from the Iowa District Court for Plymouth County, Jeffrey A.
Moir appeals the district court order summarily dismissing
his application for postconviction relief.
Zachary S. Hindman of Mayne, Hindman, & Daane (until
withdrawal), Sioux City, and Priscilla E. Forsyth, Sioux
City, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Zachary C. Miller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.
Moir appeals the summary dismissal of his application for
postconviction relief (PCR), finding it was barred by the
statute of limitations because it was filed more than three
years after judgment and sentence was entered. See
Iowa Code § 822.3 (2017). Because we construe a letter
Moir mailed to a district court judge and filed by the clerk
of court before the statute of limitations ran as a PCR
application, we reverse the dismissal and remand for further
Background Facts and Proceedings.
February 17, 2014, Moir filed a written waiver of rights and
guilty plea to one count of assault with intent to commit
sexual abuse. The next day, on February 18, 2014, the
district court accepted Moir's plea and sentenced him to
a two-year suspended sentence. Moir violated his probation by
absconding from supervision the following month.
In a letter to a district court judge dated October 1, 2016,
My name is Drew Moir. Your name was given to me because you
may be able to help me. A few years ago I was accused of
misdemeanor assault with intent to commit sexual (assault or
abuse). I was 17 years old at the time and the Public
Defender that was defending me, coerced me into signing a
plea bargain. He told me that if I didn't sign the plea
bargain (which was probation and registering as a sex
offender), then I was going to go to prison for up to a year.
I was scared and under the impression that plea bargains were
not an admission of guilt.
After I finally realized that I was admitting guilt it was
too late, I thought so I violated probation and went to
Illinois. I am currently in Illinois prison and am trying to
get my life back together. I get out December 13, 2017 and I
plan on turning myself in for violating my probation in Le
Mars as soon as I get out. I am not a sex offender and do not
want to live my life as a sex offender. I am 20 years old and
want to get my life in order so that I can live a productive
life. My father, David Moir, and my grandmother, Audra Moir,
told me that you were a superb lawyer and are an excellent
Judge. I believe you married my father and my stepmother
If there is any way you can help I would greatly appreciate
it. If not, could you please recommend anyone that may be
able to help me clear my name. [The remaining text on the
page is cut off the copy provided in our electronic
record-apparently a result of the scanning process.]
The judge replied by an undated letter acknowledging receipt
of Moir's letter the previous fall, apologizing for the
delay in responding, and explaining he could not assist Moir
because of ethical reasons. The judge's letter and
Moir's letter were filed ...