This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Douglas H. Dehn, petitioner,
State of Minnesota,
Olmsted County District Court
File No. K0-03-2002
Douglas H. Dehn,
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800
Raymond F. Schmitz,
Considered and decided by Minge, Presiding Judge; Hudson, Judge; and Huspeni, Judge.*
Appellant challenges the postconviction court’s denial of his constitutional claims and raises ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims for the first time. Because the postconviction court correctly concluded that appellant’s constitutional claims are barred by the Knaffla rule, we affirm. We also conclude that appellant waived his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims because they were not raised at the postconviction level.
In May 2003, appellant Douglas Dehn was arrested and charged with aiding and abetting first-degree controlled substance crime. A jury found appellant guilty, and the district court sentenced him to the presumptive sentence.
his conviction, appellant filed a direct appeal to this court raising
constitutional and sentencing claims. State v. Dehn, No. A04-1784, 2005 WL
2739301, at *1 (
In January 2006, appellant filed a petition for postconviction relief, but the postconviction court denied relief. The postconviction court concluded that appellant’s claims should have been raised on direct appeal, as required by the Knaffla procedural bar, and that even if those claims are not Knaffla-barred, they are without merit. This appeal follows.
first issue is whether the postconviction court abused its discretion by
denying appellant’s postconviction petition for relief based on the Knaffla procedural bar. We review a postconviction court’s denial of
relief based on the Knaffla bar for
an abuse of discretion. Quick v.
State, 692 N.W.2d 438, 439 (
Knaffla rule provides that once a
direct appeal has been taken, “all matters raised therein, and all claims known
but not raised, will not be considered upon a subsequent petition for
postconviction relief.” State v. Knaffla, 309
First, appellant claims the aiding and abetting statute he was convicted under is unconstitutional in violation of either Article I, section 6, or Article IV, section 17 of the Minnesota Constitution. But even though appellant knew, or should have known, the bases for his constitutional claims at the time of his conviction, he did not raise these claims in his direct appeal. The statutory basis for appellant’s conviction did not change from the time he was charged for aiding and abetting first-degree controlled substance crime, and any challenge to the statutory basis of appellant’s conviction was fully available on direct appeal.
addition, appellant’s constitutional claims do not satisfy either exception to
the Knaffla rule. The constitutionality of the aiding and
abetting statute appellant was convicted of violating is not a novel issue, and
the statute has existed in substantially the same form since at least 1963. See
But even if
appellant’s claims are not Knaffla-barred,
they are without merit. Appellant argues
that his conviction was obtained in violation of the clause of the Minnesota Constitution,
which provides, “The accused shall enjoy the right to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation . . . .”
the record indicates that appellant was adequately informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation against him. The
complaint clearly charges appellant with aiding and abetting controlled
substance crime in the first degree in violation of Minn. Stat. § 152.021,
subd. 2a (2002), and
also argues that his conviction should be reversed because the aiding and
abetting statute violates the Minnesota Constitution by embracing more than one
subject. Appellant cites the following
constitutional limit: “[n]o law shall embrace more than one subject, which
shall be expressed in its title.”
appellant misconstrues Article IV, section 17 by focusing on the potential breadth
of the codified aiding and abetting statute, rather than the session law as passed
by the legislature. Appellant has not
shown that the Criminal Code of 1963, as passed by the legislature, embraces dissimilar
subjects, or that the aiding and abetting statute, Minn. Stat. § 609.05, subd.
1, is not germane to the general subject of the act. In fact, appellant cites to no other portion
of the act in addition to the aiding and abetting statute to show the alleged
dissimilarity and discordance in the law as passed. Because
second issue is whether appellant waived his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel
claims. “‘It is well settled that a
party may not raise issues for the first time on appeal’ from denial of
postconviction relief.” Azure v. State, 700 N.W.2d 443, 447 (
Appellant’s ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims are not different from those in Azure. For the first time, in his informal brief to this court, appellant claims his trial counsel was ineffective because he did not request a lesser-included-offense instruction and because he did not object on the ground that accomplice testimony at trial was insufficiently corroborated. Appellant also claims he was denied effective assistance of appellate counsel because his appellate counsel did not raise appellant’s constitutional claims on direct appeal. Appellant did not raise any of his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims at the postconviction level, and the postconviction court did not rule on those claims. Accordingly, like the court in Azure, we conclude that we have no postconviction ruling to review, and appellant has waived those claims for purposes of this appeal.
In sum, we conclude that appellant’s constitutional claims are Knaffla-barred and without merit, and that appellant waived his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims.
* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.