ADAM C. GILSON, Applicant-Appellant,
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Timothy J.
defendant appeals the district court's dismissal of his
postconviction relief action.
A. Macro Jr. of Macro & Kozlowski, L.L.P., West Des
Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Gilson appeals the district court's dismissal of his
postconviction relief action. Gilson claims postconviction
counsel was ineffective for failing to amend Gilson's pro
se brief to add details, facts, and arguments of law. We
reverse the district court's decision and remand for
Background Facts & Proceedings
pleaded guilty to a drug-tax-stamp violation and third-degree
theft. A sentencing hearing was held on June 10, 2013, and
Gilson was given a suspended sentence not to exceed five
years for the drug-tax-stamp violation and two years for
theft, to run consecutively. Gilson was next convicted in
federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm and
was sentenced to prison on May 22, 2014. Gilson then
stipulated to violating the conditions of his Iowa probation,
which was revoked, resulting in the original sentence being
imposed consecutively to his federal prison sentence.
November 4, 2016, Gilson filed a pro se application for
postconviction relief, in which he alleged "There exists
evidence of material facts, not previously presented and
heard, that requires vacation of the conviction or sentence
in the interests of justice." Gilson provided no
indication of what those facts were, no caselaw or argument
to support his position, and no requested relief. Counsel was
appointed to represent Gilson on December 7, 2016, but the
pro se motion was not amended to add facts, argument, or case
February 17, 2017, the State filed a motion for summary
disposition under Iowa Code section 822.6 (2016), claiming
Gilson "has failed to state any specific facts in his
pleading to support the checkbox boilerplate
allegation." At the hearing on the motion, held on April
20, 2017, Gilson testified he tried to be extradited to Iowa
to complete his Iowa sentence but his request was denied. He
stated he believed he should receive credit on his Iowa
sentence for the time spent in federal prison. The State
objected on the ground it had not received notice of the
issues Gilson intended to raise at the hearing.
district court granted the State's motion for summary
disposition, finding Gilson had been properly released to
federal authorities. The court also stated, "The State
also objects to the fact that none of these issues were
raised by the Applicant prior to the actual hearing and as
such there is no basis for granting the postconviction-relief
application." The court then concluded, "For the
foregoing reasons, the State's Motion for Summary
Judgment is sustained and the Applicant's Postconviction
Relief application is dismissed with prejudice." Gilson
appeals, claiming he received ineffective assistance from
Standard of Review
of ineffective assistance of counsel are reviewed de novo.
Ledezma v. State, 626 N.W.2d 134, 141 (Iowa 2001).
"To prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance of
counsel, the [defendant] must demonstrate both ineffective
assistance and prejudice." Id. at 142. "If
the claim lacks prejudice, it can be decided on that ground
alone without deciding whether the attorney performed
deficiently." Id. Both elements ...