Articles Posted in Idaho Supreme Court - Criminal

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In 2009, the State filed a petition against John Doe, charging that he was within the purview of Idaho's Juvenile Corrections Act (JCA) for delivery of a schedule III controlled substance, hydrocodone. The State and Doe's counsel reached an agreement whereby Doe admitted to the charge and, in exchange, the State waived proceedings to bring Doe into adult court. At the conclusion of Doe's sentencing hearing, the magistrate judge memorialized his ruling in a "decree" that was issued that same day. The decree stated, "It is hereby Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed that [Doe] is within the purview of the [JCA] and shall be placed on Formal Probation supervision not to exceed 2 years." In the first year of Doe's probation, he had two probation review hearings, both of which demonstrated good behavior. At Doe's one-year probation review hearing, Doe's counsel argued that the magistrate should convert his formal probation to an informal adjustment. Doe's counsel could not cite any authority for converting the sentence, but believed that the court had broad authority to do so based on the interests of justice. The State objected and argued that the court did not have authority to convert the formal probation to an informal adjustment. Ultimately, the magistrate court stated that it had the authority to convert the sentence and entered a "supplemental decree nunc pro tunc to date of original order," granting Doe an informal adjustment and dismissing the case. The magistrate then issued an Order Supplementing Decree that provided "Formal Probation converted to Informal Adjustment, nunc pro tunc 05/05/09." The State filed an appeal to the district court. The district court affirmed the magistrate court's order. The State timely appealed to the Supreme Court. Because it was improper for the magistrate to convert Doe's sentence, any subsequent dismissal or termination of the improperly substituted informal adjustment could not be upheld. The Supreme Court reversed the district court's order and remanded the case for reinstatement of the 2009 decree. View "Idaho v. Doe (2012-09)" on Justia Law