Thursday, September 13, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 120

Summary of Decision September 11, 2012

Chief Justice Kite delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed. 

Case Name: John Russell Reynolds v. The State of Wyoming 

Docket Number: S-11-0263

Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County, Honorable Dan R. Price II, Judge

Representing Appellant (Plaintiff/Defendant):  Diane Lozano, State Public Defender, PDP; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel.

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff/Defendant): Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Paul S. Rehurek, Senior Assistant Attorney General.

Date of Decision: September 11, 2012

Facts: John Russell Reynolds was convicted of felony driving while under the influence.  He asserts he is entitled to a new trial because a computer malfunction resulted in part of the transcript of his jury trial being unavailable for appeal. 

Issues: Mr. Reynolds presented the following issue on appeal: Is the record too incomplete to provide appellant a meaningful appeal?

The State provided a more detailed statement of the issue: After Reynolds filed his notice of appeal, the court reporter discovered that a computer malfunction had destroyed her electronic notes covering jury selection, opening statements, and the first trial witness.  The court and parties settled the record by reconstructing the missing portions as prescribed by Wyo. R. App. P. 3.03 and 3.04.  In his brief, Reynolds identified four substantive issues that he contended were outside the purview of meaningful appellate review because of the state of the record.  Would the settled record allow a meaningful review of Reynolds’ conviction on each of these issues if he had chosen to present their merits to this Court with cogent argument and supporting authority?

Holdings: The Court concluded that the record was properly settled pursuant to W.R.A.P. 3.03 and 3.04.  The record was sufficient, and Mr. Reynolds failed to demonstrate that a deficiency in the record materially affected the ability to address the issue.  Under these circumstances, Mr. Reynolds is not entitled to a new trial.  Affirmed.

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

[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.  You will also note when you look at the opinion 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 and we will provide any needed assistance] 

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