SUBMITTED: February 16, 2017
Dustin J. Taylor ("Defendant") has filed his first
Motion for Postconviction Relief pursuant to Superior Court
Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61"). He also requests
appointment of counsel to pursue this Motion. For the reasons
expressed below, the Motion is summarily dismissed and
Defendant's request for counsel is denied.
January 4, 2016, Defendant pled guilty to Assault in a
Detention Facility and Conspiracy in the Second Degree.
Defendant was sentenced as follows: for Assault in a
Detention Facility, eight years at Level Five; for Conspiracy
in the Second Degree, two years at Level Five, suspended for
six months at Level Four, followed by six months at Level
Three. At the time of the guilty plea, Defendant was also
declared a habitual offender. No direct appeal was filed;
therefore, the conviction became final on February 4, 2016.
February 16, 2017, Defendant filed his Motion for
Postconviction Relief. Defendant claims that: (1) his counsel
was ineffective in failing to appeal Defendant's habitual
offender status; and (2) his guilty plea was accepted in
violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth
first step in evaluating a motion under Rule 61 is to
determine whether any of the procedural bars listed in Rule
61(i) will force the motion to be procedurally
barred. Rule 61(i)(1) requires this Motion to
be summarily dismissed. A motion for postconviction relief
cannot be filed more than one year after the judgment is
final. Defendant's conviction became
final on February 4, 2016, but his Motion was not filed until
February 16, 2017, slightly over a year later. Therefore, the
Motion is time-barred.
requests appointment of counsel. The standard governing this
request appears in Rule 61(e)(3):
The judge may appoint counsel for any other first
postconviction motion only if the judge determines that: (i)
the motion is an indigent movant's first timely
postconviction motion and request for appointment of counsel;
(ii) the motion seeks to set aside a judgment of conviction
after a trial that has been affirmed by final order upon
direct appellate review; (iii) the motion sets forth a
substantial claim that the movant received ineffective
assistance of trial or appellate counsel; (iv) the motion
sets forth a substantial claim that the movant is in custody
in violation of the United States Constitution or Delaware
Constitution; (v) granting the motion would result in vacatur
of the judgment of conviction for which the movant is in
custody; and (vi) specific exceptional circumstances warrant
the appointment of counsel.
the Motion was not timely, did not set forth a substantial
claim that Defendant received ineffective assistance of
counsel or that he is in custody in violation of either the
United States or Delaware Constitutions, and because no
specific exceptional circumstance(s) exist to warrant the
appointment of counsel, Defendant's request is denied.
Further, given that this Motion is summarily dismissed, there
is no need for trial counsel to submit an affidavit or to
have the State of Delaware respond.
foregoing reasons, Defendant's Motion is DISMISSED.