Idaho v. HooleyAnnotate this Case
Thomas Hooley appealed a district court’s decision to dismiss his pro se filing entitled “Motion For New Trial Based on Evidence withheld in violation of Brady with attached exhibits in support of motion.” In July 2014, a jury convicted Hooley of first-degree kidnapping and aiding and abetting aggravated battery. Hooley unsuccessfully appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals. The Idaho Supreme Court denied his petition for review and issued a remittitur on December 18, 2015. In May 2018, Hooley lodged a pro se filing with the district court. Almost 200 pages in length, the first pages of the filing were a “sparse” legal template on which Hooley handwrote information. In the substantive portion of the motion, Hooley wrote that a “New Trial motion based on evidence withheld in violation of Brady cannot be denied on basis that new trial would not have produced different outcome and such violations not subject to harmless error analysis.” He also included statements of law and citations. The district court treated the filing as an untimely motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence under Idaho Criminal Rule 34. The district court denied the motion as untimely, reasoning that Hooley’s motion was filed outside of the 2-year time constraint on Rule 34 motions because his underlying judgment of conviction became final on December 18, 2015, when the remittitur was issued. Hooley appealed and argued that the district court should have construed his filing as a petition for post-conviction relief. The Court of Appeals affirmed. After granting Hooley’s timely petition for review, the Idaho Supreme Court concurred with the district court and affirmed its order.