Opinion No. 151
from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of
the State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Gerald Schroeder, Senior
District Judge; Hon. Kevin Swain, Magistrate Judge.
decision of the district court is affirmed.
Trimming, Ada County Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.
Adam C. Kimball argued.
Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, for
respondent. Ted S. Tollefson argued.
case comes to the Idaho Supreme Court on a petition for
review of an Idaho Court of Appeals decision. James Clark was
charged with misdemeanor trespass in the Idaho Industrial
Commission office in Boise. At the close of the State's
evidence at trial, Clark moved for a judgment of acquittal,
which the court denied. The jury found Clark guilty and he
appealed to the district court. The district court affirmed
the denial of the acquittal motion and upheld the jury
verdict. The Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the
judgment of acquittal should have been granted. The State
sought, and we granted, review.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
August 2012, Mindy Montgomery, the director of the Industrial
Commission, sent a letter to Clark stating:
In light of the repeated disruptive arguments and
confrontations you have exhibited toward employees of the
Idaho Industrial Commission while on Commission property, you
are hereby notified that you are, effective immediately,
barred from entering into or upon property occupied by
the Idaho Industrial Commission.
Unless this bar is lifted earlier, your entry upon Commission
property or into facilities occupied by the Commission at any
time during the next twelve (12) months will constitute a
trespass under the provisions of Idaho Code § 18-7008,
admitted receiving the letter. Montgomery testified she was
authorized to send trespass letters and supported this claim
by describing her position, responsibilities, and experience.
sent an identical letter to Clark in August 2013, barring
Clark from entering Industrial Commission properties for one
year, until August 2014. Montgomery sent this letter to Clark
using the facsimile number and mailing address on file for
him. A fax confirmation sheet indicated that the letter went
through to the facsimile number. With regard to the posted
letter, the Industrial Commission did not receive any
"return to sender" or other correspondence
indicating that the mailing address was incorrect or that the
letter had not been received by the addressee. While Clark
denies receiving the second letter, a video posted to YouTube
on September 25, 2013, nearly a month after the 2013 letter
was sent, shows Clark holding up a letter from the Industrial
Commission while saying, "I just received another one,
April 4, 2014, Clark entered the Industrial Commission's
office in Boise and approached the front reception desk. At
the time, Barbara Fox was working at the front reception desk
as a customer service representative. She testified that she
was authorized to ask people to leave the Industrial
Commission premises. When approached by Clark, Fox reminded
Clark he was banned from the property and directed him to
leave. Fox showed Clark both the 2012 and 2013 letters
barring him from Industrial Commission property. When Clark
refused to leave, Fox told Clark she would push the police
button located under her desk if he did not leave. Clark told
Fox to push the button, which she did, activating the
emergency alarm. Boise police officers were dispatched to the
Industrial Commission to respond to the alarm. Clark remained
in the building in the reception area for approximately five
minutes until police officers arrived and then left the
Industrial Commission to speak with the officers. Clark was
charged with misdemeanor trespass pursuant to Idaho Code
close of the State's case at trial, Clark made a motion
for a judgment of acquittal pursuant to Idaho Criminal Rule
29 ("Rule 29 Motion"), arguing the State failed to
prove the trespass orders were made by an authorized agent
and that Clark had been deprived of his due process right to
petition the government for redress of grievances. The
magistrate disagreed, finding there was sufficient evidence
for a reasonable jury to find the Industrial Commission
employees were authorized agents. The jury found Clark guilty
of misdemeanor trespass. Clark appealed to the district
court, which affirmed his conviction. Upon further appeal,
the Court of Appeals reversed. The State timely petitioned
this Court for review.
ISSUES ON APPEAL
Whether the district court erred in affirming the denial of
Clark's motion for a judgment of acquittal.
Whether Clark's due process rights were violated.