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Buhl v. State

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

January 7, 2019

Jonathan Edward Buhl, petitioner, Appellant,
v.
State of Minnesota, Respondent.

          Anoka County District Court File No. 02-K4-93-006203

          Charles F. Clippert, Clippert Law Firm, P.L.L.C; and Rebecca L. Duren, Lesch and Duren, (for appellant)

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General; and Anthony C. Palumbo, Anoka County Attorney, Robert I. Yount, Assistant County Attorney, (for respondent)

          Considered and decided by Rodenberg, Presiding Judge; Hooten, Judge; and Stauber, Judge. [*]

         SYLLABUS

         I. For purposes of determining whether a petitioner meets the statutory definition of "exonerated" under Minn. Stat. § 590.11, subd. 1 (1)(ii) (2018) of the Minnesota Imprisonment and Exoneration Remedies Act, the phrase "consistent with innocence" shall be interpreted as "agrees with innocence."

         II. The denial of a request for permission to bring a motion for reconsideration under Minn. Gen. R. Prac. 115.11 is not an appealable order.

          OPINION

          HOOTEN, JUDGE.

         In this appeal from the district court's order denying appellant's petition for certification of eligibility for compensation based on exoneration, appellant argues that the district court erred by finding that he did not meet the statutory definition of "exonerated," ruling that he failed to establish his innocence by a preponderance of the evidence, and denying him permission to move for reconsideration. We affirm.

         FACTS

         In early April of 1993, a masked assailant with a gun robbed a convenience store in Blaine, Minnesota. During the course of the robbery, the assailant bound customers and an employee with duct tape, sexually assaulted one of the customers, and fled in that customer's car. Appellant was arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated robbery, four counts of kidnapping, one count of second-degree assault, and one count of attempted second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Before trial, the state also charged appellant with one count of motor vehicle use without consent. At trial on these charges, the state introduced Spreigl evidence[1] of appellant's 1990 burglary conviction for the purpose of proving his identity. State v. Buhl, 520 N.W.2d 177, 180 (Minn.App. 1994), review denied (Minn. Oct. 27, 1994). The jury found appellant guilty, but a panel of this court determined that the district court erred in allowing the introduction of this Spreigl evidence, reversed appellant's conviction, and remanded for a new trial. Id. at 183. Appellant faced the same charges in a new jury trial and was found not guilty.

         In June of 2016, almost two years after Minnesota passed the Minnesota Imprisonment and Exoneration Remedies Act (MIERA), and just before the statute of limitations expired, appellant filed a petition seeking an order certifying that he is eligible for exoneree compensation. After holding an evidentiary hearing, the district court denied appellant's petition. Appellant filed a letter asking for permission to file a motion for reconsideration, and the district court denied that as well. This appeal follows.[2]

         ISSUES

         I. Did the district court err in concluding that a reversal and remand for a new trial based on erroneously admitted Spreigl evidence was not "on grounds consistent with innocence"?

         II. Did the district court err in finding that appellant did not establish his innocence by a preponderance of the evidence?

         III. Is the district court's denial of appellant's request for permission to file a motion for ...


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