Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Harkless v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 20, 2017

JAY MICHAEL HARKLESS, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County, Nancy S. Tabor, Judge.

         Jay Harkless appeals the district court's dismissal of his application for postconviction relief.

          John G. Daufeldt of Daufeldt Law Firm, P.L.C., Conroy, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Genevieve Reinkoester, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., Doyle, J., and Carr, S.J. [*] Tabor, J., takes no part.

          CARR, SENIOR JUDGE

         In 2011, Jay Harkless pled guilty to second-degree robbery.[1] He did not appeal. In 2016, Harkless filed an application for postconviction relief (PCR), claiming his sentence "exceeds the maximum authorized by law" under "House File 2064 and its newly defined parameters" of robbery. See 2016 Iowa Acts ch. 1104, § 4 (codified at Iowa Code § 711.3A(1)-(2) (2017)) (providing for aggravated misdemeanor robbery if the person perpetrating the robbery commits simple misdemeanor assault). Harkless' appointed counsel filed a motion for release of file and transcripts for copying, which the court granted.

         The State filed a motion to dismiss Harkless' application as "fatally flawed on its face, " alleging the statutory amendments contained in House File 2064 were "expressly not retroactive" and therefore inapplicable to Harkless' conviction. Harkless' counsel did not file a resistance. The court entered an order granting the State's motion to dismiss without oral argument, concluding:

The new offense of robbery in the third degree can only be charged for conduct which occurs on or after July 1, 2016-the effective date of the legislation. . . .
. . . . . . . . Applicant's sentence was imposed years before the amendment to the statute was enacted and made effective. Applicant is not entitled to the benefit of a statutory amendment that decreases the punishment for an offense or makes a new offense with a lesser punishment unless the amended statute is effective at the time of the person's sentencing.

         Harkless' counsel filed a motion for new trial, requesting the court reconsider and vacate its ruling, which the court denied.

         Harkless appeals the court's dismissal of his PCR application, claiming his PCR trial counsel committed structural error and thus rendered ineffective assistance. Structural error exists when:

(1) counsel is completely denied, actually or constructively, at a crucial stage of the proceeding; (2) . . . counsel does not place the prosecution's case against meaningful adversarial testing; or (3) . . . surrounding circumstances justify a presumption of ineffectiveness, such as where counsel has an actual conflict of interest in jointly representing multiple defendants.

Lado v. State, 804 N.W.2d 248, 252 (Iowa 2011). If structural error is present, it renders the underlying proceeding "so unreliable the constitutional or statutory right to counsel entitles the defendant to a new proceeding without the need to show the error actually caused prejudice." Id. Specifically, Harkless claims PCR counsel "failed to resist the State's motion to dismiss, failed to request amendment of the PCR application, and failed to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.