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Joshua R. Bradley v. State of Idaho

July 26, 2011

JOSHUA R. BRADLEY, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
STATE OF IDAHO,
RESPONDENT.



Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Fred M. Gibler, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Perry, Judge Pro Tem

2011 Opinion No. 44

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

Order dismissing application for post-conviction relief, affirmed,

Joshua R. Bradley appeals from the district court's order dismissing his application for post-conviction relief. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

As a juvenile, Bradley was adjudicated guilty of rape of a child in the state of Washington. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9A.44.073(1). As a consequence, he was required to register as a sex offender in that state. Bradley later moved to Idaho and, until he turned twenty- one, registered here as a juvenile sex offender pursuant to I.C. §§ 18-8403(3), (4), and 18-8407. In 2002, Bradley signed a stipulation, acknowledging that he should be transferred from the juvenile registry to Idaho's adult sex offender registry pursuant to I.C. § 18-8410, and waived his right to a hearing on the matter. In accordance with the stipulation, the district court entered an order transferring Bradley to the adult registry. Bradley complied with his registration requirements until 2008, when he was charged with failure to register as a sex offender, I.C. § 18-8309, in two separate cases. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Bradley pled guilty to failure to register and was sentenced to a unified term of five years, with a minimum period of confinement of three years, in one case and a concurrent unified term of ten years, with a minimum period of confinement of three years, in another case. Bradley appealed his sentences and this Court affirmed in an unpublished decision. See State v. Bradley, Docket Nos. 35171 and 35208 (Ct. App. Sept. 24, 2008).

Bradley filed a pro se application for post-conviction relief asserting, among other claims, ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The district court appointed post-conviction counsel and granted an evidentiary hearing on Bradley's claims. At the evidentiary hearing, Bradley argued that trial counsel was ineffective for advising him to plead guilty. Specifically, Bradley contended that trial counsel failed to notify him that he was not required to register as a sex offender because he was not properly transferred to the adult registry and because the offense for which he had previously registered was not one of the crimes requiring registration under I.C. § 18-8304(1)(a). The district court dismissed Bradley's application, holding that Bradley failed to demonstrate any method by which his defense attorney in the criminal case could have challenged the district court's 2002 transfer order. The district court also found, in the alternative, that Bradley's Washington juvenile offense was substantially equivalent to the Idaho offense of lewd conduct with a minor child, for which registration is required under I.C. § 18- 8304(1) (a). Bradley appeals.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

In order to prevail in a post-conviction proceeding, the applicant must prove the allegations by a preponderance of the evidence. I.C. § 19-4907; Stuart v. State, 118 Idaho 865, 801 P.2d 1216 (1990). When reviewing a decision denying post-conviction relief after an evidentiary hearing, an appellate court will not disturb the lower court's factual findings unless they are clearly erroneous. I.R.C.P. 52(a); Russell v. State, 118 Idaho 65, 67, 794 P.2d 654, 656 (Ct. App. 1990). The credibility of the witnesses, the weight to be given to their testimony, and the inferences to be drawn from the evidence are all matters solely within the province of the district court. Larkin v. State, 115 Idaho 72, 73, 764 P.2d 439, 440 (Ct. App. 1988). We exercise free review of the district court's application of the relevant law to the facts. Nellsch v. State, 122 Idaho 426, 434, 835 P.2d 661, 669 (Ct. App. 1992).

III. ANALYSIS

Bradley presented two arguments during the proceedings on his application for post- conviction relief below. First, Bradley asserted that his transfer from Idaho's juvenile sex offender registry to the adult registry was improper because the procedures governing such a transfer were not followed by the district court. Bradley also argued that, because the offense listed on his previous registration forms was not one of the crimes requiring registration under I.C. § 18-8304(1)(a), he was not required to register as an adult sex offender and therefore should not have pled guilty to failure to register. As a result, he argued that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to discover the improper transfer and the incorrectly listed offense prior to the entry of Bradley's guilty pleas.

During the evidentiary hearing, Bradley introduced a number of exhibits, including his stipulation to transfer to the adult registry, the 2002 transfer order, previous registration forms, and documents from his Washington juvenile case. Bradley did not testify, nor did he call any witnesses in support of his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. Also at the hearing, the state presented the affidavit of Bradley's trial counsel. Trial counsel averred that, to the best of his recollection, Bradley had a duty to register as a sex offender under Idaho law and that counsel advised Bradley of such a duty. Trial counsel also averred that Bradley decided to plead guilty after obtaining a favorable plea agreement.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the district court inquired how Bradley could challenge his duty to register in light of his acknowledgment of such a duty in the stipulation filed with the district court in 2002. Bradley's counsel responded that the district court did not follow the proper proceedings in issuing the transfer order. The district court clarified its question and asked if the post-conviction proceedings were a collateral attack on the sworn stipulation. Bradley's counsel responded that he had not considered or addressed that particular issue. The district court then requested that each party file supplemental briefing on the effect of Bradley's stipulation and the timeliness of Bradley's application as to that issue. Bradley's supplemental briefing continued to assert his two original ...


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