Goodlette v. Causey

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
  • Date Filed: 06-22-2016
  • Case #: A156701
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeVore, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Flynn, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 138.590, a petitioner is entitled to suitable counsel, but a post-conviction relief court is not required to appoint substitute counsel simply because a petitioner disagrees with his or her attorney’s reasonable strategic choices.

Goodlette appealed the post-conviction relief (PCR) court’s judgment denying his motion for substitute counsel. Goodlette asserted that the attorney failed to perform certain tasks that Goodlette believed were necessary to prepare for the PCR trial and that his relationship with the attorney had broken down. The Court held that the attorney's actions could be interpreted as reasonable strategic choices and even though Goodlette disagreed with the strategy, he was not entitled to subtitute counsel. Goodlette relied on Knox v. Nooth and Bailey v. Nooth. The Court held that Knox and Bailey were inapplicable because the PCR court did not remove Goodlette’s attorney and then fail to appoint substitute counsel; Goodlette was not put in a position of proceeding without counsel. Affirmed.

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