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. Garcia

Supreme Court of Utah

January 29, 2018

State of Utah, Respondent,
v.
Dennis J. Garcia, Petitioner.

         On Certiorari to the Utah Court of Appeals Third District, Salt Lake The Honorable Randall N. Skanchy No. 061901607

          Sean D. Reyes, Att'y Gen., Tyler R. Green, Solic. Gen., Brent A. Burnett, Asst. Solic. Gen., Salt Lake City, for respondent

          Stephen G. Homer, West Jordan, for petitioner

          Associate Chief Justice Lee authored the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Durrant, Justice Himonas, Justice Pearce, and Judge Johnson joined.

          Having recused herself, Justice Durham does not participate herein; District Judge Christine S. Johnson sat.

          OPINION

          LEE ASSOCIATE CHIEF JUSTICE

         ¶1 Dennis Garcia served a five-year sentence for automobile homicide. Following his release, the Board of Pardons and Parole ordered him to pay $7, 000 of restitution toward his victim's funeral expenses. Garcia filed various motions with the sentencing court challenging the restitution order as untimely and therefore legally invalid. The district court determined that it did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate these motions, and the court of appeals affirmed.

         ¶2 We affirm the court of appeals under Utah Code section 77-27-5(3). That provision states that restitution decisions of the board are "not subject to judicial review." This statutory section was all but ignored by the courts below, but it is properly before us here. And it is decisive. It forecloses the judicial review sought by Garcia in this case.

         ¶3 Garcia offers no way around this conclusion under the language of the statute. Instead he alleges that section 77-27-5(3) infringes his constitutional rights under the Open Courts Clause of the Utah Constitution. This is an issue Garcia raised both in the district court and in the court of appeals. But he did not raise it in his opening brief in this court. We do not reach it here for that reason.

         I

         ¶4 In March 2006, Dennis Garcia crashed a car and killed his passenger. He was convicted of automobile homicide in April 2008, and he was sentenced to serve zero to five years in prison.

         ¶5 Garcia was released from prison in April 2013. Months later, the Board of Pardons and Parole issued an order of restitution that required Garcia to pay $7, 000 to the Utah Office for Victims of Crime for funds paid to the victim's mother for funeral expenses. The board sent the order to the district court per Utah Code section 77-27-6(4), and the court entered the order into its docket.

         ¶6 Garcia moved the district court to set aside the restitution order on the ground that it was untimely.[1] In opposing Garcia's motion the Office of State Debt Collection asserted that the court lacked jurisdiction under Utah Code section 77-27-5(3). That section states that "[d]ecisions of the board in cases involving . . . restitution . . . are final and are not subject to judicial review." The district court denied Garcia's motion, holding that it lacked jurisdiction. It based its order not on section 77-27-5(3) but on other grounds.[2] Garcia then filed three other motions requesting similar relief. He argued, among other things, that section 77-27-5(3) violated the Open Courts Clause. The court denied all three motions on the grounds stated in its previous order; it did not address Garcia's constitutional argument.

         ¶7 Garcia appealed the denial of these three motions to the court of appeals. In his brief, he renewed his constitutional argument and made an additional statutory argument. The statutory argument was that the district court had jurisdiction over the restitution order because it entered the ...


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.