2015 Opinion No. 57S
This decision is not final until exception of the 21 day petition for rehearing period. Pursuant to rule 118 of the Idaho Appellate Rules
Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Cassia County. Hon. Michael R. Crabtree, District Judge.
Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender; Eric D. Fredericksen, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.
Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Kenneth K. Jorgensen, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Tyrell Ramsey appeals from the district court's judgment summarily dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief. Specifically, Ramsey requests his convictions be vacated based on the alleged denial of the right to effective assistance of counsel. Alternatively, Ramsey requests that this Court reverse the district court's order granting summary dismissal and remand the case for an evidentiary hearing. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the judgment summarily dismissing Ramsey's petition for post-conviction relief.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
The State charged Ramsey with two counts of attempted rape, two counts of battery
with the intent to commit rape, and penetration by a foreign object. Ramsey pled not guilty, and the case went to a jury trial. During Ramsey's jury trial, his trial counsel often expressed difficulty hearing. Additionally a witness, Kirk Ostrander, made remarks about Ramsey, claiming he likes to fight and suggesting he may have raped other women in the past. Ramsey's trial counsel did not object to this testimony, nor did he move to strike the testimony. During jury deliberations, in response to a jury question, the trial court judge directed the jury to continue deliberating. Ramsey's trial counsel did not object to the instruction.
The jury found Ramsey not guilty of one count of attempted rape and one count of battery with intent to commit rape. However, the jury found him guilty of one count of battery with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object, and an included offense of misdemeanor battery. Ramsey appealed, and this Court affirmed the judgment of conviction. State v. Ramsey, Docket No. 38228, (Ct.App. Aug. 1, 2012) (unpublished). Ramsey then filed the current petition, challenging his convictions. Specifically, he alleged the above inactions by trial counsel amount to ineffective assistance of counsel. Ramsey also alleged he was denied the right to a fair trial under the cumulative error doctrine. The State moved for summary dismissal, which the district court granted. Ramsey filed a motion for relief from judgment, which the district court denied. Ramsey appeals from the entry of judgment dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief.
A petition for post-conviction relief initiates a proceeding that is civil in nature. Idaho Code section 19-4907; Rhoades v. State, 148 Idaho 247, 249, 220 P.3d 1066, 1068 (2009); State v. Bearshield, 104 Idaho 676, 678, 662 P.2d 548, 550 (1983); Murray v. State, 121 Idaho 918, 921, 828 P.2d 1323, 1326 (Ct.App. 1992). Like a plaintiff in a civil action, the petitioner must prove by a preponderance of evidence the allegations upon which the request for post-conviction relief is based. Goodwin v. State, 138 Idaho 269, 271, 61 P.3d 626, 628 (Ct.App. 2002). A petition for post-conviction relief differs from a complaint in an ordinary civil action. Dunlap v. State, 141 Idaho 50, 56, 106 P.3d 376, 382 (2004). A petition must contain much more than a short and plain statement of the claim that would suffice for a complaint under I.R.C.P. 8(a)(1). Rather, a petition for post-conviction relief must be verified with respect to facts within the personal knowledge of the petitioner, and affidavits, records, or other evidence supporting its allegations must be attached or the petition must state why such supporting ...