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Stoeckert v. Nooth

Court of Appeals of Oregon

February 25, 2015

RUSSELL LEE STOECKERT, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
Mark NOOTH, Superintendent, Snake River Correctional Institution, Defendant-Respondent

Submitted July 1, 2014.

Malheur County Circuit Court 11058780P. Patricia A. Sullivan, Judge.

James N. Varner filed the opening brief for appellant. Russell Lee Stoeckert filed the supplemental brief pro se.

Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General, and Ryan Kahn, Assistant Attorney General, filed the brief for respondent.

Before Garrett, Presiding Judge, and DeVore, Judge, and Schuman, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 137

[269 Or.App. 336] DEVORE, J.

Petitioner appeals the post-conviction court's judgment dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief for lack of sufficient documentation, ORS 138.580.[1] Petitioner argues that his post-conviction relief petition properly stated claims for relief, and that, as to several of the claims, there was no additional documentation required. We decline to address, without further discussion, petitioner's additional pro se arguments. We review the post-conviction court's legal conclusions for errors of law. ORS 138.650; Pinnell v. Palmateer, 200 Or.App. 303, 318, 114 P.3d 515 (2005), rev den, 340 Or. 483, 135 P.3d 318 (2006). In light of the recent decision in Ogle v. Nooth, 355 Or. 570, 330 P.3d 572 (2014), we reverse and remand.

The facts are undisputed and procedural in nature. Petitioner pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, ORS 163.427. He subsequently sought post-conviction relief, asserting inadequate assistance of counsel. In support of that claim, petitioner included four specific allegations:

" a. Trial counsel was ineffective in allowing Petitioner to enter into a plea that was not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made. Petitioner suffered from severe depression in the weeks leading up to his entry of a guilty plea and trial counsel was aware of Petitioner's mental state. Petitioner's depression caused him to enter into the plea, and had Petitioner been more emotionally stable, he would not have entered into the plea agreement.
" b. Trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the Honorable Michael Sullivan's behavior during the settlement conference. The judge informed Petitioner that he would not leave the room unless he made a deal with the District Attorney's office. The judge also informed Petitioner that touching the victim was sufficient evidence to convict Petitioner of Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree. Had trial counsel objected to the judge's [269 Or.App. 337] behavior during the settlement conference, or requested that the conference end, Petitioner would not have pled guilty pursuant to the plea agreement.
" c. Trial counsel was ineffective in failing to present or review with petitioner a copy of the discovery in Petitioner's case, including the police reports and interviews with the alleged victim. Had trial counsel reviewed this discovery with Petitioner, Petitioner would not have pled guilty pursuant to the plea agreement.
" d. Trial counsel was ineffective in failing to argue against the sentence imposed on Petitioner, given that Petitioner had no prior criminal history. Had trial counsel argued against the constitutionality of the sentence, or argued to have the sentences run concurrent, Petitioner would not have received such a lengthy sentence."

In support of those allegations, petitioner included a sworn affidavit in which he explained that he was depressed and suicidal at the time of his plea, that his counsel did not attempt to curtail alleged poor judicial conduct, that his counsel did not share or review discovery (police reports and victim interviews) with him prior to ...


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