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State v. Robertson

Supreme Court of Kansas

April 19, 2019

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.
Joshua Robertson, Appellant.

         SYLLABUS

         1. A motion to correct illegal sentence filed under K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 22-3504 that alleges a defect in the charging document does not give a court jurisdiction to reverse a conviction that has become a final judgment.

         2. A court need not entertain a second or successive motion for relief under K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 60-1507(c) in the absence of exceptional circumstances.

         3. A motion under K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 60-1507 must be filed within the time set out in 60-1507(f)(1), (2) unless the movant establishes that a manifest injustice would result.

          Appeal from Butler District Court; Michael E. Ward, judge.

          Joshua J. Robertson, appellant, was on the briefs pro se.

          Darrin C. Devinney, county attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were on the brief for appellee.

          OPINION

          LUCKERT, J.

         Joshua J. Robertson appeals from the district court's summary dismissal of his pro se motion, which he calls a combined "motion to correct illegal sentence" and "motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction." In the combined motion, he invokes K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 22-3504 as the basis for jurisdiction and requests his convictions be reversed. We affirm the summary denial of Robertson's motion because he cannot collaterally attack a conviction through a motion to correct an illegal sentence filed under K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 22-3504 that claims a defective complaint meant the district court lacked jurisdiction to convict. We also hold the district court lacked jurisdiction over Robertson's motion to dismiss. Finally, we decline to consider the motion as one filed under K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 60-1507 because such a motion is procedurally barred.

         Facts and Procedural History

         A jury convicted Robertson of first-degree murder, arson, and aggravated burglary for his role in the death of his girlfriend's mother, Patricia Self. This court affirmed his convictions and sentences on direct appeal. See State v. Robertson, 279 Kan. 291, 109 P.3d 1174 (2005).

         Since then, Robertson has raised various challenges to his convictions and sentences. The district court referenced five other district court orders addressing Robertson's collateral attacks. Three of those attempts have reached this court. In one, Robertson vainly sought relief through a motion to correct illegal sentence filed under K.S.A. 22-3504. See State v. Robertson, 298 Kan. 342, 343-45, 312 P.3d 361 (2013). In the other two, Robertson either explicitly sought relief under K.S.A. 60-1507 or the district court liberally construed the motion as one seeking relief under that statute. See generally Robertson v. State, 288 Kan. 217, 201 P.3d 691 (2009) (considering and rejecting merits of motion explicitly filed under 60-1507); State v. Robertson, No. 112, 714, 2017 WL 2062832, at *1-3 (Kan. 2017) (unpublished opinion) (considering and rejecting motion district court had treated as one filed under 60-1507).

         In his current appeal, Robertson invokes K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 22-3504 as the sole basis for jurisdiction. He asserts his status as a sovereign and criticizes the way his name appears in the charging document. He further asserts the document charges a trust, not a person. According to him, these shortcomings cause a fatal defect in the charging document that deprived the district court of jurisdiction to convict him. Thus, he argues, his convictions should be reversed. He also contends Kansas statutes are commercial contracts, and he reserves his rights not to perform under the statutes.

         The district court summarily denied relief. It held the motion lacked any legal or factual basis and consisted of "nothing more than a futile exercise in semantics and a ...


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