief"
pursuant to Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.904. The district
court denied the motion, and this appeal followed.
Timeliness of Appeal
preliminary matter, the State argues Long's appeal is
untimely because it was not "filed within 30 days after
the filing of the final order or judgment." Iowa R. App.
P. 6.101(1)(b). The State acknowledges Long filed a
postjudgment motion to enlarge or amend that could extend the
time for filing an appeal notice. See id.
("[I]f a motion is timely filed under Iowa R. Civ. P.
1.904(2) . . ., the notice of appeal must be filed within 30
days after the filing of the ruling on such motion.").
But, in the State's view, the motion was not
"proper." See In re Marriage of Okland,
699 N.W.2d 260, 265-66 (Iowa 2005) ("[A]n . . . improper
rule 1.904(2) motion cannot extend the time for appeal."
State is correct that a rule 1.904(2) motion is not available
under certain circumstances and the filing of an improper
motion will not toll the time for appeal. Id. at
265-66, 265 n.2. But, "when used to obtain a ruling on
an issue that the court may have overlooked, or to request
the district court enlarge or amend its findings when it
fails to comply with rule 1.904(1), " which requires
written findings of fact and conclusions of law where the
court is trying an issue of fact without a jury, "the
motion is proper and will toll the time for appeal."
Baur v. Baur Farms, Inc., 832 N.W.2d 663, 669 (Iowa
district court filed a succinct dismissal order. In his rule
1.904(2) motion, Long pointed to testimony and exhibits
admitted at the dismissal hearing that, in his view,
generated issues of material fact with respect to the legal
issues he raised. In filing the motion, Long reasonably could
have believed the court overlooked these facts. We conclude
the motion was proper, the motion extended the time for
filing a notice of appeal, and the notice of appeal was
timely. Moreover, rule 1.904 was amended effective March 1,
2017, as was Iowa Rule of Appellate Procedure 6.101, to
permit an appeal within thirty days of a ruling on such a
motion without the necessity of examining the propriety of
the motion. See Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.904 & cmt.
(2017); Iowa R. App. P. 6.101 & cmt. (2017).
must be filed within three years from the date the conviction
or decision is final or, in the event of an appeal, from the
date the writ of procedendo is issued. However, this
limitation does not apply to a ground of fact or law that