Monday, May 14, 2007

Summary 2007 WY 81

Summary of Decision issued May 14, 2007

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. You will also note that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you need to provide a pinpoint citation to a quote, the universal portion of the citation will use that paragraph number. The pinpoint citation in the P.3d portion will need to have the reporter page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation from this, or any future opinion using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library.]

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Case Name: Lee v. State

Citation: 2007 WY 81

Docket Number: 06-116

Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County, the Honorable W. Thomas Sullins, Judge

Representing Appellant (Defendant): Robert W. Lee, Pro se.

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff): Patrick J. Crank, Attorney General; Paul Rehurek, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and Leda M. Pojman, Assistant Attorney General.

Issue: Whether the district court had jurisdiction to consider a motion entitled “Request for Clarification of Sentence” filed more than seven years after entry of conviction and sentencing where Appellant did not cite to any authority allowing the court continuing jurisdiction in the matter.

Facts/Discussion: Lee filed a Request for Clarification of Sentence with the district court on March 14, 2006. The district court entered an Order Denying Request for Clarification of Sentence on March 17, 2006.
The Court reviews subject matter jurisdiction de novo. If a trial court did not have jurisdiction to entertain an issue, the Court does not have jurisdiction to decide a subsequent appeal on that issue.
The trial court’s jurisdiction terminated with the entry of the judgment and sentence in the instant case, and the final disposition of Lee’s direct appeal. Lee’s motion did not appear in any rule or statute authorizing the district court to act on such a request more than seven years after his conviction and sentencing nor could the Court find any such rule or statute allowing it.

Holding: The Court concluded the district court was without jurisdiction to consider Lee’s “Request for Clarification of Sentence” and consequently, the Court was without jurisdiction to consider the appeal.


C.J. Voigt delivered the decision.

J. Hill, Special Concurrence: The district court did have jurisdiction of Lee’s motion and the Court had jurisdiction of the appeal. W.R.Cr.P. 35 provides the district court may correct an illegal sentence at any time. W.R.Cr.P. 36 provides that clerical mistakes may be corrected by the court at any time. Lee’s motion properly invoked the district court’s jurisdiction under one or both of the rules but it failed to state any ground which would entitle Lee to relief. Therefore, the district court’s order should be affirmed.

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