State v. Castillo, 32358-7-III

CourtCourt of Appeals of Washington
Writing for the CourtKorsmo, J.
Docket Number32358-7-III
Decision Date17 September 2015



No. 32358-7-III

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3

September 17, 2015


Korsmo, J.

Miguel Castillo convinced the trial court to dismiss his adult prosecution for indecent liberties due to "delay" in the processing of this charge in juvenile court allegedly occurring after charges had been filed there. We reject his novel argument and reverse the trial court's dismissal of this action.


Mr. Castillo, born on February 17, 1994, was charged in the juvenile division of Franklin County Superior Court in late spring 2010[2] with one count of indecent liberties allegedly occurring during the first eight months of 2005. The charge never proceeded to disposition and eventually was dismissed on Mr. Castillo's 18th birthday. However, the procedural history of that case is critical to this action and needs some discussion.

The named victim, B.V,, was born in August 1992. On November 28, 2009, she reported to police that Mr. Castillo had sexually assaulted her over the eight month charging period.[3] The detective spoke to Mr. Castillo two days later. Our records do not reflect whether he made any statements to the detective. Two days later, the detective referred the file to the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office. A counselor at Kid's Haven, where B.V. then was staying, discussed the case with her on April 15, 2010, and confirmed that she would cooperate with the prosecution. However, sometime after that interview, B.V. became uncooperative. Meanwhile, the prosecutor filed the charge related to B.V.

It appears that Mr. Castillo was arraigned in juvenile court and obtained counsel, although again the findings reflect only that he had an attorney representing him in that court. B.V. declined to appear at the prosecutor's office for a defense interview. A later attempt to conduct a deposition also failed. The findings also reflect that Mr. Castillo lost contact with his counsel.[4] A bench warrant issued for his arrest on October 6, 2011.

Charges were dismissed without prejudice four months later when Mr. Castillo turned 18 on February 17, 2012. Presumably the bench warrant was recalled when charges were dismissed, although the record likewise does not reflect whether that was the case or not. Meanwhile, the prosecutor was able to locate B.V. and interviewed her on June 17, 2013. She again agreed to cooperate and the prosecutor filed one count of indecent liberties, again covering the same January 1, 2005 to August 31, 2005 time period, in adult court on August 5, 2013.

It appears Mr. Castillo was arraigned in adult court. Represented by counsel, he later moved to dismiss the charges pursuant to CrR 8.3(b). He argued that dismissal was appropriate due to governmental mismanagement in not bringing the case to trial before his 18th birthday and that it was fundamentally unfair to prosecute someone as an adult for actions committed while still a "preadolescent." Report of Proceedings (RP) at 7. As prejudice, he claimed the loss of juvenile court jurisdiction.

The trial court agreed that Mr. Castillo was prejudiced by the loss of jurisdiction and that the case should have proceeded to trial in juvenile court on the basis of B.V.'s statements to the detective and the counselor. The court also concluded that "the delay in charging was neither deliberate nor negligent." RP at 8; CP at 8. The charge was dismissed.

The State timely appealed to this court.


The issue presented by Mr. Castillo's hybrid argument is whether the court erred in granting the motion to dismiss under CrR 8.3(b). It was not appropriate to apply due process charging delay standards to the juvenile court's management of its then-pending case. The filing of charges in juvenile court made this a speedy trial case rather than a charging delay case. The court erred in mixing the concepts.[5]

Given the nature of the argument, several well developed doctrines have play in this case. CrR 8.3(b) empowers a court to dismiss an action when, "due to arbitrary action or governmental misconduct, " "there has been prejudice to the rights of the accused which materially affect the accused's right to a fair trial." The trial court's rulings under CrR 8.3(b) are reviewed for abuse of discretion; the extraordinary remedy of dismissal is only appropriate when there has been such prejudice that no other action would ensure a fair trial. State v. Garza, 99 Wn.App. 291, 295, 994 P.2d 868 (2000). Discretion is abused when it is exercised on untenable grounds or for untenable reasons. State ex rel. Carroll v. Junker, 79 Wn.2d 12, 26, 482 P.2d 775 (1971).

To prevail on a claim that delay in prosecution which results in the loss of juvenile jurisdiction violates due process:

(1) the defendant must show prejudice resulting from the delay; (2) the court must consider the reasons for the delay and (3) if the State can justify the delay, the court will engage in balancing the State's interest against the prejudice to the accused

State v. Warner, 125 Wn.2d 876, 889, 889 P.2d 479 (1995) (citing State v. Dixon, 114 Wn.2d 857, 860, 792 P.2d 137 (1990)). There is no constitutional right to be tried as a juvenile. Warner, 125 Wn.2d at 889. However, because a delay that results in loss of juvenile jurisdiction deprives a defendant of certain statutory benefits, loss of jurisdiction establishes the prejudice element of the due process test. Id. at 889-890.

The timeliness with which a charged case is brought to resolution at trial is governed both by the constitution and court rule. The Sixth Amendment and article I, section 22 of the Washington Constitution each provide a right to a speedy trial; the rights provided by the two constitutions are equivalent. State v. Iniguez, 167 Wn.2d 273, 290, 217 P, 3d 768 (2009). We review de novo an allegation that these rights have been violated. Id. at 280. Because some delay is both necessary and inevitable, the appellant bears the burden of demonstrating that the delay between the initial accusation and the trial was unreasonable and created a "presumptively prejudicial" delay. Id. at 283. Once this showing is made, courts must consider several nonexclusive factors in order to determine whether the constitutional speedy trial rights were violated. Id. These factors include the length and reason for the delay, whether the defendant has asserted his right, and the ways in which the delay caused prejudice. Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 530, 92 S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972). None of the Barker factors are either sufficient or necessary to demonstrate a constitutional violation. Iniguez, 167 Wn.2d at 283.

A delay of less than 8-12 months will seldom even present a constitutional question. Id. at 291-293. If presumptive prejudice is not established, there is no need to even conduct an analysis of the other factors. Id. at 282-283. If it is established, then the court must consider the Barker factors and balance the "totality of the circumstances." Id. at 292-295.

In contrast to the constitutional speedy trial rule, the court rules require no balancing of the facts, but simply a determination whether the complex rules were complied with or not by both sides, [6] JuCR 7.8 is the time for trial rule in juvenile court. Except for nomenclature and procedural differences required by juvenile court practices, the rule is substantially identical to CrR 3.3 and CrRLJ 3.3 which govern the time for trial in adult court. All three rules have the same remedy-dismissal with prejudice. In juvenile court, JuCR 7.8(h) speaks to that point:

A charge not brought to adjudicatory hearing within the time limit determined under this rule shall be dismissed with prejudice.... No case shall be dismissed for time-to-hearing reasons except as expressly required by this rale, a statute or the state or federal constitution

Accord CrR 3.3(h); CrRLJ 3.3(h). The failure to assert a time for trial argument to the trial court waives any rule-based claim on appeal. E.g., State v. Smith, 104 Wn.2d 497, 508, 707 P.2d 1306 (1985) (CrR 3.3); State v. MacNeven, 173 Wn.App. 265, 268, 293 P.3d 1241 (2013).

It is with this background in mind that we turn to the argument presented in this appeal. Reduced to its essence, Mr. Castillo wants to gain the benefits of a speedy trial violation without proving that one occurred. Instead, he turns to the only prejudice arguably demonstrated by the record-the loss of juvenile court jurisdiction-and attempts to prove that it occurred as a result of the way his juvenile case was conducted. Although a creative argument, it fails here.

Mr. Castillo agrees with the prosecutor that there was no due process violation because the case was charged well before his 18th birthday. See Br. of Resp't at 8. Under similar facts, the Washington Supreme Court recently came to the same conclusion when it affirmed, on this point, a decision by Division Two. State v. Maynard, 183 Wn.2d 253, 260, 351 P.3d 159 (2015) ("We agree with the Court of Appeals that preaccusatorial delay does not cause the loss of jurisdiction when the State files charges before juvenile jurisdiction expires and the defendant has an opportunity to extend it."). Accordingly, there was no due process violation in this case.

Nonetheless, Mr. Castillo argues that the due process concept of prejudice arising from preaccusatorial delay also establishes prejudice under CrR 8.3(b). This claim fails factually and legally in this instance. The claim fails factually because juvenile jurisdiction was not lost due to any actions of the State. It was lost because Mr. Castillo failed to appear in court and subsequently turned 18, causing the jurisdiction of the juvenile court to end. See RCW 13.40.020(15), (16); RCW 13.40.300. Accord, Maynard, Id . at 260 ("Maynard's attorney did not move to extend...

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