Hassan v. State, A21-1645

CourtCourt of Appeals of Minnesota
Writing for the CourtLARKIN, JUDGE.
PartiesRami Hussein Hassan, petitioner, Appellant, v. State of Minnesota, Respondent.
Docket NumberA21-1645
Decision Date13 June 2022

Rami Hussein Hassan, petitioner, Appellant,

State of Minnesota, Respondent.

No. A21-1645

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

June 13, 2022

This Opinion is Nonprecedential Except as Provided by Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 136.01, subd. 1(c).

Olmsted County District Court File No. 55-CR-18-7694

Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Leah C. Graf, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

Keith Ellison, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Michael J. Spindler-Krage, Rochester City Attorney, Brent R. Carlsen, Assistant City Attorney, Rochester, Minnesota (for respondent)

Considered and decided by Larkin, Presiding Judge; Connolly, Judge; and Smith, Tracy M., Judge.


Appellant challenges the postconviction court's denial of his petition for relief, arguing that his conviction for domestic assault must be reversed because the state failed to prove that he did not act in self-defense. We affirm.



The state charged Appellant Rami Hussein Hassan with domestic assault-fear, domestic assault-harm, and disorderly conduct. The case was tried to a jury, and the state presented evidence regarding the following circumstances.

Hassan had an altercation with S.C., the mother of his child, after S.C. drove Hassan to her apartment to retrieve a blanket. S.C. went into her apartment, got the blanket, returned to her car, and refused to drive Hassan to his mother's home, which angered him. Hassan did not possess a driver's license and depended on S.C. for transportation.

S.C. ultimately agreed to give Hassan a ride. As S.C. drove, Hassan became upset and hit her in the face. S.C. stopped the car and told Hassan to get out. Hassan refused and took S.C.'s car key from the ignition. S.C. attempted to grab the key from Hassan's hand, and in doing so, inadvertently hit him in the chin. Hassan grabbed S.C. by her hair in response.

Hassan and S.C. got out of the car, and Hassan left the scene with S.C.'s car key. He later returned to the vehicle, encountered S.C., and an argument ensued. Hassan entered the car and started it, and S.C. began banging on the hood and demanding her key. Hassan exited the car. When S.C. attempted to grab her key, Hassan struck her "[r]eally hard" in the face. A bystander called police, and officers responded and arrested Hassan.

The jury found Hassan guilty of domestic assault-harm and disorderly conduct, and not guilty of domestic assault-fear. The district court entered judgment of conviction for the domestic-assault offense and imposed a 30-day stayed jail sentence. Hassan petitioned for postconviction relief, seeking reversal of his domestic-assault conviction on


the grounds that the state failed to prove that he did not act in self-defense. The postconviction court summarily denied relief, concluding that the evidence was sufficient to sustain the jury's verdict.

Hassan appeals.


We review the denial of a postconviction petition for an abuse of discretion. Pearson v. State, 891 N.W.2d 590, 596 (Minn. 2017). A postconviction court abuses its discretion if it "exercised its discretion in an arbitrary or capricious manner, based its ruling on an erroneous view of the law, or made clearly erroneous factual findings." Id. (quotation omitted).

In considering a claim of insufficient evidence, we review the record to determine whether the evidence, when viewed in a light most favorable to the conviction, was sufficient to allow the jury to reach its verdict. State v. Webb, 440 N.W.2d 426, 430 (Minn. 1989). We assume that the jury believed the state's witnesses and disbelieved any evidence to the contrary. State v. Taylor, 650 N.W.2d 190, 206 (Minn. 2002). We defer to the jury's credibility determinations and will not reweigh the evidence on appeal. State v. Franks, 765 N.W.2d 68, 73...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT