from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, John D.
Yates appeals the district court order dismissing his motion
to reopen his first postconviction-relief action.
Mason of JL Mason Law, PLLC, Ankeny, for appellant.
Yates, pro se.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Linda J. Hines, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.
Yates was convicted of second-degree sex abuse in 2002.
See State v. Yates (Yates I), No. 02-1681,
2003 WL 22697964, at *4 (Iowa Ct. App. Nov. 17, 2003). Since
then, Yates has engaged in what his appellate brief
characterizes as "voluminous litigation." See
generally Yates v. State (Yates VI), No.
16-0349, 2016 WL 7393896 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 21, 2016);
State v. Yates (Yates V), No. 14-1774, 2015
WL 4936273 (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 19, 2015); State v.
Yates (Yates IV), No. 12-2273, 2014 WL 2600212
(Iowa Ct. App. June 11, 2014); Yates v. State
(Yates III), No. 08-1879, 2009 WL 3064427 (Iowa Ct.
App. Sept. 17, 2009); State v. Yates (Yates
II), No. 03-1268, 2005 WL 425458 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 24,
filed a postconviction-relief (PCR) application in June 2004
and another one in July 2004. The actions were consolidated
in 2005 and dismissed in 2006 under Iowa Rule of
Civil Procedure 1.944 for want of prosecution. Yates
attempted to reinstate the action two years later, but the
district court denied the motion because it was untimely.
See Walker v. State, 572 N.W.2d 589, 590 (Iowa 1997)
(stating the court lacks authority to reinstate a case
dismissed for want of prosecution more than six months before
the application to reinstate is filed). On appeal, we agreed
the court lacked jurisdiction to reinstate an action two
years after it was dismissed under rule 1.944 and affirmed.
Yates III, 2009 WL 3064427, at *1-2.
2011, filed another PCR application in which he argued the
ineffective assistance of his first PCR counsel should allow
him to avoid the time bar on PCR claims set forth in Iowa
Code section 822.3. Although the application was determined
to be untimely and ultimately dismissed, the PCR court
addressed the merits of Yates's claims despite the time
bar and determined that Yates's first PCR counsel was
ineffective based on his lack of diligence in pursing the
matter. The court then proceeded to address the merits of
Yates's PCR claims as if it had not made the
determination that the claims were untimely under section
822.3. In its 2012, comprehensive fifty-three page ruling,
the court ultimately found Yates's claims lacked merit.
Yates never appealed that determination. In 2014 Yates moved
to reopen the 2011 PCR action "due to new
evidence." The motion was denied, and Yates appealed. He
voluntarily dismissed the appeal.
2014, Yates filed another PCR application. In November 2015,
the PCR court sustained the State's motion for summary
judgment finding Yate's claims time-barred. More legal
wrangling followed, and Yates eventually appealed.
2016, just days after filing his notice of appeal, Yates
moved to reopen his first PCR action, arguing the dismissal
was the result of the ineffective assistance of his first PCR
counsel and amounted to a structural error in the PCR
proceedings that entitles him to reopen the matter. See
Lado v. State, 804 N.W.2d 248, 253 (Iowa 2011) (holding
PCR counsel's ineffective assistance in failing to avoid
dismissal under rule 1.944 amounted to structural error that
rendered the entire PCR proceeding "presumptively
unreliable," thereby entitling the applicant to reversal
of the order dismissing his PCR action so that he could
proceed to a determination on the merits of his claims);
Hrbek v. State, No.13-1619, 2015 WL 6087572, at *2-3
(Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 14, 2015) (concluding the applicant was
entitled to reinstatement of a PCR action that had been
dismissed eight years earlier under rule 1.944 due to the
ineffective assistance of PCR counsel, which resulted in
structural error). In August 2016, the district court denied
the motion based on claim preclusion. Yates appealed two days
later. The appeal was transferred to this court in April
the current appeal was pending, this court affirmed the
dismissal of Yates's 2014 PCR action. Yates VI,
2016 WL 7393896, at *2. In addition to concluding the action
was untimely, we determined that many of Yates's claims
had been raised and decided previously and, therefore, he
could not relitigate them. Id. For the same reason,
we affirm the denial of Yates's motion to reopen his
first PCR action. Following dismissal of the first PCR
action, Yates had the opportunity to have his claims heard
and decided. The PCR court in the 2011 action adjudicated the
claims on the merits and found them lacking. We said the same
with regard to his 2014 PCR action. Id.
"Relitigation of previously adjudicated issues is
barred." State v. Wetzel, 192 N.W.2d 762, 764
reject Yates's pro se claims and arguments for the same
reasons stated above. Accordingly, we affirm the denial of