Chase v. North Dakota

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Justia Opinion Summary

In 2014, Lorry Van Chase was convicted by jury of gross sexual imposition. He appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court, and the conviction was affirmed. In 2016, Chase applied for post-conviction relief, alleging ineffective assistance of trial counsel. After an evidentiary hearing, the court denied the application, making findings on each specific allegation of ineffective assistance. Chase appealed the post-conviction court’s denial of relief again to the Supreme Court, and the order was summarily affirmed based on Chase’s failure to supply a transcript of the evidentiary hearing. In 2018, Chase filed a N.D.R. Civ.P. 60(b) motion for relief from judgment, seeking relief from the order denying him post-conviction relief. In 2019, relief was again denied, finding Chase’s motion was actually a second application for post-conviction relief, and therefore barred by res judicata and misuse of process. The Supreme Court determined the district court did not err in treating Chase’s Rule 60(b) motion as a successive application for post-conviction relief. However, the Court found summary dismissal of Chase’s original application for post-conviction relief was not appropriate, and reversed and remanded for further proceedings as to that point. The Court determined all other issues raised were without merit or otherwise unnecessary to its opinion here.

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