2015 Opinion No. 33
Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. John T. Mitchell, District Judge.
Order revoking probation, vacated and case remanded.
Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender; Shawn F. Wilkerson, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.
Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Jessica M. Lorello, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
GUTIERREZ, Judge. Chief Judge MELANSON CONCURS. Judge GRATTON, SPECIALLY CONCURRING.
Michael Douglas White appeals from the district court's order revoking his probation. Specifically, he contends his due process rights were violated because he was denied the ability to confront adverse witnesses at the revocation hearing without a finding of good cause by the district court and because the district court applied a lesser standard to the finding that he violated probation. He also argues there was not substantial evidence to support the district court's determination that he committed the violation. For the reasons set forth below, we vacate the district court's order revoking probation and remand the matter for further proceedings.
FACTS AND PROCEDURE
In 2010, White was charged with felony driving under the influence (DUI). He pled guilty and the district court imposed a unified five-year sentence, with two years determinate, but retained jurisdiction. At the conclusion of the jurisdiction review period, White was placed on probation.
In 2013, White was again charged with DUI and driving without privileges. As a result, the State filed a motion alleging a violation of his 2010 probation on the basis that he had committed two new crimes. The State subsequently filed a motion requesting the district court take judicial notice of the 2013 case file, which included minutes of the preliminary hearing (summarizing the testimony of the arresting officer, Officer Koontz, and the magistrate's finding that there was probable cause that White committed felony DUI), as well as an order issued by the magistrate indicating the same. At the evidentiary hearing on the probation revocation, the State indicated that upon the district court taking judicial notice of the 2013 case file, it would rely solely on its contents to prove the probation violations. White objected, contending that by relying only on the contents of the file and not calling any witnesses, the State was violating his right to confront adverse witnesses regarding the alleged violations. The district court disagreed; took judicial notice of the 2013 case ...