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Sahinovic v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 25, 2019

ADNAN SAHINOVIC, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Samantha Gronewald, Judge.

         Adnan Sahinovic appeals the dismissal of his application for postconviction relief. AFFIRMED.

          Alexander Smith and Benjamin D. Bergmann of Parrish Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gribble Gentry Brown & Bergmann L.L.P., Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.

          GREER, Judge.

         Adnan Sahinovic appeals the summary dismissal of his application for postconviction relief (PCR). The district court dismissed the application based on the expiration of the statute of limitations. Arguing he timely filed his application, Sahinovic maintains the three-year statute of limitations began running from the date of his 2015 resentencing. We affirm the district court ruling.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         On July 5, 2011, Sahinovic, then seventeen years old, entered an Alford plea[1] to robbery in the second degree and a guilty plea to misdemeanor forgery.[2]The court entered his sentence that same day. On the robbery charge, the court sentenced him to a ten-year term of incarceration with a mandatory minimum of seven-tenths of his sentence before eligibility for parole. See Iowa Code § 902.12(5) (2011). He did not appeal his conviction or sentence at this time.

         After the Iowa Supreme Court declared mandatory minimum sentences for juvenile offenders unconstitutional in State v. Lyle, 854 N.W.2d 378, 400 (Iowa 2014), Sahinovic filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence, challenging the constitutionality of his sentence. Using our supreme court's guidance in Lyle, on April 27, 2015, the district court corrected his robbery sentence to impose a ten-year term of incarceration with the opportunity for parole and no mandatory minimum. Along with the challenge to his sentence, Sahinovic's motion raised other issues with his plea and the effectiveness of his counsel. The court denied those issues.[3] Still unhappy with the plea agreement, Sahinovic appealed the resentencing order, arguing the convictions should be overturned under the plain-error doctrine.

         With the sentence corrected but the first appeal pending, on August 12, 2015, Sahinovic commenced this PCR action. The State requested a stay of the PCR matter. The district court granted a stay until resolution of the appeal of the resentencing order. On April 27, 2016, we affirmed the district court's resentencing order. See Sahinovic, 2016 WL 1683039, at *2. Procedendo issued on June 22, 2016, concluding the appeal, and the district court lifted the stay of the PCR matter.

         With the stay lifted, the State moved for summary judgment, asserting the three-year time bar under Iowa Code section 822.3 precluded Sahinovic's PCR application. The court granted the motion for summary disposition and reasoned,

[Sahinovic]'s main argument in this matter is that his trial counsel failed to advise him regarding the risk of deportation prior to the entry of his guilty plea. . . . This argument relates back to events occurring on or before July 5, 2011; however, [Sahinovic] asserts this does not preclude the court from considering his Petition because his conviction was not final until the date of his resentencing in 2015. In making this argument, [Sahinovic] seeks to avoid the dismissal of his Petition as time-barred. In contrast, [the ...

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