The Appellate Group

Carrell v. State

Carrell v. State, 2023 UT App 93 (Tenney, J.)

Criminal Procedure

Defendant was convicted of numerous counts of sexual abuse of a child. His convictions were affirmed on appeal. Defendant filed a petition for postconviction relief. The district court granted the State’s motion for summary judgment. Defendant appealed. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The district court did not commit plain error or abuse its discretion under the Post-Conviction Remedies Act when it denied Defendant’s requests for appointment of counsel. 
  • The district court did not err in granting the State’s request for summary judgment. 
  • Practice Tip: Post-conviction courts enjoy wide discretion over the ultimate decision about whether to appoint pro bono counsel in post-conviction cases.
  • Practice Tip: The court noted that it was not aware of any authority that clearly establishes that if a defendant chooses to retain the same counsel all the way through direct appeal that this creates an affirmative constitutional right that would not otherwise exist to now have counsel appointed for collateral review.

Read the full court opinion