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In re Doe

Supreme Court of Idaho

April 2, 2019

In the Interest of: JANE DOE (2017-35), A Juvenile Under Eighteen (18) Years of Age.
v.
JANE DOE (2017-35), Respondent-Appellant. STATE OF IDAHO, Petitioner-Respondent,

          Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Jay P. Gaskill, District Judge.

         The decision of the district court is affirmed.

          Anne Taylor, Kootenai County Public Defender, Coeur d'Alene, for appellant. Kristen A. Pearson argued.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. Jeffery D. Nye argued.

          BRODY, JUSTICE.

         I. NATURE OFTHE CASE

         This case addresses whether a juvenile court has jurisdiction to reduce a juvenile's sentence once the juvenile is committed to state custody and the time for appeal has run. Relying on Idaho Criminal Rule 47, the rule which governs the filing of motions generally in criminal cases, Jane Doe filed a motion to modify disposition requesting that the juvenile court place her back on probation after sentence had been imposed and modify its previous computation of credit for time served. The juvenile court held that Doe's motion was actually a motion to reduce sentence under Idaho Criminal Rule 35 (a rule which has not been incorporated into the Idaho Juvenile Rules) and concluded that it did not have jurisdiction to consider Doe's motion.

         Doe appealed the juvenile court's decision to the district court. The district court affirmed the decision, holding that Rule 47 did not grant jurisdiction to reduce the sentence, but that jurisdiction existed under Idaho Code sections 20-505 and 20-507. The district court held that whether the sentence should be modified is a discretionary call and that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in declining to place Doe back on probation or incorrectly calculate Doe's credit for time served. We agree with the district court's decision to affirm the magistrate court's denial of Doe's motion to modify disposition, but write today to explain that there is no jurisdiction for the juvenile court to modify the juvenile's sentence once it has been imposed and the time for appeal has run.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Jane Doe voluntarily admitted to two counts of grand theft in juvenile court and an order for informal adjustment through diversion was entered. A little over a year later, the juvenile court found that Doe violated the terms of her informal adjustment and sentenced her to three hundred sixty days of detention with three hundred twenty nine days suspended. Doe was given one day credit for time previously served and ordered to serve thirty days to be scheduled at a later date. The informal adjustment was not revoked, but Doe was ordered to two years of probation and required to complete family support court.

         About ten months later, the State filed a motion to revoke Doe's probation because she had been running away, skipping school, and not taking her medications as prescribed. Doe was detained on a warrant for about twenty days, when she received a conditional release. Doe admitted to two probation violations and disposition was scheduled for a later date.

         About six weeks later, the State filed a motion to revoke Doe's conditional release because she had been leaving school without permission and violating school attendance policies. Doe's conditional release was revoked and she was detained again. On the day she was released from detention, Doe appeared for disposition on the probation violations and was allowed to keep her informal adjustment. Shortly thereafter, Doe was ordered to serve two days in detention for violating the terms of her GPS monitoring device and having contact with people who were not on her approved contact list.

         The State filed a second motion to revoke Doe's probation because Doe had been lying to her mother, having contact with a 25-year-old man who was not on her approved list of contacts, and continued absences from school. The court terminated Doe's probation. Three hundred sixty days of detention were imposed; Doe was given credit for one hundred twenty nine days served previously; and Doe was ordered to serve the remaining two hundred thirty one days immediately. Doe was granted a furlough to seek out-of-state medical treatment, but the juvenile court made it clear that no credit for time served would be granted while she was receiving treatment.

         Approximately three years after the juvenile court entered the original informal adjustment through diversion, Doe filed a motion to modify disposition requesting leniency and to correct her sentence regarding credit for time served. Specifically, Doe requested that the juvenile court give her two days of credit for every day she spent in detention and place her back on probation. The juvenile court found that it did not have jurisdiction to consider Doe's motion. Despite Doe's claims that she had filed her motion with the court under Idaho Juvenile Rule 21 and Idaho Criminal Rule 47, the juvenile court found that Doe's motion was actually brought under Idaho Criminal Rule 35, which is not applicable to juveniles sentenced under the Juvenile Corrections Act. The court went on to state that even if jurisdiction existed it would have denied Doe's motion on the merits.

         Doe appealed the juvenile court's decision to the district court. The district court agreed that jurisdiction did not exist under Idaho Juvenile Rule 21 and Idaho Criminal Rule 47, but found that jurisdiction existed under Idaho Code sections 20-505 and 20-507; as such, the juvenile court could have modified Doe's sentence. Nonetheless, the district court affirmed the juvenile court on the merits holding that the court did not abuse its discretion when it refused to place Doe back on probation and there was no basis in the Juvenile Corrections Act which supported Doe's argument that her credit for time served should have been doubled in this case, where she actually served one hundred twenty nine days in detention. Doe timely appealed to this Court. Doe finished serving her sentence while this appeal was pending.

         III. ISSUES ON APPEAL

         1. Whether Doe's appeal is moot because she finished serving her sentence ...


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