Opinion No. 31
from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of
the State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Deborah A. Bail,
judgment of the district court is affirmed.
Benjamin, McKay & Bartlett, LLP, Boise, for appellant.
Dennis A. Benjamin argued.
Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, for
respondent. Kenneth K. Jorgensen argued.
case reviews a district court's denial of a
defendant's motions to substitute counsel and to continue
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
2012, James Greer Daly was charged with six felony counts of
Lewd and Lascivious Conduct with a Minor Under Sixteen.
Pursuant to a plea agreement, Daly pleaded guilty to one
count. At the beginning of the sentencing hearing, Daly moved
to substitute counsel. The district court denied the motion.
Daly then moved to continue the hearing, so that new counsel
could be present for sentencing. The district court also
denied this motion, indicating "[w]e have already
continued the sentencing in this case for a month to get an
additional mental health evaluation, and I don't think
that would be a sensible course of action." The district
court then sentenced Daly to twenty years, with three years
fixed, and retained jurisdiction.
filed a timely notice of appeal. In February 2013, his appeal
was dismissed for failure to pay the required $100 fee. In
November 2013, Daly initiated post-conviction proceedings,
asserting, among other things, ineffective assistance of
counsel. Nearly all of Daly's claims were dismissed with
prejudice. The district court did find that counsel was
ineffective in failing to notify Daly of the $100 appeal fee,
and on that claim only, granted post-conviction relief. To
enable Daly to appeal his conviction, instead of amending the
judgment, the district court re-entered judgment nunc pro
tunc. Daly again filed a timely notice of appeal, and
the case was assigned to the Court of Appeals.
Court of Appeals reviewed the case and held that: (1) it had
jurisdiction over Daly's claims under the nunc pro
tunc judgment because it related back to the original
judgment and enabled Daly to appeal any issues in the
original judgment; and (2) Daly did not receive the
"full and fair" hearing he should have received on
his motion to substitute counsel. Accordingly, the Court of
Appeals remanded for a hearing on the motion to substitute
counsel and the motion for a continuance. The State
petitioned this Court for review of the Court of Appeals
decision, specifically on the question of whether the duty to
inquire into the reasons for requesting substitute counsel
applies to retained counsel. This Court granted the
State's petition for review. Prior to hearing before this
Court, Daly moved to dismiss his appeal and vacate the Court
of Appeals decision because he had been granted parole. The
State concurred in the motion, provided the Court of Appeals
decision was vacated in the dismissal. This Court denied the
motion and heard oral argument.
ISSUES PRESENTED ON APPEAL
1. Whether this Court has jurisdiction to hear Daly's
2. Whether the district court erred in denying Daly's
motion to substitute counsel and his motion to continue the
sentencing hearing so ...