Direct Appeal Fourth District, Provo The Honorable Lynn W.
Davis No. 141402499
Skousen, Orem, for appellant
D. Reyes, Att'y Gen., Jeanne B. Inouye, Asst. Solic.
Gen., William M. Hains, Asst. Solic. Gen., Salt Lake City,
for appellee State of Utah
Cort Griffin, Provo, for appellee Utah County
Associate Chief Justice Lee authored the opinion of the
Court, in which Chief Justice Durrant, Justice Himonas,
Justice Pearce, and Justice Petersen joined.
ASSOCIATE CHIEF JUSTICE
After Isaac Burr was released from jail on misdemeanor
charges he received an invoice from Utah County seeking
reimbursement for the costs of his incarceration. By then
Burr's criminal case had been closed. But he sought to
file a motion in the closed criminal action. His motion asked
the judge in the criminal case to "vacate" the
county's invoice. The judge denied the motion and Burr
filed this appeal.
¶2 We vacate and dismiss on jurisdictional grounds. We
hold, for reasons explained below, that the district court
lacked jurisdiction to entertain Burr's motion because he
failed to identify any basis for reopening the final judgment
entered in the criminal case (or for vacating an invoice
issued by a nonparty to the criminal proceedings). And we
vacate the district court's decision and dismiss the
appeal on this basis.
The original charges against Burr included one count of
dealing in materials harmful to a minor and three counts of
stalking. These charges were set forth in an information
filed in August of 2014. In October of 2014 Burr pled guilty
to two reduced misdemeanor counts-one count of attempted
dealing in materials harmful to a minor and one count of
stalking. He also waived the statutory time for sentencing
and signed onto a joint sentencing recommendation.
The court sentenced Burr to 365 days in jail on each of these
two counts but suspended the jail time. It also imposed a
fine of $5, 000 (which was also suspended), put him on
probation for 24 months, and ordered that he be released from
custody after 30 days. Neither the State nor Burr sought a
restitution order in the criminal proceedings-and no such
order was entered.
Burr was released from jail on November 7, 2014. A few days
later the Utah County Sheriff's Office sent him an
invoice for $3, 171.58-the claimed cost of his stay in the
Utah County Jail. About a month later Burr filed a motion in
the district court under the case number for his criminal
case. He styled the motion as one seeking to
"vacate" the county's invoice. And he argued,
in support of the motion, that the invoice was invalid in the
absence of a court order of restitution, that the amount of
the invoice should be reduced under factors set forth in the
Crime Victims Restitution Act (CVRA), and that the denial of
his right to assert those factors violated his due process
and other constitutional rights. The district court denied
In so doing the district court held that jurisdiction
"remain[ed]" because Burr "brought the motion
pursuant to Utah Code § 76-3-201(6)." And it denied
Burr's motion on the merits. The court first concluded
that the pay-to-stay statute was self-executing-that Utah
County was entitled to bill Burr for the costs of his
incarceration even absent a restitution order on the matter.
It also concluded that the amount of the invoice could not be
reduced on the basis of the factors set forth in the CVRA.
And it declined to reach Burr's constitutional arguments,
concluding that any constitutional challenge was
"premature" because no attempt had yet been made to
collect on the invoice.
Burr seeks to challenge these determinations on this appeal.
He raises both statutory and constitutional objections to the
district court's conclusions. First he challenges the
district court's determination that the
"pay-to-stay" statute, Utah Code section
76-3-201(6)(a), is self-executing. Burr views this provision
as requiring a court order-as in a restitution proceeding-to
provide a legal basis for the county to impose the