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Brown v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 10, 2018

JASON A. BROWN, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jackson County, Mark R. Lawson, Judge.

         Jason Brown appeals from the summary adjudication of his second application for postconviction relief.

          Lauren M. Phelps, Davenport, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle P. Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.

          DANILSON, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Jason Brown appeals from the summary adjudication of his second application for postconviction relief (PCR).

         Generally, we review a grant of a motion to dismiss a PCR petition for correction of errors at law. Perez v. State, 816 N.W.2d 354, 356 (Iowa 2012).

         Jason Brown was convicted of robbery in the first degree on August 18, 2011. Attorney Derek Jones represented him at trial. The extensive factual background of the offense and evidence presented at trial is set out in State v. Brown, No. 11-1478, 2012 WL 3590173, at *1-4 (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 22, 2012). On appeal, Brown was represented by the Appellate Defender's Office. Brown's conviction was affirmed, and his claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel were preserved for PCR proceedings. Brown, 2012 WL 3490173, at *4.

         Brown then filed his first PCR application. Now represented by Attorney Stuart Hoover, Brown's ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claims were heard and denied. In its ruling, the PCR court noted the 2010 minutes of evidence indicated search warrants were issued to Brown's girlfriend's residence and Brown's vehicle, and Brown's trial counsel had access to the entire prosecution's file. The court ruled trial counsel chose not to take depositions "due to the above-stated detail" of the information in the minutes of evidence, which the PCR court found to be a reasonable strategy.

         On appeal from the dismissal of his first PCR action, Attorney Peter Stiefel represented Brown and asserted Brown "received ineffective assistance of [trial] counsel as his attorney failed to move to dismiss the trial information as untimely filed," "defense counsel was ineffective for failing to challenge the introduction of 'known' fingerprints labeled with his name, without a proper foundation," and "documents from Verizon Wireless regarding his location were inadmissible hearsay." Brown v. State, No. 15-1574, 2017 WL 2017 WL 936079, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Mar. 8, 2017). This court affirmed the denial of PCR, id. at *3, and the supreme court denied further review on July 13, 2017.

         While the appeal of his first PCR was pending, Brown filed a second PCR application on January 4, 2017, raising additional claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The State filed a motion for summary dismissal, arguing the issues were time-barred.

         Attorney Stiefel was appointed to represent Brown and filed an amended application, asserting new evidence, i.e., "Wisconsin authorities searched Brown's vehicle in Wisconsin without a search warrant, thus requiring suppression of all evidence found as a result of that search." Brown contended the evidence supporting the allegation included prior case files and a letter from the Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Clerk of Court "stating no search warrant existed in Wisconsin."

         The State then filed two search warrants both issued from Milwaukee County on September 23, 2010: one for a gold Suburban in the custody of the Milwaukee Police Department-this is a warrant for Brown's vehicle; and one for ...


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