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State of Idaho v. Maurice Anthony Staples

August 28, 2012

STATE OF IDAHO,
PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MAURICE ANTHONY STAPLES,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Elmore County. Hon. Richard D. Greenwood, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lansing, Judge

2012 Unpublished Opinion No. 609

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED OPINION AND SHALL NOT BE CITED AS AUTHORITY

Orders relinquishing jurisdiction and denying motion for reduction of sentence, affirmed.

Maurice Anthony Staples appeals from the district court's order relinquishing jurisdiction, and its order denying Staples' Idaho Criminal Rule 35 motion for reduction of sentence. Staples also challenges an Idaho Supreme Court order denying his motion to augment the record for this appeal. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

In 2008, the State charged Staples with attempted strangulation, aggravated assault, domestic assault in the presence of a child, and malicious injury to property. Pursuant to a plea agreement, the State reduced the attempted strangulation charge to domestic battery with traumatic injury, to which Staples pleaded guilty, and the remaining charges were dismissed. The district court imposed a unified sentence of ten years with five years fixed, but retained jurisdiction. At the close of the retained jurisdiction period, the district court placed Staples on probation.

A year later, Staples admitted to three probation violations. The district court revoked his probation but retained jurisdiction a second time. Three months into the retained jurisdiction period, correctional authorities filed an addendum to the presentence investigation report recommending relinquishment of jurisdiction. Following a hearing, the district court entered an order relinquishing jurisdiction and executing the underlying sentence. Thereafter, Staples filed an Idaho Criminal Rule 35 motion for reduction of sentence. The district court denied the motion. Staples appeals from the orders relinquishing jurisdiction and denying the motion for reduction of sentence.

II. ANALYSIS

Staples asserts on appeal that the district court erred in relinquishing jurisdiction and in denying his subsequent motion for reduction of sentence. In addition, Staples' appellate brief argues that the Idaho Supreme Court's order denying his motion to augment the appellate record with additional transcripts violated Staples' constitutional rights to due process, equal protection, and effective assistance of counsel.

As requested in Staples' notices of appeal, transcripts of the second jurisdictional review hearing and a hearing on the motion for reduction of sentence were prepared at public expense and are part of the record in this appeal. While this appeal was pending, Staples filed a motion to suspend the briefing schedule and to augment the appellate record with, among other things, transcripts of the hearing where he admitted probation violations and the subsequent probation violation disposition hearing. Because Staples is indigent, he requested that these transcripts be prepared at public expense. The Idaho Supreme Court denied Staples' motion for additional transcripts without comment, and this case was subsequently assigned to this Court for disposition.

Staples' brief presents argument that the denied transcripts are needed for effective review of his claims of district court error and, therefore, the Idaho Supreme Court violated his rights to due process and equal protection and his right to effective assistance of counsel by denying his motion to augment the record on appeal. We recently addressed a nearly identical argument in State v. Morgan, ___ Idaho ___, ___ P.3d ___ (Ct. App. July 10, 2012), rev. pending, where we said:

We begin by disclaiming any authority to review and, in effect, reverse an Idaho Supreme Court decision on a motion made prior to assignment of the case to this Court on the ground that the Supreme Court decision was contrary to the state or federal constitutions or other law. Such an undertaking would be tantamount to the Court of Appeals entertaining an "appeal" from an Idaho Supreme Court decision and is plainly beyond the purview of this Court. Nevertheless, if a motion is, in effect, renewed by the movant, and new information or a new or expanded basis for the motion is presented to this Court that was not presented to the Supreme Court, we deem it within the authority of this Court to evaluate and rule on the renewed motion in the exercise of our responsibility to address all aspects of an appeal from the point of its assignment to this Court. Such may occur, for example, if the completed ...


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