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Wally Kay Schultz v. State of Idaho

May 9, 2011


Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Minidoka County. Hon. Michael R. Crabtree, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lansing, Judge

2011 Opinion No. 27

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

Orders summarily dismissing petitions for post-conviction relief, affirmed.

Wally Kay Schultz appeals from the district court's orders summarily dismissing his petitions for post-conviction relief. Because we determine the statute of limitation had run on all Schultz's properly pled claims, we affirm.


In separate cases, Schultz was found guilty of felony domestic violence in August of 2005, and pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine in December of 2005. The proceedings were apparently consolidated for sentencing. The district court entered judgments of conviction in December 2005, but retained jurisdiction over Schultz. After Schultz successfully completed the retained jurisdiction program, the district court placed him on probation for five years. To that end, the district court issued a "Temporary Order on Rider Review" on May 22, 2006, that stated Schultz was placed on probation with "the usual terms and conditions" and noted that a copy of "the formal paperwork" would be forthcoming. State v. Schultz, 147 Idaho 675, 676, 214 P.3d 661, 662 (Ct. App. 2009). Three days later, on May 25, 2006, the district court issued another order entitled, "Order Upon 180-Day Review Hearing, I.C. § 19-2601(4)." Id. This order also purported to place Schultz on probation and outlined more specific terms of probation. Id.

Schultz filed notices of appeal from his judgments of conviction on July 6, 2006, forty-five days after the May 22 order and forty-two days after the May 25 order. The State filed a respondent's brief on November 24, 2008, arguing that Schultz's appeal should be dismissed as untimely because the forty-two-day deadline for filing should have started to run from the May 22 order. This Court ultimately agreed with the State and dismissed Schultz's appeals on May 29, 2009. Id. A remitittur was issued on August 27, 2009.

After the State filed its respondent's brief, but before this Court announced its decision, Schultz filed petitions for post-conviction relief from his underlying convictions. Schultz filed the petition pertinent to his possession conviction on January 13, 2009, and the petition pertinent to his domestic violence conviction on March 24, 2009. The petition addressing the possession conviction alleged ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failure to conduct a proper investigation, failure to file a motion to suppress evidence, and failure to request that Schultz's sentences run concurrently. The petition attacking the domestic violence conviction alleged ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failure to "object to [the] prosecutor's comments," failure to call certain witnesses, and failure to investigate the victim's "character and morals." Schultz also claimed prosecutorial misconduct, apparently based on various comments made by the prosecutor during closing argument.

Although both petitions claimed ineffective assistance of trial counsel, neither mentioned the failure of counsel to file a timely appeal. After the State had filed its answer to Schultz's petition regarding the possession case, Schultz filed a document entitled "Ammendment [sic] to Post Conviction" on February 20, 2009. In that document, Schultz attempted to add a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to timely file an appeal from Schultz's convictions. Similarly, after the State moved for dismissal of the other post-conviction action, Schultz filed a "Supplemental Brief in Support of Post Conviction Relief," arguing ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to file a timely appeal. The State did not object to these filings but argued for dismissal because the post-conviction petitions had been filed outside the one-year statute of limitation, Idaho Code § 19-4902(a). The State argued that the limitation period began to run when the time for direct appeal from Schultz's underlying convictions had expired, July 3, 2006. The district court agreed and dismissed Schultz's petitions.

In these consolidated appeals, Schultz argues that confusion caused by the district court's issuance of two separate orders placing him on probation, and his counsel's consequent late filing of notices of appeal in the criminal cases, tolled the statute of limitation until Schultz could reasonably discover that the direct appeals were untimely filed. He asserts that he could not reasonably have discovered that the appeals were untimely filed until this Court dismissed the direct appeal or, at the earliest, when the State filed its respondent's brief on appeal arguing that the appeal was untimely.


A petition for post-conviction relief initiates a civil proceeding. Wilson v. State, 133 Idaho 874, 877, 993 P.2d 1205, 1208 (Ct. App. 2000); Hassett v. State, 127 Idaho 313, 315, 900 P.2d 221, 223 (Ct. App. 1995). Summary dismissal by the district court is the procedural equivalent of summary judgment under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Hassett, 127 Idaho at 315, 900 P.2d at 223. We will uphold a summary dismissal on appeal if the alleged facts, if true, would nevertheless not entitle petitioner to relief as a matter of law. Matthews v. State, 122 Idaho 801, 807, 839 P.2d 1215, 1221 (1992); Wilson, 133 Idaho at 877-78, 993 P.2d at 1208-09. Legal conclusions are reviewed de novo. Owen v. State, 130 Idaho 715, 716, 947 P.2d 388, 389 (1997); Wilson, 133 Idaho at 878, 993 P.2d at 1209.

The statute of limitation for post-conviction actions, I.C. § 19-4902(a), provides that an application for post-conviction relief may be filed at any time within one year from the expiration of the time for appeal in the criminal case or from the determination of appeal or from the determination of a proceeding following an appeal, whichever is later. See Sayas v. State, 139 Idaho 957, 959, 88 P.3d 776, 778 (Ct. App. 2003). An appeal from a judgment of conviction may be filed within forty-two days of the entry of judgment. Idaho Appellate Rule 14(a). Thus, if no appeal is filed from a judgment of conviction, the one-year limitation period for a post- conviction action commences on the forty-third day after judgment. It runs from that same date if an applicant filed a direct appeal that is later determined to be untimely and therefore invalid. Amboh v. State, 149 Idaho 650, 653, 239 P.3d 448, 451 (Ct. App. 2010); Loman v. State, 138 Idaho 1, 2, 56 P.3d 158, 159 (Ct. App. 2002). An untimely notice of appeal in the criminal case cannot postpone the commencement of the limitation period because a time-barred notice of appeal does not confer jurisdiction on the appellate courts and, thus, there is no valid appeal for an appellate court to ...

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