Submitted on Briefs: February 27, 2019
From District Court of the Thirteenth Judicial District, In
and For the County of Yellowstone, Cause No. DV 15-1166
Honorable Ingrid G. Gustafson, Presiding Judge.
Appellant: Ronald Mascarena, Self-Represented, Butte, Montana
Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Tammy A.
Hinderman, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana Scott
Twito, Yellowstone County Attorney, Billings, Montana
Ronald Fermin Mascarena appeals from an order of the
Thirteenth Judicial District Court, Yellowstone County,
dismissing his petition for postconviction relief without an
evidentiary hearing. We affirm.
We restate the issue on appeal as follows:
the District Court erred when it dismissed Mascarena's
petition for postconviction relief.
AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
In 1999, Mascarena pleaded guilty to felony Partner or Family
Member Assault (PFMA) and was required to register as a
violent offender. In 2007, Mascarena was charged with failure
to register as a violent offender, a felony. He entered a
plea of nolo contendere and was sentenced to three years to
the Department of Corrections, all suspended. Mascarena's
sentence was subsequently revoked in August 2009, and again
in October 2009. In February 2011, Mascarena filed a petition
for an out-of-time appeal to this Court concerning his
failure to register conviction, alleging extraordinary
circumstances justified his untimely appeal. This Court
granted the petition. However, the appeal was ultimately
dismissed on September 20, 2011, when the appeal was deemed
frivolous. On September 2, 2015, Mascarena filed a petition
for postconviction relief. On December 20, 2016, the District
Court dismissed the petition without a hearing, concluding
Mascarena's claims were time barred and finding no
equitable grounds to extend the deadline. Mascarena appeals.
We review a district court's denial of a petition for
postconviction relief to determine whether that court's
findings are clearly erroneous and whether its conclusions of
law are correct. Walker v. State, 2003 MT 134,
¶ 36, 316 Mont. 103, 68 P.3d 872. A petitioner seeking
to reverse a district court's denial of a petition for
postconviction relief "bears a heavy burden."
State v. Cobell, 2004 MT 46, ¶ 14, 320 Mont.
122, 86 P.3d 20.
Whether the District Court erred when it dismissed