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State v. Roberts

Supreme Court of Kansas

July 12, 2019

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.
Sameli G. Roberts, Appellant.

         SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

         1. Under K.S.A. 22-4506(b), a district court has a statutory duty to appoint an attorney to represent an indigent K.S.A. 60-1507 movant whenever the motion presents substantial questions of law or triable issues of fact.

         2. The protocol set forth in Lujan v. State, 270 Kan. 163, 14 P.3d 424 (2000), for a district court's handling of a K.S.A. 60-1507 motion does not require the appointment of counsel when the district court discerns a potentially substantial issue, albeit the court has the discretion to do so. The district court may, but is not required to, appoint an indigent K.S.A. 60-1507 movant an attorney during the period the court is making its determination of whether the motion, files, and records present a substantial question of law or triable issue of fact.

         3. If the district court conducts an actual hearing to determine whether a K.S.A. 60-1507 motion, together with the files and records in the case, present substantial questions of law or triable issues of fact, and the State is represented by counsel at the actual hearing, due process of law requires that the movant be represented by counsel unless he or she has waived the right to counsel.

         4. When the district court summarily denies a K.S.A. 60-1507 motion, an appellate court conducts de novo review to determine whether the motion, files, and records of the case conclusively establish that the movant is not entitled to any relief.

         5. A prisoner filing a K.S.A. 60-1507 motion has the burden to establish that an untimely motion falls within the manifest injustice exception of K.S.A. 60-1507(f)(2) and that a successive motion falls within the caselaw exceptional circumstances exception.

         Review of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished opinion filed November 18, 2016.

          Appeal from Sedgwick District Court; Benjamin L. Burgess and James R. Fleetwood, Judges.

          Michael P. Whalen, of Law Office of Michael P. Whalen, of Wichita, and Krystle M.S. Dalke, of the same firm, were on the briefs for appellant.

          Matt J. Maloney, assistant district attorney, Marc Bennett, district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were on the brief for appellee.

          OPINION

          Johnson, J.

         In this consolidated appeal, Sameli G. Roberts petitions this court for review of the Court of Appeals' decision affirming the district court's summary denial of his motion to be discharged from custody, filed in his underlying criminal case, and his civil K.S.A. 60-1507 motion. With respect to the district court's denial of the motion to be discharged from custody filed in his underlying criminal case, Roberts does not dispute the Court of Appeals' findings. With respect to the district court's denial of his K.S.A. 60-1507 motion, Roberts argues that the district court violated his due process rights when it failed to appoint counsel to represent him after receiving the State's response to his pro se motion. He also contends that he should have been given an evidentiary hearing to make his case for relief. We affirm the lower courts on those issues.

         Factual and Procedural Overview

         In 2005, a jury found Roberts guilty of aggravated burglary, criminal restraint, kidnapping, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, criminal possession of a firearm, and four counts of aggravated robbery, and the district court sentenced him to 327 months in prison. The underlying facts of Roberts' case are set out in his direct appeal, State v. Roberts, No. 95, 046, 2007 WL 2080373 (Kan. App. 2007) (unpublished opinion) (Roberts I).

         On direct appeal, Roberts alleged insufficient evidence to support his convictions, ineffective assistance of counsel, and prosecutorial misconduct. The Court of Appeals remanded for a hearing on Roberts' ineffective assistance of counsel claims. On remand, the trial court held Roberts was not entitled to relief on his ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Roberts then filed an amended notice of appeal and the Court of Appeals ...


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