review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
from the Iowa District Court for Clarke County, Gary G.
applicant asks for further review of a court of appeals
decision dismissing his postconviction-relief action.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT
Christine E. Branstad of Branstad Law, P.L.L.C., Des Moines,
J. Miller, Attorney General, Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant
Attorney General, and Michelle M. Rivera, County Attorney,
applicant filed a postconviction-relief action alleging the
State committed a Brady violation by withholding
potentially exculpatory information regarding the statements
made by a witness who ultimately did not testify at the
applicant's criminal trial. The applicant further alleged
this information constituted newly discovered evidence. The
district court declined to reach the merits of the
applicant's substantive claims. Rather, the court applied
the newly-discovered-evidence test, instead of the
new-ground-of-fact test, to hold that the three-year statute
of limitations barred all claims.
applicant appealed, and we transferred the case to our court
of appeals. The court of appeals affirmed, holding the
applicant failed to establish a nexus between the new ground
of fact and the applicant's conviction. The applicant
applied for further review, which we granted.
further review, we hold the statute of limitations does not
bar the applicant's substantive claims. However, the
applicant fails to establish a Brady violation and
fails to demonstrate a viable newly-discovered-evidence
claim. Accordingly, we vacate the decision of the court of
appeals and affirm the judgment of the district court
summarily dismissing the applicant's
Background Facts and Proceedings.
August 1990, Kevin Dickson was shot and killed. Nine years
later, the State charged Martin Moon and Casey Brodsack with
first-degree murder. Brodsack pled guilty to second-degree
murder in exchange for testifying truthfully at Moon's
testified he, Moon, and Dickson roomed together on the second
floor of a house in Winterset while their neighbor, Scott
Aukes, lived with his roommate on the first floor. Brodsack
testified he, Moon, Dickson, and Aukes went to an abandoned
farmhouse to look for marijuana left by Moon's drug
dealer. While Brodsack was checking for drugs behind the
water heater in the basement, he heard six or seven gunshots.
Brodsack went around and saw Dickson lying on the ground,
with Moon holding a gun in his hand. Aukes was not present in
the basement during this episode. Moon handed Brodsack the
gun. With another gun, Moon forced Brodsack at gunpoint to
shoot Dickson because Moon allegedly did not want to be the
only one involved. Brodsack shot Dickson three times.
further testified he, Moon, and Aukes went back to Winterset
to retrieve a sledgehammer. They then returned to the
farmhouse and tried to knock in one of the basement walls to
cover up Dickson's body. When that plan failed, they
dragged Dickson's body outside and discarded it into a
to Brodsack, sometime in 1996, he and his coworker Brett
Lovely were painting fire hydrants near the farmhouse.
Brodsack apparently told Lovely about the murder and showed
him what was left of Dickson-just bones-in the cistern.
Lovely kept the secret for a few years but eventually told
law enforcement about it in 1999.
trial, the State included a man by the name of Brandon Lee
Boone as a witness in the minutes of testimony. The State
anticipated Boone to testify that law enforcement had
conducted an interview of him on or about May 8, 1999. Boone
would also testify he and Moon were inmates incarcerated at
the same prison in 1995 or 1996. During this time, while
Boone and Moon were walking together in the yard, Moon
allegedly stated he and Brodsack killed Dickson and threw the
body into a cistern.
moved to exclude Boone from testifying at trial for a number
of reasons: the State advised Moon that Boone was unwilling
to cooperate, and Moon did not have an opportunity to depose
Boone or investigate Boone's May 1999 interview. Moon
also alleged the admission of any statements made by Boone to
law enforcement was hearsay and a violation of his Sixth
Amendment confrontation rights.
response to Moon's motion, the State alleged it had
provided to Moon the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
(DCI) report containing the interview. Moreover, the State
informed Moon that Boone had refused to cooperate since his
arrest as a material witness, and the State did not know
whether Boone would cooperate at trial. Although the record
is unclear as to the district court's ruling on the
motion to exclude, Boone ultimately did not testify at trial.
2000, the jury found Moon guilty as charged, and the district
court sentenced him to a mandatory life term in prison. The
court of appeals affirmed Moon's conviction. Following
that appeal, the clerk issued procedendo in July 2002.
October 31, Moon filed his first pro se application for
postconviction relief. On August 19, 2004, Moon's
appointed postconviction counsel filed an amended application
alleging ineffective assistance of counsel and trial court
error. The district court denied the application, and the
court of appeals affirmed.
January 12, 2012, Moon filed his second pro se
postconviction-relief application, almost a decade after the
issuance of procedendo. Moon made two allegations. First,
pursuant to Iowa Code sections 822.2(1)(a) (2011),
claimed the sentence and judgment violated the Due Process
Clauses of the United States and Iowa Constitutions. Second,
pursuant to section 822.2(1)(g), he claimed the
sentence and judgment were subject to collateral attack
because the trial information was insufficient and
attached affidavits to this application. Of importance are
Boone's and Moon's affidavits. In his January 4, 2011
affidavit, Moon claimed he had never seen any police reports
or investigative notes concerning Boone's alleged false
statements to law enforcement.
April 7, 2011 affidavit, Boone declared he had given several
false statements to law enforcement at the behest of
Brodsack. He attested law enforcement contacted him multiple
times between the years 1998 and 1999 regarding Dickson's
murder. Boone declared Brodsack had prepared him to give
false statements implicating Moon in the death of Dickson.
Moreover, Boone gave the false statements because he was
under the impression he would receive leniency from the State
on the pending charges against him if he provided information
implicating Moon in Dickson's murder.
further declared, "I tried in each of those statements,
even back then, to convey to authorities that they
were in fact false" but law enforcement
"intentionally ignored my attempts." Boone
attested, "[T]hese indications of falsehood can be
found in each of my original written and initialed
statements taken by state law authorities from late 1998 to
May of 1999." Furthermore, Boone stated, "[The]
Minutes of Testimony . . . does not contain the
exact words or statements that I gave to law enforcement
authorities." In sum, Boone stated, "I had no
information of [Moon's] involvement in [Dickson's
murder] other than what Casey told me to say
whenever any law enforcement authorities approached me asking
October 22, 2012, Moon submitted a supplemental petition of
pro se issues, claims, and grounds for relief. On March 16,
2015, Moon filed a motion to amend his application. The
amended application alleged pursuant to Iowa Code section
822.2(1)(d) (2015), newly discovered evidence
requires vacation of his original sentence and
judgment. Specifically, this newly discovered
evidence is the contents of Boone's 2011 affidavit.
Additionally, Moon alleged the State's suppression of
exculpatory evidence, such as police reports, recordings, and
interviews concerning Boone, amounts to a Brady
State moved for summary dismissal of Moon's second
postconviction-relief application pursuant to section 822.6.
The State argued the application was untimely under the
three-year statute of limitations set out in section 822.3
because the clerk issued procedendo in July 2002, and Moon
filed the instant application in January 2012. The State
therefore claimed the district court lacked jurisdiction to
hear the case because the statute of limitations had run. The
State also argued Moon's claims in his application and
supplemental petition were meritless.
resisted the State's motion, arguing the limitations
period did not apply to his claims because a new ground of
fact exists. Moon then applied the newly-discovered-evidence
test to his substantive claim based on section
822.2(1)(d). He also argued he provided sufficient
evidence to create factual questions regarding his due
process claim based on a Brady violation.
October 16, the district court granted the State's motion
for summary dismissal, concluding Moon's application was
untimely by applying the newly-discovered-evidence test
rather than the ground-of-fact test. The court reasoned the
evidence was not material but merely impeaching. The court
did not address the alleged Brady violation.
appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the summary
dismissal, concluding the ground-of-fact exception did not
apply. Moon filed an application for further review, which we
granted. We lay out additional facts as necessary.
threshold issue is whether the three-year statute of
limitations bars Moon's claims. The substantive issues
are whether the State suppressed Brady material by
withholding potentially exculpatory information regarding
Boone's statements to law enforcement and whether this
information constitutes newly discovered evidence.
Scope of Review.
generally review postconviction proceedings, including
summary dismissals of postconviction-relief applications, for
errors at law. Castro v. State, 795 N.W.2d 789, 792
(Iowa 2011). When the basis for relief implicates a violation
of a constitutional dimension, our review is de novo.
Everett v. State, 789 N.W.2d 151, 155 (Iowa 2010);
Bugley v. State, 596 N.W.2d 893, 895 (Iowa 1999),
superseded by statute on other grounds, 2004 Iowa
Acts ch. 1017, § 2 (codified at Iowa Code § 814.7
(2005)), as recognized in State v. Johnson, 784
N.W.2d 192, 197 (Iowa 2010).
the district court summarily disposed of this case under
section 822.6. We apply our summary judgment standards to
summary disposition of postconviction-relief applications.
Schmidt v. State, N.W.2d, (Iowa 2018); Manning
v. State, 654 N.W.2d 555, 559-60 (Iowa 2002). Therefore,
on further review we will apply our summary
judgment/disposition standards. Summary disposition is
if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories,
and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
show . . . there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
and . . . the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law.
Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.981(3). The moving party bears the burden
of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material facts.
C & J Vantage Leasing Co. v. Wolfe, 795 N.W.2d
65, 73 (Iowa 2011). We view the record in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Eggiman v. Self-Insured
Servs. Co., 718 N.W.2d 754, 758 (Iowa 2006). We draw all
legitimate inferences from the record in ...