State v. SmithAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to file a late appeal, holding that the district court improperly considered irrelevant, outside the record information in deciding that Defendant’s testimony that he told his trial counsel he wanted to appeal was not credible.
On appeal, Defendant asked the Supreme Court to reverse the district court’s decision and allow his appeal to be filed out of time, arguing that the trial court arbitrarily disregarded his testimony that he told his trial counsel that he wanted to appeal immediately, evidence that would help him meet an exception to the rule requiring timely appeal. The Supreme Court reversed without performing the particular analysis requested by Defendant, holding that two actions suggested bias or prejudice sufficient to corrode this Court’s confidence in the district court’s ruling that Defendant was not credible. The Court remanded the case to a different judge to make the credibility determination anew.