This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
State of Minnesota,
Jesus Jose Carmona,
Crow Wing County District Court
File No. K7001232
John J. Sausen, Assistant Crow Wing County Attorney, 322 Laurel Street, Brainerd, MN 56401 (for respondent)
Mike Hatch, Minnesota Attorney General, 525 Park Avenue, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103; and
John M. Stuart, Minnesota State Public Defender, Mark F. Anderson, Assistant State Public Defender, 2928 University Avenue SE, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Anderson, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
This appeal is from an order denying appellant Jesus Jose Carmona’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging his extradition to Louisiana. Appellant further argues he was denied the right to have substitute counsel appointed in place of the public defender. Finally, appellant makes several pro se claims. We affirm.
Appellant brought a habeas corpus petition challenging his pending extradition to the State of Louisiana to face allegations that he had violated conditions of his parole in connection with a felony armed robbery sentence received in that jurisdiction in 1984. Louisiana provided documentation that indicated appellant had been paroled in 1996, with a sentence expiration of 2008. The documentation also indicated that appellant was originally sentenced to a 25 year term in 1984, “without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.”
Appellant contends that he could not be in violation of his parole if not validly placed on parole. The district court ruled that this claim was not properly part of appellant’s habeas challenge to extradition from Minnesota, concluding that a claim challenging Louisiana law would need to be raised in a Louisiana court upon his return to that jurisdiction. See, e.g., State v. Reinke, 398 N.W.2d 53, 54 (Minn. App. 1986) (holding that Minnesota was not the proper jurisdiction to inquire into guilt or innocence of the accused, something that can only be determined within the demanding state). We agree.
On July 21, 2000, Minnesota Governor Ventura issued a rendition warrant directing that appellant be extradited to Louisiana. A grant of extradition from a state governor is “prima facie evidence that the constitutional and statutory requirements have been met,” and leaves the district court to review only four procedural factors. Michigan v. Doran, 439 U.S. 282, 289, 99 S. Ct. 530, 535 (1978) (citation omitted).
Once the governor has granted extradition, a court considering release on habeas corpus can do no more than decide (a) whether the extradition documents on their face are in order; (b) whether the petitioner has been charged with a crime in the demanding state; (c) whether the petitioner is the person named in the request for extradition; and (d) whether the petitioner is a fugitive.
The district court, in denying appellant’s petition for habeas corpus, determined that these four procedural criteria had been met. On appeal from a denial of habeas corpus relief, this court must sustain the findings of the district court if the record contains reasonable evidence to support them. State ex rel. McGuire v. Tahash, 260 Minn. 334, 335, 109 N.W.2d 762, 763 (1961). We conclude that the denial of habeas corpus relief is supported by the record.
A public defender was appointed to represent appellant on May 23, 2000. In early June, appellant informed the public defender that he wished to represent himself. But at a June 12, 2000 hearing appellant changed his mind and the district court re-appointed the public defender who subsequently represented appellant at a June 23, 2000 hearing.
Appellant attacked the public defender’s character in documents accompanying a July 6, 2000 motion for removal of the judge, and also filed a complaint with the Professional Responsibility Board alleging ethical violations. This complaint was later summarily dismissed.
Finally, at the August 14, 2000 hearing, appellant again argued at length that his court-appointed public defender was ineffective and indirectly requested new counsel. After a lengthy question-and-answer session between the district court and appellant, the district court ordered the discharge of the public defender from the case. The district court explained to appellant that he had no right to choose which public defender would represent him. The record is clear that appellant was aware that he did not have a right to a different public defender but would have to represent himself if he did not accept the services of the public defender. Appellant proceeded pro se.
When facts are undisputed, we review de novo to determine whether a defendant’s right to counsel was violated. State v. Christiansen, 515 N.W.2d 110, 112 (Minn. App. 1994), review denied (Minn. June 15, 1994). While a defendant has the right to court-appointed counsel, he does not have the right to choose the attorney. State v. Fagerstrom, 286 Minn. 295, 299, 176 N.W.2d 261, 264 (1970). “Although [appellant] may ask for a substitution, his request will be granted only if exceptional circumstances exist and the demand seems reasonable.” Id. (citation omitted). The district court’s determination in this regard is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard. Id. General disagreement or dissatisfaction with appointed counsel’s assessment of the case does not establish the exceptional circumstances needed to obtain a substitute attorney. Id. at 300, 176 N.W.2d at 265.
In Faretta v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a criminal defendant has a constitutional right to represent himself and thus may voluntarily and intelligently elect to do so and waive his right to counsel.
State v. Richards, 552 N.W.2d 197, 205 (Minn. 1996) (citing Faretta, 422 U.S. 806, 834-35, 95 S. Ct. 2525, 2540-41 (1975)). This is not a case in which the record is silent on whether appellant knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to counsel. Appellant was made aware at his August 14, 2000 hearing that he did not have a right to choose his public defender. Cf. State v. Brodie, 532 N.W.2d 557, 557 (Minn. 1995) (holding waiver valid when defendant wanted to “fire” his attorney and was aware that he would have to represent himself); Richards, 552 N.W.2d at 205 (a “court must not allow self-representation to be used merely to delay a trial or to seek a mistrial”).
No exceptional circumstances existed that required the district court to appoint substitute counsel. The record reflects that appellant understood the consequences of proceeding pro se and chose to do so. Appellant’s claim is without merit.
Appellant’s pro se claims largely center around his allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel. To prevail on this claim, appellant must demonstrate that his attorney’s representation “fell below an objective standard of reasonableness,” and there is a “reasonable probability” that, “but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the outcome would have been different.” Scruggs v. State, 484 N.W.2d 21, 25 (Minn. 1992) (quoting Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 688, 694, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 2064, 2068 (1984)). Appellant has failed to do so. His ineffective assistance of counsel claim is without merit.
Appellant also argues that he was held in jail in violation of Minn. Stat. § 629.15 (1998), because he claims he was held for longer than the 30 days provided by statute. A demanded person can be held in jail or released on bail for up to 30 days pending issuance and execution of a governor’s rendition warrant. State v. Phillips, 587 N.W.2d 29, 34 (Minn. 1998) (citing Minn. Stat. § 629.15). At the June 23, 2000 hearing, the state was granted a 60-day extension of time pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 629.17 (1998) in which to secure the governor’s rendition warrant. Appellant argues that his release date should have been June 19, 2000, the 30-day mark. Even if appellant’s claim that the 30-day deadline was missed by a few days is valid, the court in Phillips concluded that the 30-day commitment period was not a rigid requirement. Id. at 35-36. The Philips court did hold that the 60-day commitment period extension was firm, however, and here the governor’s office issued the rendition warrant on July 21, 2000, well within the 60-day extension period. Appellant was not detained unlawfully.
Finally, appellant contends that he was arrested on a Sunday, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 629.31 (1998), which limits the day and time arrests can be made for misdemeanors. Appellant has offered no support for his contention that his status as a fugitive from justice is considered a misdemeanor in Minnesota and thus his claim is without authority. Individuals may be properly apprehended in this state if they have “broken the terms of bail, probation, or parole” in another state. Minn. Stat. § 629.13 (1998). Appellant was arrested as a fugitive from justice, and his claim is without merit.