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Eva v. State

Supreme Court of Montana

August 27, 2019

RAYMOND EVA, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF MONTANA, LYNN GUYER, Warden, Montana State Prison, Respondent.

          ORDER

         Raymond Eva has filed several documents with this Court: Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Supporting Memorandum of Law, Supporting Brief, and "Motion to Dismiss and Exonerate for the Unlawful Conviction(s) and Illegal Incarceration for State's Failure to Comply with Legislative Intent of the State Law Statutes." Eva seeks relief based on his claims that his judgment and sentence are void and illegal. He concludes, therefore, that his incarceration is unlawful.

         This Court will address his claims even though his filings are not in compliance with M. R. App. P. 14. Eva has filed twenty-one pages of typewritten pleadings. His filings exceed the twelve-page or 4, 000-word maximum contained in M. R. App. P. 14(9). "No separate memorandum of law or brief shall be filed with the application[.]" M. R. App. P. l4(5)(b)(iii).

         This Court is familiar with Eva's history.[1] On May 26, 2004, Eva entered pleas of guilty to two counts each of sexual intercourse without consent and sexual assault. The Second Judicial District Court, Butte-Silver Bow County, sentenced Eva to the Montana State Prison (MSP) for concurrent terms of thirty years with twenty years suspended. Eva did not appeal.

         Eva was released to begin serving his suspended term. In December 2015, Eva's supervising officer filed a Report of Violation alleging that Eva violated his terms and conditions of his probation. The State filed a petition to revoke. Eva appeared in the District Court and admitted to the allegations. The District Court revoked his suspended sentence and imposed four concurrent terms of twenty years to MSP. Eva filed a petition for postconviction relief, pursuant to Montana statutes, in 2016, and the District Court denied his petition. This Court affirmed the court's denial in an unpublished Opinion. Eva v. State, 2018 MT UN, ¶¶ 2, 15, 2018 Mont. LEXIS 10.

         In his instant petition, Eva argues that his conviction and sentence are illegal because of his interpretations of federal law, Montana and United States Constitutions, and state law. He states that "[t]he Judge in the accusatory stage in this matter was the same Judge who pronounced sentence upon the Petitioner[.]" He contends that his judgment is "VOID" because the District Court never had subject matter jurisdiction and that his due process rights have been violated.

         Eva cannot find relief here with his instant petition. He is procedurally constrained pursuant to Montana statutes. Section 46-22-101(2), MCA, reads that "[t]he relief under this chapter is not available to attack the legality of an order revoking a suspended or deferred sentence." Eva cannot challenge his 2016 sentence upon revocation with this remedy.

         Moreover, his claims have no merit. His references to federal law concerning grand juries do not apply to states. "' [T]he Fifth Amendment's grand jury requirement has not been construed to apply to the states.'" State v. Montgomery, 2015 MT 151, ¶ 9, 379 Mont. 353, 350 P.3d 77 (quoting U.S. v. Allen, 406 F.3d 940, 942 (8th Cir. 2005)). In Montgomery, this Court held that "Montana statutes offer four methods to commence a prosecution in this state, one of which is indictment by a grand jury. Sections 46-11-10 l(1)-(4), MCA." Montgomery, ¶ 11. '" [A] defendant is not entitled to any specific procedure.'" Montgomery, ¶ 11 (citing State v. Haller, 2013 MT 199, ¶ 8, 371 Mont. 86, 306 P.3d 338) (internal citation omitted). If the State commences prosecution by filing an application and an affidavit that identifies supporting evidence demonstrating probable cause, the district court has subject matter jurisdiction to proceed "as stated in Mont. Const, art. VII, § 4(1) and § 3-5-302(1)(a), MCA[.]" Montgomery, ¶ 11.

         Available electronic records indicate that the State of Montana commenced Eva's felony prosecution according to Montana's Constitution and under its applicable statutory scheme by filing an application which includes an information for leave of court and an affidavit supported by evidence. Section 46-11-201(2), MCA (2001). See also Montgomery, ¶¶ 9-11; Mont. Const, art. II, § 20(1); §§ 46-11-101(3), 46-11-102(1), and 46-10-105(2), MCA. The District Court had subject matter jurisdiction, and Eva's judgment is not void. Eva cannot demonstrate that he is serving a facially invalid sentence. Lott v. State, 2006 MT 279, ¶ 22, Mont. 150 P.3d 337. In light of the foregoing, we decline to address his motion. M. R. App. P. 14(5). Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that Eva's Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is DENIED and DISMISSED.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Eva's Motion to Dismiss and Exonerate for the Unlawful Conviction(s) and Illegal Incarceration for State's Failure to Comply With Legislative Intent of the State Law Statutes is DENIED, as moot.

         The Clerk is directed to provide a copy of this Order to counsel of record and to Raymond Eva personally.

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Notes:

[1] Eva v. State, No. OP 06-0416, Order denying motion to vacate sentence and for release from custody (Mont. Jul. 5, 2006); Eva v. State, No. OP 07-0210, Order denying writ of habeas corpus (Mont. Apr. 4, 2007); Eva v. State, No. DA 17-0187, 2018 MT 11N, 2018 Mont. LEXIS 10 (Jan. 16, 2018); Eva v. O'Fallon, No. OP 17-0418, Order denying writ of habeas corpus (Mont. Aug. 1, 2017); and Eva v. ...


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