Carlos Ramirez v. State of Iowa

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF IOWA No. 16-1893 Filed June 6, 2018 CARLOS RAMIREZ, Applicant-Appellant, vs. STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee. ________________________________________________________________ Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, John J. Haney, Judge. The applicant appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction relief. REVERSED AND REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS. Benjamin D. Bergmann and Alexander Smith of Parrish Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gribble Gentry Brown & Bergmann L.L.P., Des Moines, for appellant. Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State. Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ. 2 POTTERFIELD, Judge. Carlos Ramirez appeals from the district court’s denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR). As he did in his PCR application, Ramirez maintains he received ineffective assistance from trial counsel. Specifically, he maintains counsel was ineffective by failing (1) to ensure Ramirez’s written guilty pleas conformed to Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.8(2)(b); (2) to advise him adequately of the immigration consequences of his pleas; and (3) to mitigate the immigration consequences. Alternatively, Ramirez asks us to apply a new prejudice standard under the Iowa Constitution if we find that Ramirez has failed to establish prejudice under the well-known Strickland1 standard or to determine the failure to inform a defendant adequately of immigration consequences constitutes “structural error,” allowing Ramirez to succeed without having to establish how he was prejudiced. I. Background Facts and Proceedings. Ramirez was born in the Dominican Republic in 1976. He immigrated to the United States in 2003. At the time he was charged by trial information, in October 2011, Ramirez was a legal permanent resident of the United States and had been for a number of years. Additionally, he had six children2 who were either residents or citizens of the United States. Ramirez was charged by trial information with two counts of child endangerment, one count of harassment in the first degree, and one count of 1 Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). 2 Ramirez had six children who lived in the United States at the time he was charged; by the time he entered his guilty pleas, he was expecting his seventh. 3 domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury. It was alleged Ramirez had hit his wife with a closed fist—leaving a bruise on his wife’s bicep—while she changed the diaper of their two-year-old child. Then, after his wife began packing a bag to leave the residence, Ramirez laid on the couple’s bed near their one-year-old child while holding a knife and told his wife he would kill the child before he let her leave with the children. His wife reported Ramirez frequently told her he was going to kill her. In a second trial information, Ramirez was also charged with one count of child endangerment and one count of harassment in the first degree. It was alleged Ramirez had struck his two-year-old child and had again threatened to kill his wife. In May 2012, Ramirez entered a written guilty plea to ...

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