June 17, 2013

Colorado Supreme Court - June 10, 2013

Dooly v. People - Lawyer Erred In Moving To Dismiss Client's 35(c) Without Client's Consent 
Facts: Mr. Dooly filed a Rule 35(c) motion with the trial court. The trial court appointed the Public Defender’s Office. After a year went by, Mr. Dooly claimed his lawyer was not investigating his claims. The trial court ordered the prosecution to respond to Mr. Dooly’s substantive allegations in the 35(c) motion. Before the prosecution responded, Mr. Dooly's lawyer moved to dismiss the 35(c) because “the motion was without merit.” The trial court granted the motion. 
Issue: Whether the trial court erred in granting defense counsel’s motion to dismiss the 35(c) without Mr. Dooly’s consent?
Held: Yes.
Reasoning: Justice Coats wrote “Because every person convicted of a crime is provided a statutory right to make application for postconviction review and is entitled to a prompt review and ruling granting or denying any motion substantially complying with Form 4 , the District Court erred in granting counsel's motion to dismiss against Dooly's wishes. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is therefore reversed with instructions to order that the defendant's application for postconviction relief be reinstated.”
Text of People v. Dooly here:

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