MN Postconviction Petition Must Include Facts

Minnesota case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: MN Criminal Law.

Jason Donald Matakis v. State of Minnesota. MN criminal law Jason Donald Matakis v. State of Minnesota

The defendant filed a petition for postconviction relief arguing that his guilty plea was involuntary and he should be able to withdraw it. The district court and the court of appeals held that he had stated no facts in support of the claim and dismissed it for that reason. He then appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court. He conceded that the petition did not state all of the facts, but he argued that the lower court should have given him a greater opportunity to provide that information, rather than dismissing without a hearing.

The high court noted that under Minn. Stat. 590.02, all grounds for relief must be stated in the petition or any amendment thereof unless they could not reasonably have been set forth. Therefore, it held that the procedure followed was proper, and affirmed the judgment.

Justices Anderson, Page, and Lillehaug dissented, arguing that the majority opinion deprived the defendant of any opportunity to be heard.

No. A13-104 (Minn. April 8, 2015).

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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