Submitted On Briefs: January 19, 2017
Seth Levy, Esq., Brunswick, for appellant John P. Stevens
State of Maine did not file a brief
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, HJELM, and
John P. Stevens appeals from a judgment of conviction entered
by the trial court (Kennebec County, Jabar, J.)
following his guilty plea to a charge of receiving stolen
property (Class C), 17-A M.R.S. § 359(1)(B)(6) (2016).
Stevens contends that in order to establish that his plea was
voluntary as required by M.R.U. Crim. P. 11(b)(2), the court
was required to ask him if he was aware of, and understood
the consequences of, any plea negotiations that may have
preceded his plea. Because Stevens did not move to withdraw
his unconditional guilty plea, and does not contend that the
trial court lacked jurisdiction or that it imposed an
unconstitutional sentence, we dismiss the appeal.
FACTS AND PROCEDURE
The July 2015 indictment charging Stevens with receiving
stolen property was based on an allegation that he sold
copper wire belonging to Central Maine Power Company knowing
or believing that it had been stolen. See 17-A
M.R.S. § 359(1)(A) (2016). On the day of his trial, with
a jury selected, Stevens, assisted by counsel,
unconditionally changed his plea to guilty. The court
conducted an inquiry pursuant to M.R.U. Crim. P. 11 and
accepted the open plea,  which Stevens never moved to withdraw.
At the sentencing hearing six weeks later, the court entered
judgment and sentenced Stevens to four years imprisonment.
Stevens also pleaded guilty to four separately-charged
misdemeanors and received concurrent sentences. He then
The State filed an untimely brief and moved to dismiss the
appeal on the ground that Stevens cannot take a direct appeal
from his guilty plea absent a challenge to the courts
jurisdiction or the constitutionality of his punishment.
Stevens objected to the late filing and to the motion to
dismiss. We rejected the States brief and ordered that the
motion to dismiss be considered with the merits of the
A threshold issue before reaching the merits of Stevenss
appeal is whether we will grant the States motion to dismiss.
More than twenty years ago we held that
[n]o direct appeal . . . asserting errors in the
determination of criminal guilt may be taken from a
conviction after a guilty plea (other than a conditional
guilty plea . . .), except on grounds of jurisdiction or
excessive, cruel or unusual punishment, because there is no
decision by the court to appeal from. Challenges to a
conviction after a guilty plea on grounds of involuntariness
of the plea, lack of knowledgeability on the part of the
defendant regarding the consequences of his plea, ineffective
assistance of counsel, misrepresentation, coercion or duress
in securing the plea, the insanity of the pleader, or
noncompliance with the requirements of M.R. Crim. P.
are collateral and may be pursued only by post-conviction
State v. Huntley,
676 A.2d 501, 503 (Me. 1996)
(citations omitted). See alsoState v.
Pfeil,1998 ME 245, ¶ 7, 720 A.2d 573 ("The
reason that post-conviction review is appropriate and that an
adequate review cannot be held on direct appeal is ... [that]
an evidentiary hearing is necessary to develop a record from
which a court can determine whether the pleas were made
knowingly and voluntarily."). Because the defendant in
Huntley did not challenge the trial courts
jurisdiction and did not assert ...