Snyder v. State

Decision Date22 March 2011
Docket NumberNo. WD 72071.,WD 72071.
Citation334 S.W.3d 735
PartiesMarcus SNYDER, Appellant,v.STATE of Missouri, Respondent.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Susan L. Hogan, Kansas City, MO, for Appellant.Dora A. Fichter, for Respondent.Before Division One: THOMAS H. NEWTON, Presiding Judge, JAMES M. SMART, JR., Judge and JOSEPH M. ELLIS, Judge.JOSEPH M. ELLIS, Judge.

Marcus Snyder appeals from the denial of his Rule 24.035 motion for post-conviction relief without an evidentiary hearing. For the following reasons, the motion court's decision is affirmed.

On September 5, 2007, Appellant was charged with one count of robbery in the first degree, § 569.020; 1 one count of burglary in the first degree, § 569.160; and two counts of armed criminal action, § 571.015. On April 2, 2008, pursuant to a plea agreement with the State, Appellant appeared before the circuit court and entered a plea of guilty to the robbery and burglary charges. In exchange for his plea, the State agreed to dismiss the armed criminal action counts, to recommend a cap on his sentences at fifteen years, and to recommend that his sentences be served concurrently with each other and with the sentences imposed in three other cases.2

After questioning Appellant about his understanding of the plea agreement and the rights he would be waiving, the circuit court determined that Appellant's plea was knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily entered and accepted the plea. On May 7, 2008, the circuit court sentenced Appellant consistently with the plea agreement to concurrent terms of fifteen years on the robbery count and ten years on the burglary count.3 The court ordered that those sentences also be served concurrently with Appellant's three other sentences. On May 9, 2008, Appellant was delivered into the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections.

On July 10, 2008, Appellant filed a motion for an extension of time in which to file a motion for post-conviction relief under Rule 24.035, claiming that a lack of legal resources at the facility where he was incarcerated prevented him from filing a timely motion. Appellant predicted that he would be so situated for 90 to 120 days and requested an extension of 90 to 120 days in which to file his post-conviction motion. On July 10, 2008, the circuit court granted Appellant motion, ordering that he be granted an additional 120 days to file his 24.035 motion. On December 29, 2008, Appellant filed his motion for post-conviction relief. On January 29, 2009, appointed counsel filed a motion for extension of time in which to file an amended motion. The trial court granted that motion.4 Eventually, an amended motion was filed by appointed counsel on August 24, 2009, alleging, in relevant part, that Appellant's plea was not knowing and intelligently entered because counsel had misinformed him that he would be placed in a drug treatment program and released on probation after 120 days. On December 29, 2009, the motion court entered its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, denying Appellant's post-conviction motion without an evidentiary hearing.

In his sole point on appeal, Appellant claims that the motion court erred in denying his motion without an evidentiary hearing. He claims that the record did not refute his contention that counsel had been ineffective in promising that he would be released on probation after completing a 120–day treatment program.

Before analyzing Appellant's claim, however, we must address the State's contention, raised for the first time on appeal, that Appellant's original motion was filed out of time. The State argues that Appellant's claims were, therefore, waived and that this appeal should be dismissed.

“Generally, a movant is entitled to relief under Rule 24.035 or Rule 29.15 if the movant files a meritorious motion within the time limits set forth in those rules.” Gehrke v. State, 280 S.W.3d 54, 57 (Mo. banc 2009). Indeed, Rule 24.035 specifically provides that the [f]ailure to file a motion within the time provided by this Rule 24.035 shall constitute a complete waiver of any right to proceed under this Rule 24.035 and a complete waiver of any claim that could be raised in a motion filed pursuant to this Rule 24.035.” Rule 24.035(b). The prescribed time limits are constitutionally valid and mandatory. White v. State, 91 S.W.3d 154, 156 (Mo.App. W.D.2002). Where a movant fails to file his or her motion within the time allowed, there is a complete waiver of the right to seek post-conviction relief and a complete waiver of all claims that could have been raised in a timely post-conviction motion. Moore v. State, 328 S.W.3d 700, 702 (Mo. banc 2010). “When a motion is filed outside the time limits, the motion court is compelled to dismiss it.” 5 Gehrke, 280 S.W.3d at 57.

Where no direct appeal is taken from the judgment, a Rule 24.035 motion must be filed within 180 days of the date the movant is delivered to the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections. Rule 24.035(b). Appellant's motion was filed well beyond this time limitation. Furthermore, the motion court has no authority to grant an extension of time in which to file a post-conviction motion under Rule 24.035. White, 91 S.W.3d at 156; Elamin v. State, 6 S.W.3d 397, 398 (Mo.App. W.D.1999). Accordingly, Appellant's motion was clearly filed out of time.

Appellant contends, however, that, by failing to raise an objection to his motion being filed out of time with the motion court, the State waived any timeliness claim. In Andrews v. State, 282 S.W.3d 372 (Mo.App. W.D.2009), this Court held that a challenge to the timeliness of a post-conviction motion “is not an issue of jurisdiction and is just an issue of trial error.” Id. at 375 n. 3. We further noted:

The State also concedes that it did not raise its timeliness issue to the circuit court. The State, however, maintains that this issue can be raised for the first time on appeal. The State is correct that we have allowed this argument to be raised for the first time on appeal. Courts allowed this issue to be raised on appeal for the first time because they considered it to be a jurisdictional issue. Of course, as we discussed in footnote 3, the issue is not jurisdictional. Thus, it is unclear to us whether or not the State can raise this issue for the first time on appeal. We, however, do not need to resolve this issue....

Id. at 375 n. 4 (internal citations omitted).6 Appellant asks us to now determine whether the State waives a timeliness claim by failing to properly raise the issue with the motion court or whether the State may successfully make a timeliness claim for the first time on appeal.

The Eastern District of this Court has held that, despite the fact that the time limitations are not jurisdictional, the failure to comply with the time limit may be raised for the first time on appeal because of the inherent power and duty of the court of appeals to enforce Supreme Court Rules. Swofford v. State, 323 S.W.3d 60, 63 (Mo.App. E.D.2010). The Swofford court claimed that the court of appeals “can take action to enforce a Missouri Supreme Court rule even if no party objects, because parties cannot waive compliance with court rules.” Id. The court further stated that [p]ursuant to this power, we are authorized to consider and act on the untimeliness of a post-conviction motion whether or not the state raised the issue in the motion court or on appeal because the state cannot, by failing to object, waive a movant's noncompliance with the time constraints of the post-conviction relief rules.” Id. The Eastern District subsequently followed Swofford in Mackley v. State, 331 S.W.3d 733 (Mo.App. E.D.2011).

Swofford conflicts, however, with the Missouri Supreme Court's prior holding that “if a matter is not jurisdictional but rather is a procedural matter required by statute or rule or an affirmative defense of the sort listed in Rule 55.08, then it generally may be waived if not raised timely.” McCracken v. Wal–Mart Stores E., LP, 298 S.W.3d 473, 476 (Mo. banc 2009) (emphasis added); see also Reynolds v. Carter Cnty., 323 S.W.3d 447, 452 (Mo.App. S.D.2010). Thus, the rules of court may, indeed, be waived, and the reasoning of Swofford is fundamentally flawed.

Rule 24.035(b) states that [f]ailure to file a motion within the time provided by this Rule 24.035 shall constitute a complete waiver of any right to proceed under this Rule 24.035 and a complete waiver of any claim that could be raised in a motion filed pursuant to this Rule 24.035.” (Emphasis added.) Rule 24.035(a) provides that [t]he procedure to be followed for motions filed pursuant to this Rule 24.035 is governed by the rules of civil procedure insofar as applicable.” Looking to those rules of civil procedure, Rule 55.08 provides that [i]n pleading to a preceding pleading, a party shall set forth all applicable affirmative defenses and avoidances, including but not limited to ... statute of limitations, ... waiver, and any other matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense.” 7 (Emphasis added.) Likewise, Rule 55.27(a) requires that, aside from certain specified defenses not applicable herein, [e]very defense, in law or fact, to a claim in any pleading ... shall be asserted in the responsive pleading thereto if one is required.” Thus, Rule 55.08 and Rule 55.27(a) dictate that the State set forth in its responsive pleading to the post-conviction motion an assertion that the movant waived his or her right to proceed under Rule 24.035(b). Otherwise, the State waives its right to claim that Appellant waived his right to pursue post-conviction relief.

The time limitation in Rule 24.035 is akin to the various statutes of limitation, which result in the waiver of various causes of action not prosecuted within a certain period of time, and “the law is well settled that the affirmative defense of the statute of limitations is non-jurisdictional and can be waived.” Reynolds, 323...

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7 cases
  • Cornelious v. State
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • September 27, 2011
    ...McCracken v. Wal–Mart Stores E., LP, 298 S.W.3d 473, 476 (Mo. banc 2009). The rules of court, then, may be waived. Snyder v. State, 334 S.W.3d 735, 739 (Mo.App. W.D.2011). We find that the State waived its right to challenge Cornelious's post-conviction motion based upon the time limitation......
  • Gerlt v. State
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • April 12, 2011
    ...constitutes a waiver of the defense by the State. This court has very recently addressed this exact argument in Snyder v. State, 334 S.W.3d 735 (Mo.App.W.D.2011).3 In Snyder, this court held that “the State waive[s] its right to challenge Appellant's post-conviction motion based upon the ti......
  • Dorris v. State
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • January 17, 2012
    ...of a Rule 29.15 or Rule 24.035 motion is an issue that the State may waive by not raising in the motion court. Snyder v. State, 334 S.W.3d 735, 739–40 (Mo.App. W.D.2011). The court cited McCracken v. Wal–Mart Stores East, LP for its reasoning: “[I]f a matter is not jurisdictional but rather......
  • Bogard v. State
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • January 17, 2012
    ...constitutes a waiver of the issue by the State. See Gerlt v. State, 339 S.W.3d 578, 580–81 (Mo.App. W.D.2011); Snyder v. State, 334 S.W.3d 735, 739–40 (Mo.App. W.D.2011).3 Therefore, the State has waived the issue of untimely filing and we proceed to the merits.4 In his sole point on appeal......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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