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State v. Moore

Court of Appeals of Idaho

November 9, 2016

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
SCOTT ALAN MOORE, Defendant-Appellant.

         2016 Opinion No. 73

         Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Melissa Moody, District Judge.

         Order denying second motion to amend judgment of conviction, affirmed.

          Barnum, Howell & Gunn, PLLC; Randall S. Barnum, Boise, for appellant. Matthew Gunn argued.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Mark W. Olson, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. Mark W. Olsen argued.

          HUSKEY, Judge

         Scott Alan Moore appeals from the district court's denial of his motion to reduce his felony conviction to a misdemeanor conviction pursuant to Idaho Code Section 19-2604. Moore argues I.C. § 19-2604(3) is unconstitutional because it violates Idaho's separation of powers doctrine, violates his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights under the United States Constitution, and denies him equal protection under the Idaho and United States Constitutions. We hold I.C. § 19-2604(3) does not violate Idaho's separation of powers doctrine, Moore waived his Fourteenth Amendment due process claim by failing to provide authority, and I.C. § 19-2604(3) did not violate Moore's equal protection rights under the Idaho or United States Constitutions.

         I.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In 2003, Moore pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a robbery, I.C. § 18-6501. The district court imposed a unified five-year sentence, with two years determinate, and retained jurisdiction for 180 days. After successfully completing the period of retained jurisdiction, the district court suspended Moore's sentence and placed him on probation for five years. Moore successfully completed probation.

         In 2013, the Idaho Legislature amended I.C. § 19-2604(3) to permit a defendant who had been convicted of a felony and discharged from probation to move the sentencing court to reduce the felony conviction to a misdemeanor conviction. However, the amended statute requires the prosecuting attorney to stipulate to the reduction under certain circumstances. Moore's case is one in which the prosecutor must stipulate to the reduction. In 2014, Moore moved the district court to amend his felony robbery conviction to a misdemeanor conviction pursuant to I.C. § 19-2604. The prosecutor objected to the motion, citing I.C. § 19-2604(3)(c)(ix)'s requirement of prosecutorial stipulation before the court may amend judgments of conviction for robbery if more than five years have elapsed since the defendant's discharge from probation. The district court denied Moore's motion, recognizing it had "no discretion to grant the relief sought, based on the prosecuting attorney's objection." Moore appealed from the district court's decision and this Court affirmed, holding Moore waived his constitutional arguments because he raised them for the first time on appeal and he failed to satisfy the first prong of Perry.[1] See State v. Moore, 158 Idaho 943, 354 P.3d 505 (Ct. App. 2015).

         In 2015, Moore filed a second motion to amend his felony robbery conviction to a misdemeanor. The prosecuting attorney again objected. Moore argued I.C. § 19-2604(3) was unconstitutional because it violated Idaho's separation of powers doctrine, violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights under the United States Constitution, and denied Moore equal protection under the Idaho and United States Constitutions. The district court found I.C. § 19-2604(3) does not violate the separation of powers doctrine, nor does it violate the due process or equal protection clauses. The district court denied Moore's motion for the second time, "based solely upon the prosecuting attorney's objection." Moore timely appeals.

         II.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Where the constitutionality of a statute is challenged, we review the lower court's decision de novo. State v. Cobb, 132 Idaho 195, 197, 969 P.2d 244, 246 (1998); State v. Martin, 148 Idaho 31, 34, 218 P.3d 10, 13 (Ct. App. 2009). The party challenging a statute on constitutional grounds bears the burden of proof and must overcome a strong presumption of validity. State v. Freitas, 157 Idaho 257, ...


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