from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark R.
Davis appeals the dismissal of his fourth
D. Hallstoos of Hallstoos Law Office, LLC, Dubuque, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sheryl Soich, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.
Davis appeals the dismissal of his fourth
postconviction-relief application following his 1997
conviction for first-degree kidnaping, second-degree sexual
abuse, and aggravated assault. See Davis v. State,
No. 14-2103, 2016 WL 6652303, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Nov. 9,
2016); Davis v. State, No. 01-0759, 2002 WL 1332259,
at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. June 19, 2002); State v. Davis,
584 N.W.2d 913, 915 (Iowa Ct. App. 1998). Davis essentially
concedes the postconviction-relief application was filed
outside the three-year time bar set forth in Iowa Code
section 822.3 (2017). He challenges the district court's
ruling on the ground that the court's fact findings
"referred largely to the State's motion to dismiss,
which referenced alleged prior proceedings and court
documents that were neither judicially noticed nor admitted
as exhibits into the record." He also argues certain
claims fell within an exception to the time bar.
District Court's Reference to Prior
Code section 822.6 states:
The court may grant a motion by either party for summary
disposition of the application, when it appears from the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions and agreements of fact, together with any
affidavits submitted, that there is no genuine issue of
material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as
a matter of law.
disposition under this statute is akin to summary judgment.
See Manning v. State, 654 N.W.2d 555, 559-60 (Iowa
2002). "Therefore, the principles underlying summary
judgment procedure apply to motions of either party for
disposition of an application for postconviction relief
without a trial on the merits." Id. at 560.
State filed a motion to dismiss the fourth
postconviction-relief application. The dismissal motion
listed prior proceedings, pointed out that the single issue
raised in Davis' fourth application had been litigated,
and sought dismissal on statute-of-limitations grounds and on
the ground there were "no issues to litigate." The
court scheduled the motion for hearing seven weeks after its
filing. Davis did not file a resistance. Instead, he moved to
amend his petition to raise several additional claims.
district court held an unreported non-evidentiary hearing. In
its subsequent ruling, the court made clear that the
State's dismissal motion was being treated as a motion
for summary disposition under Iowa Code section 822.6.
See Porter v. State, No. 14-1925, 2015 WL 6508957,
at *1 n.1 (Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 28, 2015) ("Technically
speaking, it would be more accurate to say that [the
applicant] is appealing the district court's summary
disposition of her application for postconviction
relief, even though the motion the district court granted was
the State's motion to dismiss."). After summarizing
the prior proceedings, the court dismissed Davis'
original and amended claims on statute-of-limitations grounds
or on the ground the claims were previously litigated and
discern no error in the court's handling of the
State's motion. The district court applied the summary
disposition statute as written. In summarizing prior
proceedings, the court did not invoke judicial notice
principles but simply cited the undisputed prior proceedings
disclosed in the record. Notably, Davis referenced many of
those proceedings in his postconviction-relief application.
He mentioned the crimes underlying his conviction, the date
of the guilty verdict, this court's affirmance of his
conviction, and the 2002 dismissal of his second
postconviction-relief application.See In re
Hinkle's Estate, 38 N.W.2d 648, 649 (Iowa 1949)
("The executrix herself . . . pleaded the filing of the
'opinion' and expressly referred to her
application."). In the absence of a resistance, the
prior proceedings stood as admitted. See Lang v.
State, No. 14-1997, 2015 WL 9450779, at *1 (Iowa Ct.
App. Dec. 23, 2015) ("To the extent that the State's
motion consisted of a statement of undisputed facts, the
asserted facts were not resisted by [the applicant].");
accord Harris v. State, No. 16-0637, 2017 ...