541 A.2d 855 (R.I. 1988), 88-14, Ouimette v. Moran

Docket Nº:88-14-C.A.
Citation:541 A.2d 855
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM. KELLEHER, Justice.
Party Name:John F. OUIMETTE v. John MORAN.
Attorney:Paul J. DiMaio, Grilli, DiMaio & Berson, Providence, Allegra E. Munson, Norfolk, Mass., John A. Bicarri, Wakefield, Mass., for plaintiff., James E. O'Neil, Atty. Gen., Thomas Dickinson, Asst. Atty. Gen., for defendant. Paul J. DiMaio, Grilli, DiMaio & Berson, Providence, Allegra E. Munson, Norfo...
Case Date:June 06, 1988
Court:Supreme Court of Rhode Island
 
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Page 855

541 A.2d 855 (R.I. 1988)

John F. OUIMETTE

v.

John MORAN.

No. 88-14-C.A.

Supreme Court of Rhode Island.

June 6, 1988.

Page 856

Paul J. DiMaio, Grilli, DiMaio & Berson, Providence, Allegra E. Munson, Norfolk, Mass., John A. Bicarri, Wakefield, Mass., for plaintiff.

James E. O'Neil, Atty. Gen., Thomas Dickinson, Asst. Atty. Gen., for defendant.

OPINION

PER CURIAM.

This matter came before the Supreme Court on an order issued to the petitioner, John F. Ouimette, to appear and show cause why his appeal should not be summarily decided. The appeal is from a denial of his application for postconviction relief filed under G.L. 1956 (1985 Reenactment) chapter 9.1 of title 10. In his petition Ouimette alleged prosecutorial and judicial misconduct. In response the state filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure. Before the hearing on the state's motion to dismiss, both parties filed exhibits and supplemental materials for the trial justice's consideration. After argument on the motion to dismiss, the trial justice entered summary judgment against the petitioner.

First petitioner argues that the trial justice erred in treating the state's motion to dismiss as a motion for summary judgment. In this argument petitioner is clearly in error. In this jurisdiction an application for postconviction relief is civil in nature. State v. Tassone, 417 A.2d 323 (R.I.1980). If a trial justice, in ruling on a motion to dismiss, considers matters outside the scope of the complaint, the motion is converted into a motion for summary judgment. Palmigiano v. State, 120 R.I. 402, 387 A.2d 1382 (1978); Palazzo v. Big G Supermarkets, Inc., 110 R.I. 242, 292 A.2d 235 (1972).

The record shows that both the petitioner and the state filed supplemental materials for consideration by the trial justice. It was petitioner himself who initially presented extraneous materials in the form of exhibits attached to his application. In response the state filed its motion to dismiss and supplemented its motion with exhibits for consideration by the court. Thereafter, petitioner provided the court with additional exhibits to consider. Furthermore, at the hearing on the motion to dismiss, the trial justice invited both sides to file any additional materials for his consideration. He specifically stated, "[I]f the record isn't complete...

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