Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Summary 2008 WY 156

Summary of Decision issued December 31, 2008

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

Case Name: Counts v. Wyoming

Citation: 2008 WY 156

Docket Number: S-08-0095

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

Representing Appellant Counts: Diane M. Lozano, Wyoming State Public Defender; Tina N. Kerin, Appellate Counsel; David E. Westling, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.

Representing Appellee State: Bruce A. Salzburg, Attorney General; Terry L. Armitage, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Leda M. Pojman, Assistant Attorney General.

Facts/Discussion: The appellant contended that his constitutional right to due process of law was violated when his probation was revoked without him having received adequate notice of the basis for that revocation, and without the district court having supervised his removal from a community corrections facility.

Counts was represented by counsel at the hearing and counsel’s statement made it clear Appellant was admitting the violation without conceding the question of revocation. The appellant’s admission conclusively proved the violation leaving only the question of disposition for further hearing. The admission effectively waived any due process rights the appellant may have had based on an alleged lack of notice. Counts raised the purported lack of an allegation of willfulness as part of his argument that notice was lacking and the Court concluded he conceded that allegation by admitting that he had violated a condition of probation. The Court noted the district court found the violation was willful. The district court was entitled to assess the credibility of the witnesses, to consider the administrative proceedings that led to the appellant’s termination from CAC and to consider the appellant’s history at the CAC.

Conclusion: Under the Adult Community Corrections Act, offenders, parolees, and inmates may be terminated from a community correctional facility by administrative action of the governing entity. The appellant was afforded an administrative hearing before he was terminated from the CAC, with prior notice and an opportunity to be heard. He was also offered both an adjudicatory hearing and a dispositional hearing in the district court before his probation was revoked, during which judicial process he was represented by appointed counsel. His only complaint with the discovery documents provided to him by the State was that there was “too much” and not that there was “too little.” At the adjudicatory hearing, he admitted that he had violated a term of his probation, and the district court’s finding that the violation was willful was not clearly erroneous.


C.J. Voigt delivered the decision.

Link: .

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. Please note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you pinpoint cite to a quote, you should cite to this paragraph number rather than to any page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library.]

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