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Devan v. State

Court of Appeals of Idaho

June 9, 2017

EVIN DEVAN, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IDAHO, Respondent.

         2017 Opinion No. 29

         Appeal from the District Court of the Third Judicial District, State of Idaho, Canyon County. Hon. Christopher S. Nye, District Judge.

         Order denying motion for relief from post-conviction judgment, affirmed.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Reed P. Anderson, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Ted S. Tollefson, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          GRATTON, Chief Judge.

         Evin Devan appeals from the district court's order denying his motion for relief from post-conviction judgment pursuant to Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). We affirm.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A judgment of conviction was entered against Devan after a jury found him guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary, Idaho Code §18-1701; burglary, I.C. § 18-1401; and misdemeanor trespassing, I.C. § 18-7011. Devan appealed and in an unpublished decision this Court affirmed the conviction. State v. Devan, Docket No. 39853 (Ct. App. Nov. 7, 2013). Devan filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging that counsel in the underlying case was ineffective for failing to secure witnesses, failing to object, and failing to investigate a defense. Devan also asserted there was new evidence in the case. The State filed a motion for summary dismissal, which the district court subsequently granted. Devan filed a notice of appeal.[1]

         Devan filed a pro se motion and memorandum for relief from judgment or order under I.R.C.P. 60(b)(6). In his motion, Devan claimed that he was entitled to relief from the order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief as there had been an absence of meaningful representation by his appointed counsel, and Devan had a meritorious claim. Devan argued that his post-conviction counsel failed to submit evidence that would have withstood summary dismissal; specifically, an affidavit by Mr. Jones which Devan believed established an alibi for his underlying convictions. Further, Devan asserted that his appointed counsel failed to file an amended petition or a response to the State's motion for summary dismissal, and that counsel did not inform Devan that the State had filed a motion for summary dismissal. Counsel was appointed to replace the post-conviction counsel against whom Devan directed the allegations. After a hearing, the district court denied Devan's motion for relief. Devan timely appeals.

         II. ANALYSIS

         Devan argues that the district court erred in denying his Rule 60(b)(6) motion. Devan asserts the district court abused its discretion in finding that there was not a complete absence of meaningful representation by his post-conviction counsel. Further, Devan asserts the district court impermissibly addressed the credibility of the proffered evidence in determining that it did not constitute a meritorious claim.

         Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) gives the district court authority to grant relief from a judgment in limited circumstances. The Rule states, in relevant part: "On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons . . . (6) any other reason that justifies relief."

         A trial court enjoys broad discretion when deciding whether to grant ...


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