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Younkin v. Powell County

Supreme Court of Montana

September 24, 2013

WILLIAM SHANE YOUNKIN, Petitioner,
v.
POWELL COUNTY, MONTANA STATE PRISON, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.

ORDER

William Shane Younkin seeks a Writ of Habeas Corpus on the ground that the State procrastinated for over two years before filing charges now pending against him and that key witnesses have been lost due to the delay. In addition, he alleges that he has been denied access to legal materials and that, despite repeated telephone calls, his attorney refuses to respond or to visit him. Younkin also claims that the District Court refused to file his pro se motion to dismiss and refuses to consider his complaints regarding legal representation. He requests that diligent counsel be appointed and that he receive access to legal materials.

We secured a copy of the Powell County District Court Docket in Cause No. DC-13-41, which Younkin references in his petition. The docket indicates that that leave to file the Information was granted on June 6, 2013. Younkin has been charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault and one count of Assault on a Peace Officer/Judicial Officer. An initial appearance occurred on July 2, 2013, at which time the court set conditions of release. Younkin remains incarcerated pending a trial.

When an accused's liberty is at stake, he or she is entitled to representation by counsel (Sixth Amendment to U.S. Constitution; Article II, Section 24 of the Montana Constitution). A district court may refuse to accept pro se motions from defendants who are adequately represented by counsel. State v. Samples, 2005 MT 210, 328 Mont. 242, 119 P.3d 1191. (citations omitted). Younkin appears to claim that he is inadequately represented by counsel in the Powell County District Court; however, the court's refusal to allow Younkin to file a motion to dismiss does not establish the merit of his claim. The docket indicates that he is represented by Joseph C. Connors and that these charges are in the early stages of prosecution. Younkin makes only a conclusory statement that the presiding judge refuses to do anything; he should present his concerns regarding the adequacy of his legal representation to the District Court.

Younkin has not persuaded us that we should accept jurisdiction over this petition in the early stages of his case. M. R. App. P. 14; § 46-22-101(1), MCA.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is DENIED.

The Clerk is directed to provide a copy hereof to the Hon. Ray Dayton, to the Powell County Attorney, to Younkin's counsel Joseph C. Connors and to William Shane Younkin.


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