This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).







Leon Henry Carter, III, petitioner,





Lynn Dingle, Warden,

Minnesota State Prison,



Filed March 28, 2006


Hudson, Judge


Washington County District Court

File No. C0-05-860


Leon Henry Carter, III, OID #179027, 970 Pickett Street North, Bayport, Minnesota 55003-1490 (pro se appellant)


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101-2134; and


Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Linda M. Freyer, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55487 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge; Peterson, Judge; and Hudson, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


On appeal from an order dismissing appellant’s habeas corpus petition challenging his imprisonment following a conviction of second-degree murder, appellant argues that the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because appellant was charged under Minnesota Statutes, rather than the session laws, which, he alleges, are the true laws of the state.  We affirm.


A jury convicted appellant Leon Carter in October 1995 of second-degree murder in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.19(1) and (2) (1994) for his participation in a drive-by shooting.  In November 1995, the district court sentenced appellant to a 480-month prison term.  In September 1996, this court affirmed appellant’s conviction and sentence.  See State v. Carter, No. C6-96-51 (Minn. App. Sept. 3, 1996), review denied (Minn. Oct. 29, 1996). 

            In February 2005, appellant petitioned the district court for a writ of habeas corpus.  Appellant argued that his conviction must be vacated because the statute under which he was convicted contained neither an enactment clause nor a title in violation of the Minnesota Constitution, and, therefore, the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to pronounce judgment.  In addition, appellant argued that his conviction was void because he was convicted under the Minnesota statutes rather than the session laws, which, appellant argued, are the official laws of the state of Minnesota.  The district court denied appellant’s petition without an evidentiary hearing.  This appeal follows.



A writ of habeas corpus is a statutory civil remedy whereby “[a] person imprisoned or otherwise restrained of liberty, except persons committed or detained by virtue of the final judgment of a competent tribunal . . . [may] obtain relief from [unlawful] imprisonment or restraint.”  Minn. Stat. § 589.01 (2004). 

            Appellant argues that his conviction violates due process and the district court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to pronounce judgment because the district court convicted appellant under the Minnesota statutes and not the session laws.  Appellant contends that because the Minnesota statutes are “merely” prima facie evidence of the laws of Minnesota, they are not the actual “substantive” law of the state.  This court presumes that the Minnesota statutes are constitutional and exercises its power to declare a statute unconstitutional with extreme caution.  State v. Merrill, 450 N.W.2d 318, 321 (Minn. 1990). 

This court recently examined the process of enacting the laws of Minnesota in Ledden v. State:

The laws of Minnesota are bills that have been enacted by the legislature and then signed by the governor, enacted after three days of gubernatorial inaction, or passed by a legislative override of the governor’s veto.  See Minn. Const. art. IV, 23.  “As soon as possible after a session of the legislature has adjourned each year, the revisor shall publish the laws of the session in a publication called ‘Laws of Minnesota.’”  Minn. Stat. 3C.06, subd. 1 (2002).  The laws of Minnesota are then codified in accordance with Minn. Stat. 3C.07 (2002), and must contain the requirements set forth in Minn. Stat. 3C.08 (2002).


            In compiling the Minnesota Statutes, the revisor of statutes is required to “assign appropriate chapter and section numbers to [the new laws and amendments] and shall arrange them in proper order.  After each section the office shall place a source note indicating the chapter and section of the session law from which the section was derived.”  Minn. Stat. 3C.08, subd. 4 (2002).  “Any volume of Minnesota Statutes, supplement to Minnesota Statutes, and Laws of Minnesota certified by the revisor according to section 3C.11, subdivision 1, is prima facie evidence of the statutes contained in it in all courts and proceedings.”  Minn. Stat. 3C.13 (2002).


Ledden v. State, 686 N.W.2d 873, 876 (Minn. App. 2004), review denied (Minn. Dec. 22, 2004).  As the supreme court noted in Thompson v. State, 691 N.W.2d 841, 843 n.3 (Minn. 2005), the statutes are not voided when published by the revisor of statutes. 

            Appellant misconstrues the significance of the phrase “prima facie evidence.”  Unless appellant is able to demonstrate that the Minnesota statute under which he was convicted differs from the session law enacted, appellant’s conviction is constitutionally sound.

            Finally, appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion in not conducting an evidentiary hearing.  A habeas petitioner is entitled to an evidentiary hearing only if there is a material factual dispute underlying his claim for relief.  Seifert v. Erickson, 420 N.W.2d 917, 920 (Minn. App. 1988), review denied (Minn. May 18, 1988).  Because appellant’s claims solely involve issues of law, he was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing.