District Court, Silver Summit Department The Honorable Paige
Petersen Nos. 131500342, 131500295
Taliaferro, Attorney for Appellant.
D. Reyes and Christopher D. Ballard, Attorneys for Appellee.
Jill M. Pohlman authored this Opinion, in which Judges
Gregory K. Orme and David N. Mortensen concurred.
It is an old legal maxim that there is no right without a
remedy. Peter James Bunker seeks in this appeal a remedy for
delays in his appeals process without first establishing the
infringement of any underlying rights. We accordingly affirm
the district court's order terminating his probation as
unsuccessful and reinstating his sentence.
In 2013, Bunker was charged with assault by a prisoner. After
finding Bunker indigent, the district court appointed counsel
to represent him (Trial Counsel). Bunker pleaded guilty to
In June 2014, the district court sentenced Bunker to a prison
term not to exceed five years. The court ordered this prison
term to run consecutively to Bunker's prison sentences in
a separate case in which he pleaded guilty to three
first-degree felonies and was sentenced to three concurrent
zero-to-five-year prison terms, which the court had suspended
in favor of probation. The court also ordered him to spend
320 days in jail with a credit of 247 days for time served.
The court then suspended the prison term and placed Bunker on
In May 2015, Adult Probation and Parole (AP&P) alleged
that Bunker had committed several probation violations. At a
subsequent hearing before the district court that was
handling both of Bunker's cases, Bunker admitted to two
probation violations. The court revoked his probation,
ordered him to serve 120 days in jail with credit for 55 days
already served, and then reinstated his probation.
The next year, AP&P again alleged that Bunker had
violated the conditions of his probation. At a hearing,
Bunker admitted to two probation violations, and the district
court accordingly found that he had violated probation. On
May 9, 2016, the court terminated Bunker's probation as
unsuccessful and reinstated the three concurrent
zero-to-five-year prison terms from the other case. Bunker
filed a timely pro se notice of appeal on May 12, 2016, and
this appeal was docketed.
Shortly after receiving the notice of appeal, this court
informed Trial Counsel that this appeal had been filed. And
in mid-July 2016, this court ordered Trial Counsel to file
Bunker's docketing statement or other proper motion. One
week later, Trial Counsel moved to withdraw as counsel for
Bunker, explaining that, pursuant to his contract with the
county, his obligation to represent Bunker "terminates
with the filing of a Notice of Appeal." On August 2,
2016, this court granted the unopposed motion to withdraw and
temporarily remanded the case to the district court for the
determination of Bunker's indigence and, "if
indigency [was] found, for appointment of counsel." This
court stayed the appeal pending disposition in the district
For reasons that are not apparent on the record, it took
another nineteen months for the district court to appoint
counsel (Appellate Attorney) to represent Bunker on appeal.
Once Appellate Attorney was appointed, the ...