from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, David F.
Meksavanh appeals the summary disposition of his application
for postconviction relief. AFFIRMED.
Moor of Mid-Iowa Mediation and Law PLLC, Ames, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sharon K. Hall, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.
October 21, 1996, judgment of conviction was entered against
Somvang Meksavanh for possession of a schedule II controlled
substance with intent to deliver, a class "C"
felony. See Iowa Code § 124.401(1)(c)(6)
(1996). Meksavanh's sentence of incarceration
was suspended, and he was placed on probation.
19, 1997, in two separate cases, Meksavanh was convicted of
and sentenced for two counts of possession of more than five
grams of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, class
"B" felonies. See id. §
124.401(1)(b)(7). The prison sentence in the second case was
ordered to be served concurrently with the sentence in the
first case. On the same date, the court revoked
Meksavanh's probation on the previous charge and
sentenced him to prison, to be served concurrently with the
sentences in the other two cases.
2012, Meksavanh was convicted of possession of more than five
grams of methamphetamine with intent to deliver as a second
or subsequent offender and failure to affix a drug-tax stamp
as a habitual offender, a class "D" felony.
See Iowa Code §§ 124.401(1)(b)(7), .411,
453B.12, 902.8 (2011); see generally State v.
Meksavanh, No. 12-1878, 2014 WL 3749356 (Iowa Ct. App.
July 30, 2014) (affirming challenged possession conviction).
Meksavanh subsequently filed two applications for
postconviction relief (PCR), the denial and dismissal of
which were affirmed by this court on appeal. See
generally Meksavanh v. State, No. 16-0096, 2017 WL
2181182 (Iowa Ct. App. May 17, 2017).
filed a third PCR application in July 2017, arguing, among
other things, his sentence is illegal because his two prior
convictions "cannot have been relied upon nor used for
any purpose." The State moved for summary disposition.
See Iowa Code § 822.6 (2017). At a subsequent
hearing, Meksavanh argued that because his three prior
convictions were ordered to be served concurrently, they
could not be used individually for sentencing-enhancement
purposes, and his status as a habitual offender on the
tax-stamp charge is therefore illegal. The district
court granted the State's motion for summary disposition,
concluding, "the grounds raised have been fully
adjudicated and/or have no basis in law."
appeals the summary disposition of his application for
postconviction relief. Appellate review of summary
disposition rulings in PCR proceedings is for legal error.
Castro v. State, 795 N.W.2d 789, 792 (Iowa 2011). On
appeal, Meksavanh only challenges the court's finding
that the issue raised had been fully adjudicated. Regardless
of whether the issue was finally adjudicated, see
Iowa Code § 822.8 (noting "[a]ny ground finally
adjudicated . . . in any other proceeding the applicant has
taken to secure relief, may not be the basis for a subsequent
application"), the court alternatively concluded
Meksavanh's claims "have no basis in law."
See id. § 822.6 ("The court may grant a
motion by either party for summary disposition of the
application, when . . . there is no genuine issue of material
fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
argued in the district court that his prior convictions could
not be used to enhance his sentence on the drug-tax-stamp
charge. On appeal, he argues he is entitled to litigate this
issue because it has not been fully adjudicated. As noted,
failure to affix a drug-tax stamp amounts to a class
"D" felony. Iowa Code § 453B.12. "An
habitual offender is any person convicted of a class
'C' or a class 'D' felony, who has twice
before been convicted of any felony in a court of this or any
other state, or of the United States." Id.
[T]his definition requires "each succeeding conviction
must be subsequent in time to the previous convictions, both
with respect to commission of the offense and to
conviction." Consequently, the habitual offender statute
only applies when conviction for the first predicate offense
occurs before commission of the second predicate offense and