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State v. Doe

June 1, 2010

STATE OF IDAHO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JANE DOE, II AND JOHN DOE, I REAL PARTIES OF INTEREST-APPELLANTS.



Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. John P. Luster, District Judge. Hon. Robert B. Burton, Magistrate Judge.

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

2010 Opinion No. 60

The district court decision affirming the magistrate is reversed and the probation order is vacated.

I. NATURE OF THE CASE

In this consolidated appeal, John and Jane Doe challenge the statutory and constitutional authority of the magistrate judge to require them to undergo random drug urinalysis testing as a condition of their minor daughter's formal probation.

II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On September 26, 2005, John and Jane Doe, Appellants, appeared without an attorney in magistrate court with their minor daughter, who, with the consent of her parents, signed a written admission to two counts of petit theft. At the disposition hearing the following month, the magistrate found the Does' daughter to be under the purview of the Juvenile Corrections Act (―JCA‖) and imposed informal probation on her for her offenses. Because a social investigation revealed that the Does had a history of drug abuse and that Jane was on probation for possession of marijuana drug paraphernalia, the magistrate questioned the Does about their use of controlled substances. Jane admitted to the magistrate that she used methamphetamine before having her children and had continued to smoke marijuana until she was caught with paraphernalia sometime prior to the events in this case. The magistrate consequently required both John and Jane to undergo random drug urinalyses as a term of their daughter's probation.

John subsequently signed two written admissions to smoking marijuana on separate occasions shortly after the probation terms were imposed. Jane signed a similar written admission to using marijuana after the terms had been imposed. Both of the Does also submitted urine samples that tested positive for THC.*fn1 Additionally, the Does' daughter was found to have violated the terms of her probation for various reasons. The Does obtained counsel for the Order to Show Cause Hearing to determine whether to revoke their daughter's informal probation and to hold them in contempt for their drug use. Although the Does both tested positive for THC at the Order to Show Cause Hearing, the State moved to withdraw the contempt action because the Does were complying with the order to submit to urinalysis testing.

At the Disposition Hearing, the magistrate placed the Does' daughter on formal probation and imposed terms requiring the Does to submit to random urine testing and not to violate controlled-substance laws. The disposition order admonished the Does that they could be subject to contempt proceedings if they disobeyed the order.*fn2 The Does refused to sign the order. Based in part on the juvenile probation officer's report that the Does were using marijuana in front of their daughter, the magistrate also expanded the JCA proceedings into a Child Protection Act proceeding. These proceedings were ultimately dismissed based on contradictory evidence.

The Does appealed their probation terms to the district court, arguing that the magistrate lacked statutory authority under I.C. § 20-520(1)(i) to require them to submit to random urinalyses and that, even if statutory authority existed, such terms violated the U.S. Constitution. The district court affirmed the magistrate's order, but the Idaho Court of Appeals vacated, finding that although the magistrate court acted within its statutory capacity, it nonetheless violated the Fourth Amendment by imposing the urinalysis requirement. This Court granted the State's petition for review.

III. ISSUES ON APPEAL

1. Whether the magistrate could, under I.C. § 20-520(1)(i), require the Does to involuntarily submit to random urinalysis drug tests as a condition of their daughter's probation.

2. Whether the magistrate could order such tests under the ...


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