Pizzuto v. State, 21637

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtTROUT; McDEVITT, C.J., JOHNSON and SILAK, JJ., and LEGGETT
Citation903 P.2d 58,127 Idaho 469
PartiesGerald Ross PIZZUTO, Jr., Petitioner-Appellant, v. STATE of Idaho, Respondent. Boise, February 1995 Term
Docket NumberNo. 21637,21637
Decision Date03 August 1995

Page 58

903 P.2d 58
127 Idaho 469
Gerald Ross PIZZUTO, Jr., Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
STATE of Idaho, Respondent.
No. 21637.
Supreme Court of Idaho,
Boise, February 1995 Term.
Aug. 3, 1995.
Rehearing Denied Oct. 17, 1995.

Radin & Webb, Idaho Falls, for appellant. John L. Radin argued.

Alan G. Lance, Idaho Atty. Gen., and Lynn E. Thomas, Deputy Atty. Gen. (argued), Boise, for respondent.

Page 59

127 Idaho 470

OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS APPEAL

TROUT, Justice.

This capital case is before the Court on a motion by the State to dismiss the appeal of Gerald R. Pizzuto on the ground that I.C. § 19-2719 precludes further proceedings on Pizzuto's claims.

I.

BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

In 1986, Pizzuto was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of robbery, and one count of grand theft, all in connection with the deaths of Berta and Delbert Herndon in 1985. Pizzuto was sentenced to death for the murders. Following sentencing, Pizzuto filed his first petition for post-conviction relief alleging numerous errors in the proceedings leading to his conviction and sentencing. The district court denied post-conviction relief. Pizzuto appealed his convictions and the denial of post-conviction relief to this Court. In State v. Pizzuto, 119 Idaho 742, 810 P.2d 680 (1991), cert. denied, 503 U.S. 908, 112 S.Ct. 1268, 117 L.Ed.2d 495 (1992), we affirmed the convictions and denial of post-conviction relief.

In 1994, Pizzuto filed a second petition for post-conviction relief in which he raised claims not raised in his first petition. At the same time, he made a motion to disqualify the presiding judge for cause. The district court dismissed the petition for post-conviction relief on the ground that the claims raised were known or reasonably should have been known, but not raised, at the time Pizzuto brought his first petition. Accordingly, these claims were forfeited pursuant to I.C. § 19-2719. The district court concluded that in light of its dismissal of the petition for post-conviction relief, the motion to disqualify was moot. Pizzuto appealed. The State then filed the present motion with this Court alleging that the claims raised by Pizzuto in his second petition are claims which were or could have been known at the time of the filing of the prior petition for post-conviction relief. Therefore, the State contends that I.C. § 19-2719 bars any further action in state court on those claims and that this appeal should be summarily dismissed. We agree.

II.

ANALYSIS

A. We Need not Address the District Court's Ruling on the Motion to Disqualify

Post-conviction proceedings are ordinarily governed by the provisions of the Uniform Post Conviction Procedure Act (I.C. §§ 19-4901 to -4911). This Court has held that proceedings under this Act are civil in nature and are governed by the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure. E.g., State v. Goodrich, 104 Idaho 469, 471, 660 P.2d 934, 936 (1983) (citations omitted). Although I.C. § 19-2719 is not a part of the Uniform Act, it merely serves to modify post-conviction proceedings in capital cases. State v. Rhoades, 120 Idaho 795, 807, 820 P.2d 665, 677 (1991). Such proceedings in capital cases remain civil in nature and are therefore governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure. See Paradis v. State, 110 Idaho 534, 536, 716 P.2d 1306, 1308 (1986) (citing State v. Bearshield, 104 Idaho 676, 678, 662 P.2d 548, 550 (1983)).

I.R.C.P. 40(d)(2) provides that a party may make a motion to disqualify a judge for cause. Although the denial of such a motion is a matter within the sound discretion of the trial judge, I.R.C.P. 40(d)(5) provides that, "[u]pon the filing of a motion for disqualification, the presiding judge shall be without authority to act in such action except to grant or deny such motion for disqualification." We have held that all orders following the filing of a motion to disqualify (under I.C. § 1-1801(4), which has been repealed and is now implemented by I.R.C.P. 40), but prior to a ruling on that motion, "were improper, void and of no effect." Lewiston Lime Co. v. Barney, 87 Idaho 462, 467, 394 P.2d 323, 326 (1964). In this case, Pizzuto made a motion to disqualify the presiding judge for cause. The district judge, however, did not rule on that motion and simply dismissed Pizzuto's

Page 60

[127 Idaho 471] petition for post-conviction relief. Pizzuto...

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58 practice notes
  • Pizzuto v. Arave, No. 97-99017.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • February 6, 2002
    ...as moot. It dismissed the second petition under Idaho Code § 19-2719, and the Idaho Supreme Court again affirmed. Pizzuto v. State, 127 Idaho 469, 903 P.2d 58 (1995) (Pizzuto The federal district court denied Pizzuto's habeas petition April 7, 1997. Pizzuto moved to alter or amend the judgm......
  • Stuart v. State Of Idaho, No. 34200.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • May 10, 2010
    ...a prima facie showing that issues raised in that petition fit within the narrow exception provided by the statute.” Pizzuto v. State, 127 Idaho 469, 471, 903 P.2d 58, 60 (1995) (citing Paz, 123 Idaho at 760, 852 P.2d at 1357). Where a claim is brought that alleges that a claim could not rea......
  • Grinols v. State, No. A-7349.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Alaska
    • October 13, 2000
    ...Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 689, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 2065, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). 71. See Jones, 759 P.2d at 569-570. 72. See Pizzuto v. State, 127 Idaho 469, 903 P.2d 58, 61 (1995); Wilkins v. State, 522 N.W.2d 822, 824 (Iowa 1994). 73. A similar analysis applies when the defendant claims that t......
  • Hoffman v. Arave, Civil No. 94-0200-S-BLW.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Idaho
    • June 13, 1997
    ...has been consistent in its application of § 19-2719's procedural requirements to bar untimely claims. See, e.g., Pizzuto v. State, 127 Idaho 469, 903 P.2d 58, 60-61 7. With one exception, each ground supporting claim F alleges that counsel was ineffective for failing to raise in state court......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
58 cases
  • Pizzuto v. Arave, No. 97-99017.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • February 6, 2002
    ...as moot. It dismissed the second petition under Idaho Code § 19-2719, and the Idaho Supreme Court again affirmed. Pizzuto v. State, 127 Idaho 469, 903 P.2d 58 (1995) (Pizzuto The federal district court denied Pizzuto's habeas petition April 7, 1997. Pizzuto moved to alter or amend the judgm......
  • Stuart v. State Of Idaho, No. 34200.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • May 10, 2010
    ...a prima facie showing that issues raised in that petition fit within the narrow exception provided by the statute.” Pizzuto v. State, 127 Idaho 469, 471, 903 P.2d 58, 60 (1995) (citing Paz, 123 Idaho at 760, 852 P.2d at 1357). Where a claim is brought that alleges that a claim could not rea......
  • Grinols v. State, No. A-7349.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Alaska
    • October 13, 2000
    ...Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 689, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 2065, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). 71. See Jones, 759 P.2d at 569-570. 72. See Pizzuto v. State, 127 Idaho 469, 903 P.2d 58, 61 (1995); Wilkins v. State, 522 N.W.2d 822, 824 (Iowa 1994). 73. A similar analysis applies when the defendant claims that t......
  • Hoffman v. Arave, Civil No. 94-0200-S-BLW.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Idaho
    • June 13, 1997
    ...has been consistent in its application of § 19-2719's procedural requirements to bar untimely claims. See, e.g., Pizzuto v. State, 127 Idaho 469, 903 P.2d 58, 60-61 7. With one exception, each ground supporting claim F alleges that counsel was ineffective for failing to raise in state court......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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