Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Rubio

Court of Appeals of Idaho

February 22, 2018

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JOSEPH ROMAN RUBIO, Defendant-Appellant.

         2018 Opinion No. 6

         Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Cynthia K. C. Meyer, District Judge.

         Judgment of conviction for filing a false instrument, vacated and case remanded.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Reed P. Anderson, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Theodore S. Tollefson, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          GUTIERREZ, Judge

         Joseph Roman Rubio appeals from his judgment of conviction entered after a jury found him guilty of filing a false instrument. In essence, Rubio, a probationer, argues his conduct of submitting an allegedly falsified community service time card with the community service office does not fall within the ambit of Idaho Code § 18-3203. For the reasons set forth below, we vacate the judgment of conviction and remand to the district court.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The terms and conditions of Rubio's probation required him to complete fifty-six hours of community service at a local thrift store. Rubio, as instructed, submitted a community service time card ("time card") containing the requisite hours to the community service desk. The State, suspecting the time card falsely reported hours, charged Rubio with filing a false instrument in violation of I.C. § 18-3203, rather than filing a probation violation. Idaho Code § 18-3203 provides:

Every person who knowingly procures or offers any false or forged instrument to be filed, registered or recorded in any public office within this state, which instrument, if genuine, might be filed, or registered, or recorded under any law of this state, or of the United States, is guilty of a felony.

         At his preliminary hearing, Rubio argued the complaint was invalid because it failed to charge a crime cognizable within the state. The magistrate acknowledged there were issues as to undefined terms, such as what is meant by "instrument filed." Nevertheless, the magistrate found probable cause and bound Rubio over to the district court.[1]

         Rubio filed a motion to dismiss, again arguing his conduct did not fall within the purview of the statute. Rubio argued the time card did not meet the statutory definition of an instrument nor did any law provide that it be filed, registered, or recorded. The district court denied the motion, ruling Rubio's time card met the statutory definition of an instrument because Rubio had a duty or liability to perform and report his community service hours pursuant to court order.

         Rubio proceeded to trial. After the State's case-in-chief, Rubio moved for judgment of acquittal pursuant to Idaho Criminal Rule 29, arguing that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the time card was an "instrument"; (2) that the time card was false or forged; (3) that the community service office was a "public office"; (4) that the time card was filed under any federal or state law; and (5) that the time card was actually filed. The State responded that whether a time card was an instrument and whether a community service desk was a public office were legal matters for the jury to be instructed. Additionally, the State argued the statutory language "might be filed, registered, or recorded" did not create a requirement that the instrument be filed and therefore was not an element of the offense. The district court denied the Rule 29 motion stating:

I'm at somewhat of a disadvantage having not been there at the hearing, but I did review the minutes of the decision by [the judge]. And he specifically found . . . that the community service office is a public office. Once you deliver ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.