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State v. Two Jinn

November 3, 2011

STATE OF IDAHO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT
v.
TWO JINN, INC.,
REAL PARTY IN INTEREST- APPELLANT.
AND ROSENDO ARRIAGO NAVARRO,
DEFENDANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Cheri C. Copsey, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Burdick, Chief Justice

2011 Opinion No. 110

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

District court's order affirming magistrate judge's order denying motion to exonerate bond, affirmed.

This case comes before this Court on a petition for review from the Court of Appeals' decision. Two Jinn, Inc. (Two Jinn) seeks review of the district court's decision affirming the magistrate court's denial of Two Jinn's motion to set aside a bond forfeiture. Two Jinn argues that it demonstrated a defense of impossibility of performance based on the deportation of Rosendo Arriago Navarro (Navarro). Two Jinn also argues that the district court abused its discretion in failing to recognize that justice did not require enforcement of the forfeiture in this case under former Idaho Criminal Rule 46(e)(4). We affirm the district court's decision that the magistrate court did not abuse its discretion in upholding the bond forfeiture.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On June 23, 2007, Navarro was arrested for driving without privileges. Navarro was released from custody when Two Jinn dba Aladdin Bail Bonds/Anytime Bail Bonds posted his $500 bail. After pleading guilty, Navarro was ordered to appear in court for sentencing on August 15, 2007. Navarro failed to appear for his sentencing hearing, the bond was ordered forfeited, and a bench warrant was issued for Navarro's arrest.

On February 6, 2008, 175 days after the bond had been forfeited, Two Jinn filed a motion to set aside that forfeiture and exonerate it from its liability on the bond, arguing that Navarro had been deported to Mexico and that it was, therefore, entitled to relief under the contract law doctrine of impossibility of performance. Two Jinn alternatively argued that the forfeiture should be set aside under former Idaho Criminal Rule 46(e)(4), on the ground that justice does not require enforcement of the forfeiture.

On February 28, 2008, Two Jinn's motion was argued at a hearing before the magistrate court. On March 6, 2008, the magistrate court issued its memorandum decision denying Two Jinn's motion. Two Jinn appealed this decision to the district court on April 16, 2008.

On January 2, 2009, the district court entered an order requiring the case to be heard as a trial de novo, solely on the issue of "how and why the Defendant, Navarro, was taken into the Ada County Jail on July 27, 2007." On February 11, 2009, the hearing was held, and new evidence was presented. The district court entered its decision on February 13, 2009, denying Two Jinn's motion. The Court of Appeals heard the case on appeal and issued an opinion on May 19, 2010, affirming the district court. This Court granted Two Jinn's petition for review on August 4, 2010.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

When this Court reviews a case on a petition for review from a decision issued by the Court of Appeals, this Court gives the Court of Appeals decision due consideration, but directly reviews the decision of the trial court. State v. Clements, 148 Idaho 82, 84, 218 P.3d 1143, 1145 (2009). Where a district court acts as an appellate court reviewing the decision of a magistrate judge this Court will directly review the record developed by the magistrate judge to determine whether there is substantial and competent evidence to support the magistrate judge's findings of fact and whether its conclusions of law follow from those findings. Losser v. Bradstreet, 145 Idaho 670, 672, 183 P.3d 758, 760 (2008).

III. ...


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