Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-CR-09-61146
David W. Merchant, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Kathryn Jane Lockwood, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Elizabeth Amy Roosevelt Johnston, Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Smith, Presiding Judge; Cleary, Judge; and Huspeni, Judge.
The Uniform Mandatory Disposition of Detainers Act (UMDDA), Minn. Stat. § 629.292 (2012), imposes a duty on prison officials to promptly send speedy-disposition requests to the correct prosecuting authority, but because the act provides no remedy for the failure to do so, the duty is directory, not mandatory.
HUSPENI, Judge [*]
In this appeal from the denial of a petition for postconviction relief, appellant argues that his right to a speedy trial under the UMDDA was violated, and that the district court erred by finding that he was not denied effective assistance of counsel when his attorney failed to argue that violation. We affirm.
On December 14, 2009, appellant Juan Valentin Resendiz was serving a prison sentence on an unrelated burglary conviction when the Hennepin County Attorney charged him with first-degree assault in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.221, subd. 1 (2008). The following day, the Hennepin County sheriff's department placed a detainer on Resendiz.
Resendiz requested final disposition of the assault charge on January 12, 2010, by completing the "Offender's Notice of Placement of Imprisonment and Request for Disposition of Indictments, Information or Complaints" form. He indicated that the Hennepin County Attorney was the prosecuting officer. The request instructed that "[i]f jurisdiction over this matter is properly in another agent, court, or officer, please designate the proper agency, court or officer and return this form to sender."
Resendiz submitted his completed request to a prison official. The prison official mailed one copy to the Hennepin County district court, which filed Resendiz's request in February 2010. But rather than sending a copy of the request to the Hennepin County Attorney's office—the prosecuting authority in Resendiz's assault case—the prison official sent the request to the Minneapolis City Attorney's office.
On or around October 14, the Hennepin County Attorney's office became aware that Resendiz had filed a request for disposition of his assault charge. That same day, the Hennepin County Attorney's office filed a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum compelling Resendiz's appearance at Hennepin County District Court. Resendiz made his first appearance on October 20, and in January 2011, pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement and was sentenced to 84-months' imprisonment to be served concurrently with the sentence imposed in the unrelated burglary conviction. He received 746 days of credit toward his 84-month sentence.
Resendiz petitioned for postconviction relief, arguing that his guilty plea was invalid because he was deprived of effective assistance of counsel when his attorney refused to assert that his UMDDA rights had been violated when the prison official mailed his request for disposition to the incorrect prosecuting authority and the Minneapolis City Attorney failed to forward his request in a timely fashion. The postconviction court reasoned that
counsel's performance is dependent upon whether or not the time provisions of the UMDDA were violated. If they were, then the Court may conclude that trial counsel's performance fell below an objective standard of reasonableness and determine that [appellant] was prejudiced by counsel's performance. If the time provisions of the UMDDA were not violated, then trial counsel's performance did not fall below an objective standard of reasonable[ness], and therefore does not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel.
The postconviction court ultimately denied Resendiz's petition for relief, holding that the prison official's conduct was, at most, negligent and that the Minneapolis City Attorney did not ...