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Campbell v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 9, 2020

EDWARD A. CAMPBELL, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Stuart P. Werling, Judge.

         A postconviction-relief applicant appeals the district court's denial of his postconviction-relief application.

          Lauren M. Phelps, Hudson, Florida, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Linda J. Hines, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Mullins, J., and Blane, S.J. [*]

          BLANE, SENIOR JUDGE.

         Edward Campbell appeals from the district court denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR), in which he represented himself. On appeal, Campbell, now represented by counsel, contends that the district court erred in its wholesale dismissal of Campbell's pretrial motions, finding that trial and appellate counsel were not ineffective, and finding that sufficient evidence was presented to convict Campbell. Campbell raises additional issues in a pro se brief.[1]

         On our review, we find no error or ineffective assistance and affirm.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background.

         Our court addressed Campbell's case on direct appeal, succinctly stating the underlying facts:

Edward Campbell came to the apartment of acquaintance Durrell Parks, who was watching a movie with his uncle, Atrice Chaptman. Campbell opened the door, entered without Parks' permission, and hit Parks. Chaptman heard the commotion and "football-tackled" and "body-slammed" Campbell, who he had known for several years. Chaptman eventually released Campbell, and Campbell left.
Minutes later, Chaptman saw Campbell breaking the windows of his vehicle with "some bricks or something." Chaptman called 911. State v. Campbell, No. 16-0550, 2017 WL 2464070, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. June 7, 2017). Parks was treated for injuries from the scuffle at a hospital. Chaptman and Parks eventually identified Campbell in a photographic lineup. Partway through his jury trial, Campbell dismissed his attorney. Trial counsel remained as standby counsel. Ultimately, the jury convicted Campbell of first-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, and assault causing bodily injury. The court sentenced him to twenty-five years imprisonment. On direct appeal, our court affirmed. Id. at *10.

         Campbell then filed a pro se application for PCR. The district court originally appointed an attorney to represent Campbell in the PCR action but cancelled the appointment at Campbell's request. In the pretrial phrase, Campbell submitted more than eighty filings to the court. The court ruled on some, directed Campbell to consolidate the others, and required Campbell to obtain a pretrial hearing date from court administration. Campbell did not comply with this order. Rather, his filings requested the clerk of court and court administrator take care of the court's order. The court held a final pretrial conference where Campbell could not argue his motions because he did not retain copies. At commencement of the PCR trial, the court inquired what pretrial motions required the court's attention, and Campbell-unable to recall the substance of any motion-responded, "All of them." The court then stated that it had reviewed all remaining pending motions and denied them. Campbell produced no witnesses at trial, but he stated he wanted to testify and was sworn under oath. He then made a lengthy statement on his issues. The State's only witness was Campbell's criminal trial attorney.

         The district court denied Campbell's PCR application on all the raised grounds. Campbell appeals.

         II. Standard of Review.

         "We generally review the denial of an application for [PCR] for correction of errors at law." Sauser v. State, 928 N.W.2d 816, 818 (Iowa 2019). "However, our review is de novo when the basis for [PCR] implicates a constitutional violation." Linn v. State, 929 N.W.2d 717, 729 (Iowa 2019). "PCR applications alleging ineffective assistance of counsel raise a constitutional claim." Id.

         III. Appellate ...


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