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State v. Barclay

April 23, 2010

STATE OF IDAHO, RESPONDENT,
v.
ALEXANDER BARCLAY, III, APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Honorable John T. Mitchell, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Jones, Justice.

2010 Opinion No. 45

Court of Appeals opinion is vacated and the appeal is dismissed.

The State of Idaho petitioned this Court for review of the opinion of the Court of Appeals determining that it had jurisdiction to hear Alexander Barclay, III's challenge to the validity of his sentence. Because Barclay has already served his sentence, we vacate the Court of Appeal's opinion and dismiss the appeal.

I.

Barclay was arrested when officers responded to an alleged domestic dispute at his home. Barclay's wife reported that Barclay grabbed her and pushed her as she was attempting to leave the home after an argument. When officers arrived, she told them that Barclay was attempting to dispose of marijuana by flushing it down the toilet. Barclay admitted to officers that he was attempting to dispose of marijuana, but refused to consent to a search of his bedroom or car. Barclay's wife removed several marijuana pipes, methamphetamine pipes, and baggies containing marijuana and methamphetamine from Barclay's car and bedroom and turned them over to police.

Barclay was charged with domestic battery, destruction of evidence, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of methamphetamine. Barclay entered a guilty plea to possession of methamphetamine under Idaho Code section 37-2732 and the remaining charges were dismissed. The district court withheld judgment and placed Barclay on probation. After less than two months, Barclay violated several terms of his probation, including failing drug tests for marijuana and methamphetamine and committing a burglary. Barclay pleaded guilty to the burglary charge and the two cases were consolidated for sentencing. The district court revoked Barclay's probation, set aside his withheld judgment, and sentenced him to a four year unified prison term with a minimum confinement of two years for possession of methamphetamine.*fn1 The district court, however, retained jurisdiction and sent Barclay on a rider to the North Idaho Correctional Institution (NICI).

Near the end of the retained jurisdiction period, the staff at the NICI recommended relinquishing jurisdiction. The district court found that Barclay had not received the recommended substance abuse treatment, nor had he provided a plan detailing steps he would take for the successful completion of probation. As a result, the district court ordered a second period of retained jurisdiction. At the end of the second period, the NICI staff again recommended that the district court relinquish jurisdiction. The district court did so and Barclay appealed.

Before the Court of Appeals, Barclay argued that the district court abused its discretion in relinquishing jurisdiction and imposing the underlying sentence because it impermissibly considered Barclay's de minimis violation of a no-contact order imposed by the district court and his refusal to admit wrongdoing as a result of his continued drug use. The State argued that the Court of Appeals was without jurisdiction to hear the appeal because Barclay's notice of appeal was not timely. The State contended that the district court did not have the authority to impose a second, consecutive period of retained jurisdiction without an intervening period of probation, and, as a result, that Barclay was required to file a notice of appeal within forty-two days of the first order relinquishing jurisdiction in order to perfect a timely appeal under Idaho Appellate Rule (I.A.R.) 14. The Court of Appeals agreed that the district court did not have authority to order a second, consecutive period of retained jurisdiction without an intervening period of probation, but found that this lack of authority did not render Barclay's appeal untimely. The Court of Appeals also found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in relinquishing jurisdiction or in imposing the underlying sentence and affirmed Barclay's sentence. The State then petitioned this Court for review based on the Court of Appeals' ruling on the jurisdictional issue. Barclay now argues that the case is moot because he has already served his sentence.

II.

Because we find the issue presented by the State to be moot, we decline to address the State's jurisdictional challenge on appeal.

A.

A petition for review of a decision of the Court of Appeals will only be granted "when there are special and important reasons" for review. Idaho App. R. 118(b). When this Court reviews a case previously decided by the Court of Appeals, "this Court grants serious consideration to the views of the Court of Appeals, but directly reviews the decision of the lower court." In re Doe, 144 Idaho 819, 821, 172 P.3d 1094, 1096 (2007). ...


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