Iowa Convict Doesn't Get Second Shot at Postconviction Relief

Iowa case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: criminal law, postconviction.

Dewayne Campbell v. State of Iowa. Criminal law, postconviction

In 2004, a jury in Black Hawk County, Iowa, found Dewayne Campbell guilty of robbery, and the Iowa Court of Appeals subsequently affirmed the conviction.

The defendant then filed an application for postconviction relief in which he argued that the prosecutor was guilty of misconduct. This petition was ultimately denied. Undaunted, he filed a second petition in 2011. This time, he re-alleged the grounds he stated in his first petition, and that his right to effective assistance of counsel was violated by his lawyer in the first postconviction petition. The lower court denied this petition on the grounds of res judicata, and the defendant brought this appeal to the Iowa Court of Appeals.

On appeal, the state argued an alternative basis for affirming the trial court's action. The state argued that the second petition was time barred, since it was filed more than three years after the direct appeal. The defendant argued that the ineffective assistance claim from the first petition started the clock running again.

But the Court of Appeals rejected this argument. Despite this allegedly new claim, there was neither new evidence nor new legal claims that hadn't been heard the first time. Therefore, these should have been brought within three years.

Therefore, the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the second application.

No. No. 3-1197 / 12-1523 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 5, 2014).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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