from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Mark
J. Eveloff, Judge.
Taylor appeals the district court's summary dismissal of
his application for postconviction relief.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Theresa R. Wilson,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas J. Ogden, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
2001, James Taylor pled guilty to three counts of
second-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson. He
was sentenced to 150 years in prison with a mandatory
sentence of 42.5 years. He did not file a motion in arrest of
judgment, nor did he file an appeal. Nearly fourteen years
later, Taylor filed pro se motions deemed by the district
court to be an application for postconviction relief (PCR).
Taylor's appointed PCR counsel filed amendments to the
application. All of his claims were based upon ineffective
assistance of counsel. The State resisted, asserting the
application was time-barred by the three-year statute of
limitations provided under Iowa Code section 822.3
(2015). The PCR court concluded Taylor's
claims did not fall within an exception to the section 822.3
statute of limitations, nor did they extend the limitations
period. The PCR court dismissed Taylor's claims as
time-barred. Taylor appeals.
appeal, Taylor contends his PCR counsel was ineffective in
failing to assert the equitable estoppel doctrine as a basis
for tolling the three-year section 822.3 statute of
limitations. Taylor acknowledges his application is untimely
unless this court adopts equitable tolling-a concept
recognized and available in federal PCR proceedings in some
instances. See Holland v. Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 650
(2010) (holding a state prisoner is entitled to equitable
tolling of the one-year statute of limitations on petitions
for federal habeas if the prisoner shows he or she has been
diligently pursuing their rights and that some extraordinary
circumstance stood in his or her way preventing timely
filing). Our court has repeatedly noted the
doctrine of equitable tolling does not apply to section
822.3. PCR counsel has no duty to raise meritless
issues. See Nguyen v. State, 878 N.W.2d 744, 754
also asserts his PCR counsel was ineffective in failing
"to obtain an expert to evaluate him with respect to his
mental state between the time of the plea and when he finally
filed for postconviction relief." He contends,
"Without this evidence, [he] would have had no
opportunity to establish a ground for equitable
estoppel." Taylor requests a "do-over" with
new PCR counsel so a record can be developed. Even if his PCR
counsel had obtained such evidence, Taylor cannot establish
that the district court would have adopted an
equitable-tolling exception to the statute of limitations
provision found in Iowa Code section 822.3 because, as stated
above, the doctrine has not been recognized in Iowa. See
Rieflin v. State, No. 11-1044, 2012 WL 3590453, at *2
(Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 22, 2012).
 Iowa Code section 822.3 requires that
individuals seeking PCR file their application within three
years from issuance of procedendo, unless the application is
supported by a new ground of fact or law that could not have
been raised within the limitation period. We note, although
not applicable to the case at hand, our supreme court
that where a PCR petition alleging ineffective
assistance of trial counsel has been timely filed per section
822.3 and there is a successive PCR petition alleging
postconviction counsel was ineffective in presenting the
ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claim, the timing of
the filing of the second PCR petition relates back to the
timing of the filing of the original PCR petition for
purposes of Iowa Code section 822.3 ...