State ex rel. Romley v. Martin, No. 1 CA-SA02-0125

CourtCourt of Appeals of Arizona
Writing for the CourtPATTERSON.
PartiesSTATE of Arizona, ex rel., Richard M. ROMLEY, Maricopa County Attorney, Petitioner, v. The Honorable Gregory MARTIN and the Honorable Jonathan H. Schwartz, Judges of the Superior Court of the State of Arizona, in and for the County of Maricopa, Respondent Judges, Cruz Olivas Landeros and Steven P. Steadman, Real Parties in Interest.
Docket Number No. 1 CA-SA02-0125, No. 1 CA-SA02-0126.
Decision Date23 July 2002

49 P.3d 1142
203 Ariz. 46

STATE of Arizona, ex rel., Richard M. ROMLEY, Maricopa County Attorney, Petitioner,
v.
The Honorable Gregory MARTIN and the Honorable Jonathan H. Schwartz, Judges of the Superior Court of the State of Arizona, in and for the County of Maricopa, Respondent Judges,
Cruz Olivas Landeros and Steven P. Steadman, Real Parties in Interest

Nos. CA-SA02-0126.

Court of Appeals of Arizona, Division 1, Department D.

July 23, 2002.


49 P.3d 1143
Richard M. Romley, Maricopa County Attorney by Diane Gunnels Rowley, Attorneys for Petitioner

James Haas, Maricopa County Public Defender by Christopher V. Johns, Attorneys for Cruz Olivas Landeros.

James T. Myres, Attorney for Steven P. Steadman.

OPINION

PATTERSON, Judge.

¶ 1 The state asks this court for special action relief to reverse the trial courts' orders ruling that prior felony convictions for first and second time offenders sentenced under Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 13-901.01 (2001)1 are non-felonies for impeachment purposes under Arizona Rule of Evidence 609. We deny relief.

BACKGROUND

¶ 2 This is a consolidation of two cases that raise the same issue. The state charged Steven P. Steadman with theft of a means of transportation, a class 3 felony, and Cruz Olivas Landeros with knowingly possessing narcotic drugs for sale, a class 2 felony. Subsequently, the state filed allegations against Steadman and Landeros (collectively "defendants") for prior felony convictions, which were sentenced under A.R.S. § 13-901.01. Defendants moved to preclude the state from using the prior felony convictions for impeachment purposes, and the trial courts granted the motions ruling that convictions sentenced under § 13-901.01 are not felonies, and therefore, not proper for impeachment purposes. The state timely filed these special action petitions.

ISSUE

¶ 3 Under Arizona Rule of Evidence 609(a)(1), can the state impeach a defendant with a prior felony conviction sentenced under A.R.S. § 13-901.01?

SPECIAL ACTION JURISDICTION

¶ 4 Our special action jurisdiction is discretionary. State ex rel. Romley v. Hutt, 195 Ariz. 256, 259, ¶ 5, 987 P.2d 218, 221 (App.1999). Special action jurisdiction is proper when the party has no plain, adequate or speedy remedy by appeal. Ariz. R.P. Spec. Act. 1(a); Luis A. v. Bayham-Lesselyong, 197 Ariz. 451, 453, ¶ 2, 4 P.3d 994, 996 (App.2000). Special action jurisdiction is appropriate in matters of statewide importance, issues of first impression, cases involving purely legal questions, or issues that are likely to arise again. Luis A., 197 Ariz. at 452-53, ¶ 2, 4 P.3d at 995-96.

¶ 5 Whether prior felony convictions sentenced under § 13-901.01 may be used to impeach defendants presents a purely legal question involving statutory interpretation. There is no adequate remedy by appeal, because the state's request involves using the prior felony convictions during trial for impeachment. Moreover, the issue is one of first impression, of statewide importance and likely to recur because of variances in superior court rulings. We, therefore, accept jurisdiction.

49 P.3d 1144
DISCUSSION

¶ 6 The state argues that our decision in State v. Christian, 202...

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61 practice notes
  • City of Tucson v. Clear Channel Outdoor, No. 2 CA-CV 2007-0104.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • April 2, 2008
    ...court improperly certified partial summary judgment pursuant to Rule 54(b), Ariz. R. Civ. P.); see also State ex rel. Romley v. Martin, 203 Ariz. 46, ¶ 4, 49 P.3d 1142, 1143 (App.2002) ("Special action jurisdiction is appropriate in matters of statewide importance, issues of first impressio......
  • Devlin v. Browning, No. 2 CA-SA 2019-0061
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • June 5, 2020
    ...(App. 1994). Additionally, the question presented is a purely legal one and capable of recurring. See State ex rel. Romley v. Martin , 203 Ariz. 46, ¶ 4, 49 P.3d 1142 (App. 2002) (special-action jurisdiction appropriate for "cases involving purely legal questions, or issues that are likely ......
  • Soza v. Marner, No. 2 CA-SA 2018-0020
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • October 2, 2018
    ...Superior Court , 198 Ariz. 109, ¶ 2, 7 P.3d 118 (App. 2000), and of first impression, see 430 P.3d 1267 State ex rel. Romley v. Martin , 203 Ariz. 46, ¶ 4, 49 P.3d 1142 (App. 2002) : whether the exclusionary rule is a remedy for the warrantless taking of a breath test incident to a lawful a......
  • State v. Campoy, No. 2 CA-SA 2009-0010.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • April 28, 2009
    ...238, 240 (App.2007); A.R.S. § 13-4032 (setting forth kinds of orders from which state may appeal); cf. State ex rel. Romley v. Martin, 203 Ariz. 46, ¶ 5, 49 P.3d 1142, 1143 (App.2002), aff'd, 205 Ariz. 279, 69 P.3d 1000 (2003) (accepting jurisdiction of state's petition to determine whether......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
61 cases
  • City of Tucson v. Clear Channel Outdoor, No. 2 CA-CV 2007-0104.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • April 2, 2008
    ...court improperly certified partial summary judgment pursuant to Rule 54(b), Ariz. R. Civ. P.); see also State ex rel. Romley v. Martin, 203 Ariz. 46, ¶ 4, 49 P.3d 1142, 1143 (App.2002) ("Special action jurisdiction is appropriate in matters of statewide importance, issues of first impressio......
  • Devlin v. Browning, No. 2 CA-SA 2019-0061
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • June 5, 2020
    ...(App. 1994). Additionally, the question presented is a purely legal one and capable of recurring. See State ex rel. Romley v. Martin , 203 Ariz. 46, ¶ 4, 49 P.3d 1142 (App. 2002) (special-action jurisdiction appropriate for "cases involving purely legal questions, or issues that are likely ......
  • Soza v. Marner, No. 2 CA-SA 2018-0020
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • October 2, 2018
    ...Superior Court , 198 Ariz. 109, ¶ 2, 7 P.3d 118 (App. 2000), and of first impression, see 430 P.3d 1267 State ex rel. Romley v. Martin , 203 Ariz. 46, ¶ 4, 49 P.3d 1142 (App. 2002) : whether the exclusionary rule is a remedy for the warrantless taking of a breath test incident to a lawful a......
  • State v. Campoy, No. 2 CA-SA 2009-0010.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • April 28, 2009
    ...238, 240 (App.2007); A.R.S. § 13-4032 (setting forth kinds of orders from which state may appeal); cf. State ex rel. Romley v. Martin, 203 Ariz. 46, ¶ 5, 49 P.3d 1142, 1143 (App.2002), aff'd, 205 Ariz. 279, 69 P.3d 1000 (2003) (accepting jurisdiction of state's petition to determine whether......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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