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Darren B. Hooper v. State of Idaho

February 4, 2011

DARREN B. HOOPER, APPELLANT,
v.
STATE OF IDAHO, RESPONDENT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Third Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Payette County. Hon. Stephen W. Drescher, District Judge.

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

Boise, December 2010 Term

2011 Opinion No. 17

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

The decision of the district court is affirmed. No costs are awarded.

I. NATURE OF THE CASE

Darren B. Hooper was ordered to pay restitution to the Idaho Industrial Commission's crime victims compensation account as part of his criminal sentence. After this Court overturned Hooper's conviction on direct appeal, he moved to have the restitution order vacated and his previous payments refunded. The district court vacated the order, but refused to return the payments Hooper already made, a decision he now appeals.

II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In July of 2004, Darren B. Hooper, Appellant, was convicted by a jury of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor under sixteen in violation of I.C. § 18-1508. The trial court sentenced Hooper to a prison term and required him to pay court costs and fees. The court also ordered Hooper to pay $2500 in restitution to the Payette County Court, which would then disburse the payments to the Idaho Industrial Commission's crime victims compensation account

1

("Victims Account"). In addition to restitution, Hooper was also ordered to pay $88.50 in costs and fees.

On direct appeal, this Court vacated Hooper's conviction because the State had offered, and the district court had admitted, a videotaped interview with the child victim at trial, violating Hooper's Sixth Amendment rights to confront witnesses against him. State v. Hooper, 145 Idaho 139, 143-47, 176 P.3d 911, 915-19 (2007). By the time his conviction was overturned, Hooper had paid $292.87 in restitution to the district court clerk, which was then disbursed to the Victims Account.

Hooper moved to have the restitution order set aside in January of 2008. On February 1, 2008, the district court granted the motion, relieving Hooper from having to pay further restitution, but it refused to order the Industrial Commission to refund the payments Hooper had already made. The court held that Hooper would have to file a civil lawsuit against the Industrial Commission because it did not have the jurisdiction necessary to order the Commission to return the restitution payments.*fn1 Hooper appealed the February 1, 2008, order.*fn2 He seeks a refund for the restitution payments he made before this Court vacated his conviction. Hooper believes the district court incorrectly ruled that it had no subject-matter jurisdiction to issue such an order, and contends that the courts have an "inherent power" to correct their own wrongdoing. The State responds that this is actually an issue of ...


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