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State v. Gonzalez

Supreme Court of Idaho

February 20, 2019

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
ZUATNEY GONZALEZ, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Bannock County. Hon. Robert C. Naftz, District Judge.

         The decision of the district court is affirmed.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant. Sally J. Cooley argued.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. Kenneth K. Jorgensen argued.

          BRODY, Justice.

         This case involves a question of the proper amount of credit for time served to which the appellant, Ms. Gonzalez, is entitled; however, the focal point of our decision today is whether Gonzalez's position was properly raised and ruled upon by the district court. Because we hold that it was not, Gonzalez's appeal fails. However, we recognize that some confusion has arisen over how this Court addresses a new legal argument made on appeal in light of State v. Garcia-Rodriguez, 162 Idaho 271, 396 P.3d 700 (2017), and Ada County Highway District v. Brooke View, Inc., 162 Idaho 138, 395 P.3d 357 (2017). We take this opportunity to clarify the rule announced in these cases and explain why we reached two very different decisions in each case.

         Zuatney Gonzalez pleaded guilty to two criminal counts of possession of a financial transaction card in Bannock County and thereafter requested credit for time served while she was jailed in Canyon County on similar, but unrelated charges. The legal position she took in support of her motion changed. Before the district court, she requested credit from the time Bannock County first issued an arrest warrant in October 2015. In briefing before this Court, she requested credit from the time Bannock County placed a "hold" on her on December 11, 2015. Her position changed again during oral argument when counsel was presented with an affidavit of service in the record which appears to demonstrate that Gonzalez was actually served with the Bannock County arrest warrant on December 11, 2015. In considering the last legal position Gonzalez took, it appears she is legally entitled to credit for time served from when she was first served with the warrant, absent evidence challenging the veracity of the service affidavit. However, since this position was not presented before the district court, Gonzalez has failed to preserve the issue for appeal.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On September 28, 2015, Zuatney Gonzalez ran afoul of the law when she used a fictitious credit card at a Sportsman's Warehouse in Bannock County to make a purchase of $3, 760. After continuing her unlawful shopping spree in Nampa, Idaho, she was arrested and jailed in Canyon County. On October 21, 2015-while Gonzalez was sitting in Canyon County custody- Bannock County prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against her, and a Bannock County magistrate court issued an arrest warrant with a $25, 000 bond.

         The record shows that on December 11, 2015, Corporal Kelly Pound with Canyon County served the Bannock County arrest warrant on Gonzalez. Three days later, the Canyon County magistrate court held an in-custody arraignment on the Bannock County charges, notified Gonzalez of the warrant, set bail at $25, 000, and remanded her back to the custody of the Canyon County Sheriff's Department. After pleading guilty to her Canyon County charges and being sentenced, Gonzalez was transferred to Bannock County where she was again served with the arrest warrant on March 3, 2016.

         On April 19, 2016, Gonzalez pleaded guilty in Bannock County to two counts of criminal possession of a credit card and was sentenced to a unified term of five years that would run concurrently with the similar charges in Canyon County. On July 14, 2016, Gonzalez moved the district court for credit for time served. Specifically, she requested credit for the time she was incarcerated in Canyon County-from October 21, 2015, the date of the issuance of the arrest warrant, to March 9, 2016, when she was transferred to Bannock County. In support of her motion, Gonzalez attached a copy of the arrest warrant served on her in March and a computer printout that outlined events during her incarceration in Canyon County; on the printout there was a "Holds" section that featured the following: "WENT TO BANNCOCK (sic) COUNTY Other County Hold 12/11/2015." The arrest warrant served on her in December with the accompanying certificate of service was not attached or mentioned in the motion.

         During the motion hearing, Gonzalez's attorney briefly explained that Gonzalez had been served with a Bannock County arrest warrant while she was in Canyon County, but incorrectly told the court that the correct warrant was attached to the motion. The court stated that it would review everything and ensure Gonzalez was given appropriate credit for all time served. It then partially granted her motion, giving her credit for the time served from the date of the second service of her arrest warrant on March 3, 2016. However, it denied any credit for time served while she was incarcerated in Canyon County, explaining:

Gonzalez's incarceration in the Canyon County jail was for an offense other than the one for which she was sentenced in Bannock County; therefore she is not entitled to credit in the Bannock County case for that Canyon County jail time. However, once the Defendant was served with the arrest warrant, it is clear that she was then being held for criminal conduct that allegedly occurred in Bannock County, and she is therefore entitled to credit for time served from March 3, 2016, until May 2, 2016. . .
After careful consideration, this Court DENIES the Defendant's request for credit for time served from October 21, 2015, to March 3, 2016, since she was confined in the Canyon County jail on conduct ...

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