The Appellate Group

State v. Brown

State v. Brown, 2021 UT 11 (Himonas, J.)


Brown filed multiple petitions for post conviction relief. Brown’s first post-sentencing filing was filed a year-and-a-half after he was sentenced in his case and was, thus, time barred. Now Brown argues that his time within which to appeal should be reinstated because the Plea Withdrawal State’s (PWS) provision time barring him from filing his PCRA petition violates multiple state and federal constitutional rights—as well as the Utah Constitution’s separation of powers provision. Acknowledging that these are “meaty” issues that merit the court’s attention, The Utah Supreme Court nevertheless dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, finding:

  • Rule 4(f) does not provide Brown relief, because Brown knew of and could have filed a direct appeal after conviction, either through counsel or on his own. His appeal is, thus, time barred.
  • Practice Point: A party wishing to reinstate a time within which to appeal should argue reinstatement under rule 4(f) of the Utah Rules of Appellate Procedure and not Manning v. State, 2005 UT 61. However, unpreserved and untimely challenges are still barred under rule 4(f).
  • Practice Point: Parties may elect to raise certain challenges by means of a declaratory judgment, a rule 22(e) motion under the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure, or an extraordinary writ.

Read the full court opinion