This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Augusta Pierson, petitioner,
Filed May 1, 2007
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 93104983
Augusta Pierson, OID #111114, MCF
Lori Swanson, Attorney General,
Michael O. Freeman,
Considered and decided by Hudson, Presiding Judge; Randall, Judge; and Dietzen, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant Augusta Pierson challenges the district court’s denial of his petition for postconviction relief. Because the record shows that appellant is not entitled to relief, we affirm.
In 1994, a jury convicted appellant Augusta Pierson of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 609.345, subds. 1(b), 2, .101, subd. 2 (1992). This was appellant’s second conviction of criminal sexual conduct. The district court sentenced appellant as a dangerous offender; appellant received an executed sentence of 88 months. The district court did not impose a term of conditional release.
Before appellant’s release from prison, the Department of Corrections (DOC) sent the district court a letter inquiring whether the district court intended to impose a term of conditional release. This letter did not receive an immediate response. But after appellant left prison on supervised release, the district court issued an order imposing a ten-year term of conditional release. The district court did not hold a hearing before issuing the order.
After violating the conditions of his release, appellant filed a postconviction petition arguing that the imposition of the term of conditional release violated his right to due process. The district court summarily denied appellant’s petition. This appeal follows.
challenges the district court’s denial of his petition for postconviction relief
without first holding an evidentiary hearing.
Appellate courts review a postconviction proceeding to determine whether
there is sufficient evidence to support the findings and whether the district
court abused its discretion. State v. Christopherson, 644 N.W.2d 507,
509–10 (Minn. App. 2002), review denied
A petitioner seeking postconviction relief has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence facts that warrant reopening the case. Minn. Stat. § 590.04, subd. 3 (2006). A postconviction hearing is required unless the petition and files and records conclusively show that the petitioner is entitled to no relief. Minn. Stat. § 590.04, subd. 1 (2006).
district court may at any time correct an unauthorized sentence. Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03, subd. 9; Humes, 581 N.W.2d at 321. Thus, the district court had jurisdiction to impose
the conditional-release term. However,
“due process concerns are implicated when a defendant’s sentence is corrected.” State
v. Calmes, 632 N.W.2d 641, 645 (
State v. Wukawitz, the supreme court
held that modification of a sentence to add a term of conditional release violates
a defendant’s due-process rights if the modified sentence exceeds the maximum
sentence set forth in a plea agreement.
662 N.W.2d 517, 526 (
Martinek v. State, this court held
that a district court lacks jurisdiction to impose a conditional-release term after
a sentence has expired. 678 N.W.2d 714,
Calmes, the supreme court held that
due process limits the district court’s power to impose a conditional-release
term if to do so would violate a defendant’s crystallized expectation in the
finality of his or her sentence. 632
N.W.2d at 645. But the supreme court
held that failure to hold a hearing before imposing a mandatory term of
conditional release did not violate due process absent questions about “the
validity of a plea agreement in light of the correction, or the length of the
conditional release term.”
Here, contrary to appellant’s contention, there was no plea agreement. Rather, a jury convicted appellant. In addition, the record shows that appellant’s sentence had not expired when the district court imposed the term of conditional release; appellant was on supervised release at the time. Moreover, appellant’s claim that he had a crystallized expectation of finality in his sentence is undercut by the fact that he was on supervised release when the term was imposed; thus, he remained in the custody of the commissioner of corrections despite being out of the institution. Calmes, 632 N.W.2d at 647–48 (holding that a substantial passage of time before modification, or the fact that a defendant is on supervised release at the time of modification, are non-determinative factors that courts can consider when determining whether an expectation of finality exists).
addition, the supreme court has stated that because citizens are presumed to
know the law, its prior rulings prevent the development of a “crystallized
expectation of finality in a sentence that did not include a mandatory and
Because the record shows that appellant is not entitled to relief, the district court did not err by summarily denying appellant’s petition for postconviction relief.