State v. Charles G., A-1-CA-40215

CitationA-1-CA-40215
Case DateNovember 22, 2022
CourtCourt of Appeals of New Mexico

STATE OF NEW MEXICO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.

CHARLES G., Child-Appellant.

No. A-1-CA-40215

Court of Appeals of New Mexico

November 22, 2022


Corrections to this opinion/decision not affecting the outcome, at the Court's discretion, can occur up to the time of publication with NM Compilation Commission. The Court will ensure that the electronic version of this opinion/decision is updated accordingly in Odyssey.

APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF CURRY COUNTY Drew D. Tatum, District Judge

Hector H. Balderas, Attorney General Santa Fe, NM Meryl E. Francolini, Assistant Attorney General Albuquerque, NM for Appellee

Bennett J. Baur, Chief Public Defender Carrie Cochran, Assistant Appellate Defender Santa Fe, NM for Appellant

DECISION

JACQUELINE R. MEDINA, JUDGE

{¶1}A district court adjudicated Child delinquent following a jury determination that he committed aggravated battery against a household member, contrary to NMSA 1978, Section 30-3-16 (2018); false imprisonment, contrary to NMSA 1978, Section 30-4-3 (1963); and criminal trespass, contrary to NMSA 1978, Section 30-14-1(B) (1995).

1

Child asserts that his adjudications should be dismissed because they were obtained beyond the deadline for commencing adjudicatory hearings under Rule 10-243 NMRA. Child argues that the district court's grant of the State's request to continue his adjudicatory hearing and to extend time to hold the adjudicatory hearing was error because the State's motion for an extension of time was not submitted in writing and because the district court did not enter a written order granting the extension in violation of Rule 10-243(D), (E). Alternatively, Child argues that the district court failed to properly follow New Mexico Supreme Court Order No. 20-8500-025 [1] to exclude time from the calculation of when Child's adjudicatory hearing must take place. Child also argues that the district court abused its discretion by failing to rule on Child's motion to exclude text messages between Child and Victim before trial, which allowed the State to reference the excluded evidence in its opening statement. We hold that the district court's failure to enter a written order granting the State's oral motion for an extension does not require reversal and dismissal of Child's adjudications. As such, we do not address Child's alternative theory that the district court failed to properly follow Order No. 20-8500-025.

2

We also hold that the district court timely ruled on Child's motion to exclude and did not prejudice Child. We therefore affirm.

BACKGROUND

{¶2} The State filed a delinquency petition against Child on July 12, 2021, alleging that Child committed the delinquent acts of aggravated battery on a household member, false imprisonment, and criminal trespass based on acts committed against Victim. The same day, the district court released Child to the custody of his father. The adjudicatory hearing was originally scheduled for October 7, 2021. A week before the hearing, the State moved to revoke Child's conditions of release, alleging Child violated them by contacting Victim. The district court revoked Child's conditions of release and ordered Child detained on October 1, 2021. The district court also rescheduled the adjudicatory hearing for November 4, 2021.

{¶3}On November 4, 2021, the State orally moved for an extension of time and a continuation of the adjudicatory hearing. The State notified the district court that it was now in possession of possible exculpatory text messages between Victim and Child that Victim previously believed were deleted. The district court granted a short recess to allow the defense to view the text messages. When the parties returned, the State informed the district court that it received information that Victim had tested positive for COVID-19. The district court then granted the State's motion for an extension of time and a continuance of Child's adjudicatory hearing. Although the

3

State moved for an extension of time and the district court granted the motion, no written motion or order was entered into the record. The district court released Child from custody, and Child's adjudicatory hearing was reset for November 29, 2021.

{¶4} On November 29, 2021, before the start of trial, Child moved to exclude the text messages citing the late disclosure. The district court deferred ruling on the motion to exclude, stating it would rule when the State attempted to enter the messages into evidence and Child objected. The district court eventually excluded the text messages because the messages were not timely disclosed. The district court also clarified that it granted the extension and continuation of Child's adjudicatory hearing date because of Victim's positive COVID-19 test. The jury found Child committed the delinquent acts alleged in the petition. This appeal followed.

DISCUSSION

I. The Absence of a Written Order Granting an Extension of Time Does Not Require Reversal and Dismissal of Child's Delinquency Adjudications

{¶5} Child argues that both the State and district court failed to comply with Rule 10-243(D), (E)'s requirements that a motion for an extension of time and the order granting an extension be filed in writing. "[W]e review a district court's decision to deny or grant a continuance or extension under an abuse of discretion standard." State v. Alejandro M., 2021-NMCA-013, ¶ 5, 485 P.3d 787. "An abuse...

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