Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bolze v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

May 6, 2019

DENNIS R. BOLZE
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Assigned on Briefs March 27, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Sevier County No. 8611 Steven Wayne Sword, Judge, by Interchange

         The Petitioner, Dennis R. Bolze, appeals the dismissal of his motion to vacate his state convictions, which the trial court treated as a petition for post-conviction relief and determined to be time-barred. After review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         Tenn. R. App. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed

          Dennis R. Bolze, Coleman, Florida, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and James B. Dunn, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Alan E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Camille R. McMullen and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE.

         FACTS

         In May 2001, the Petitioner was indicted by the Sevier County Grand Jury on sixteen counts of failure to file sales tax reports. He was released on bond. His July 2, 2001 arraignment sheet showed that he "[a]ppeared [without] counsel, but will retain [c]ounsel, 15 days allowed[.]"

         On August 28, 2001, the Petitioner signed a waiver of jury trial and entry of guilty plea. The waiver shows the Petitioner was acting pro se. The plea provided that the Petitioner would be sentenced to two years for each Class E felony conviction in Counts 1 through 4, with one count served consecutively, for an aggregate sentence of six years' probation. The remaining counts were nolle prosequied. The trial court accepted the plea and entered judgments, the top right of each judgment form indicating that the Petitioner was pro se. In August 2003, the Petitioner, then represented by counsel, successfully moved for unsupervised probation.

         While serving his state probation, however, the Petitioner was conducting a 21-million dollar Ponzi scheme between 2002 and 2008, "affecting over one hundred victims in the United States and Europe and resulting in a multi-million dollar loss to fraud victims." United States v. Bolze, 444 Fed.Appx. 889, 890 (6th Cir. 2012). Represented by counsel, the Petitioner ultimately entered an open guilty plea to three counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering, and the district court imposed a prison sentence of 327 months. Id. At his federal sentencing hearing, the Petitioner raised multiple challenges to his Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") but significantly did not challenge the enhancement of his sentence based on his prior criminal history. United States v. Dennis R. Bolze, No. 3:09-CR-93, 2010 WL 2927418, at *2 n.5 (E.D. Tenn. July 23, 2010).

         The Petitioner took no action on his state court convictions until July 31, 2017, when he filed the instant "Motion To Vacate Judgment, Expunge Conviction And Seal Record" in the Sevier County Circuit Court. In his motion, the Petitioner claimed that during the hearing on August 28, 2001, which was for the purpose of requesting more time to retain a lawyer or to have one appointed for him, the State approached him and offered a six-year plea agreement.[1] The Petitioner said that he accepted the plea without consulting with a lawyer concerning its "disadvantages or consequences," and that the court did not inquire into his lack of counsel or confirm that he had agreed to waive his right to an attorney.

         Based on these assertions, the Petitioner argued that the structural error of the court's failing to make a proper inquiry into his self-representation undermined his state convictions. He, accordingly, asked that his state convictions be vacated. He further requested that the court "dismiss the case, expunge and seal the record in the interest of justice" because "the passage of time, faded memories, the loss of records and evidence, the where ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.