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Dowell v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

July 5, 2018

TROY DANIEL DOWELL, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D. Farrell, Judge.

         Troy Dowell appeals the district court's summary dismissal of his application for postconviction relief.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Theresa R. Wilson, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.

          MULLINS, JUDGE.

         Troy Dowell appeals the summary dismissal of his application for postconviction relief (PCR). He claims the district court erred in summarily dismissing his application, alleging there are genuine issues of material fact regarding the effectiveness of counsel in an earlier proceeding that require an evidentiary hearing. Alternatively, he contends his PCR counsel was ineffective in failing to amend his PCR application. We affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         We have previously summarized the relevant facts and circumstances of the underlying offense and early proceedings:

Dowell, who has three children, was convicted of several crimes, including neglect of a dependent. The district court entered a sentencing no-contact order restraining Dowell from having any contact with his children. The order was to remain in effect until July 15, 2013. Meanwhile, Dowell and his wife divorced, Dowell's wife was granted sole custody of the children, and she moved to Australia.
A day before the no-contact order was slated to expire, the State filed a motion to extend it. See Iowa Code § 664A.8');">664A.8 (2013). At a hearing on the motion, the State offered a report prepared by a psychologist who met with the children. Dowell's attorney stated he had no objection to the exhibit.
The district court extended the no-contact order for an additional five years after concluding Dowell failed to carry his burden "to establish he no longer poses a threat to the victims."

State v. Dowell, No. 13-1269, 2015 WL 4158758, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. July 9, 2015). This court affirmed Dowell's direct appeal of the extension of the no-contact order. See id. at *3. The Iowa Supreme Court denied further review.

         Subsequently, Dowell filed a pro-se PCR application in which he claimed he received ineffective assistance of counsel in relation to the hearing on the extension of the no-contact order. He specifically complains counsel was ineffective in allowing the psychological report concerning his children to be admitted into evidence.[1] In support of his PCR application, Dowell referenced ...


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