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State v. Clausen

Court of Appeals of Idaho

November 15, 2017

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
NICHOLAS SHANE CLAUSEN, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Richard S. Christensen, District Judge.

         Order finding probation violation, revoking probation, imposing sanction, and retaining jurisdiction, reversed, and case remanded.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Kimberly A. Coster, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Kenneth K. Jorgensen, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          HUSKEY, JUDGE

         Nicholas Shane Clausen appeals from the district court's order finding probation violation, revoking probation, imposing sanction, and retaining jurisdiction. Clausen argues the order should be reversed because the district court did not make an express finding that his probation violation was willful. The district court's order is reversed and the case remanded.

         I.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In 2015, Clausen pleaded guilty[1] to grand theft. The district court imposed a unified sentence of five years, with two years determinate, suspended the sentence, and placed Clausen on a period of supervised probation for two and one-half years. As a condition of Clausen's probation, he was required to successfully complete mental health court. However, Clausen was terminated from the mental health court program due to noncompliance with its rules. At a probation violation hearing, Clausen admitted his termination from mental health court constituted a violation of his probation. The willfulness of the probation violation was not expressly addressed by the State, Clausen, or the district court. The district court revoked Clausen's probation and executed the five-year sentence, with two years determinate, and retained jurisdiction. Clausen timely appealed.

         II.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         "Review of a probation revocation proceeding involves a two-step analysis. First, it is determined whether the terms of probation have been violated. If they have, it is then determined whether the violation justifies revocation of the probation." State v. Garner, 161 Idaho 708, 710, 390 P.3d 434, 436 (2017) (citations omitted).

With regard to the first step, a district court may revoke probation only upon evidence that the probationer has violated probation. . . . A court's finding that a violation has been proved will be upheld on appeal if there is substantial evidence in the record to support the finding. . . .
As to the second step, the decision whether to revoke a defendant's probation for a violation is within the discretion of the district court. Thus, we review a district court's decision to revoke ...

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