State v. Hoyle

Decision Date21 July 2004
Docket NumberNo. 30084.,30084.
Citation99 P.3d 1069,140 Idaho 679
PartiesSTATE of Idaho, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Richard W. HOYLE, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtIdaho Supreme Court

Andrew Parnes, Ketchum, and Peterson Law Offices, Boise, for Appellant. Andrew Parnes argued.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. Kenneth K. Jorgensen argued.

KIDWELL, Justice.

This is an appeal from a denial of a Motion for Judgment of Acquittal after a jury trial where the district court ruled a mistrial as to Count B, racketeering. The judgment of the district court is affirmed.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Richard W. Hoyle (Hoyle), the Appellant, owned and operated Hoyle & Associates Insurance, Inc. (Hoyle Insurance), in Boise since 1979. Hoyle Insurance was very successful. On January 1, 1996, Hoyle sold Hoyle Insurance to First Security Insurance (FSI), which continued to operate as Hoyle Insurance. After the sale, FSI employed Hoyle as Vice President and Sales Manager. Before and after the sale, Hoyle directed certain employees to make accounting entries regarding customer accounts, and to prepare and submit certain insurance applications, including loss run reports.

On June 12, 1997, Hoyle was indicted on eight felony counts which charged him with racketeering in connection with his insurance agency. The charge under I.C. § 18-7804 was predicated upon 165 alleged criminal acts, but after amendments and elimination at trial, the jury was left to consider just Counts A, E, and only 30 allegedly predicate acts under Count B. On June 11, 1999, the jury found Hoyle not guilty on Counts A and E and 23 predicate acts under Count B. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the seven remaining acts under Count B and Hoyle moved for a mistrial. The court dismissed and entered judgment of acquittal on Counts A and E and dismissed the 23 predicate acts on which the jury agreed. Hoyle then filed a Motion of Acquittal on Count B and the state filed a Motion for New Trial on Count B. On August 11, 1999, the district court ruled the jury had not entered a verdict on Count B or the seven predicate acts on which it could not agree, and denied Hoyle's Motion for Acquittal and granted the Motion for A New Trial.

On August 17, 2000, the state informed the court that it would not proceed to retrial on Count B because a second prosecution was filed, Case No. H0000795 (Case 795). Case 795 charged Hoyle with five of the seven predicate acts, but did not charge Hoyle with racketeering. The state informed the court that it would move to amend the indictment in Case 795. If the district court granted the motion, the state offered to dismiss the instant case. Hoyle then moved for a mistrial.

On September 11, 2000, the date of retrial for Count B, the state again informed the district court that it would not proceed with the instant case and prosecution of Count B. Hoyle argued that he was ready to proceed to trial. Hoyle stated that if the state were not going to proceed, he would renew his Motion for Judgment of Acquittal. The state responded that it intended to consolidate the instant case and Case 795. Thereafter, the instant case was dismissed without prejudice. Hoyle timely appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court. Hoyle timely appeals to this Court.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

"Findings of fact cannot be set aside on appeal unless they are clearly erroneous, i.e., not supported by substantial, competent evidence." Kohring v. Robertson, 137 Idaho 94, 99, 44 P.3d 1149, 1154 (2002) (citing Savage Lateral Ditch Water Users Ass'n v. Pulley, 125 Idaho 237, 241-42, 869 P.2d 554, 558-59 (1993)). Legal questions are subject to de novo review by this Court. Doolittle v. Meridian Joint Sch. Dist., 128 Idaho 805, 811, 919 P.2d 334, 340 (1996); see Iron Eagle Dev., L.L.C. v. Quality Design Sys., Inc., 138 Idaho 487, 491, 65 P.3d 509, 513 (2003). The applicable standard of review for sufficiency of the evidence for a motion for judgment of acquittal is at issue in this appeal; therefore, it is discussed in the analysis section.

III. ANALYSIS
A. Hoyle's Appeal Is Moot With Regards To His Suppression Challenge, But Not His Prosecutorial Challenge.

An issue is not moot if it constitutes an "actual or justiciable controversy." Idaho Sch. For Equal Educ. Opportunity v. Idaho State Bd. Of Educ., 128 Idaho 276, 281-82, 912 P.2d 644, 649-50 (1996). Justiciable issues are controversies that are real and substantial and can be concluded through the grant of relief by a court. Id. Idaho law parallels the United States Supreme Court in that mootness applies not only to a dead issue, but also when the appellant lacks a legal interest in the outcome. Murphy v. Hunt, 455 U.S. 478, 481-82, 102 S.Ct. 1181, 1183, 71 L.Ed.2d 353, 356-57 (1982); Bradshaw v. State, 120 Idaho 429, 432, 816 P.2d 986, 989 (1991). Thus, this Court cannot hear and resolve an issue that "presents no justiciable controversy and a judicial determination will have no practical effect on the outcome." Idaho Sch. For Equal Educ. Opportunity, 128 Idaho at 281, 912 P.2d at 649.

A mootness exception exists where the challenged conduct is of such a limited duration as to prohibit full litigation prior to termination of the conduct. Weinstein v. Bradford, 423 U.S. 147, 149, 96 S.Ct. 347, 349, 46 L.Ed.2d 350, 352-53 (1975). Moreover, the complainant could be expected to engage in the same conduct. Id. Therefore, the mootness doctrine is limited by the "capable of repetition, yet evading review" exception. Mallery v. Lewis, 106 Idaho 227, 234, 678 P.2d 19, 26 (1983). A second exception looks to the justiciability of an issue that, although now appears dead, impacts the general public. Idaho Sch. For Equal Educ. Opportunity, 128 Idaho at 284, 912 P.2d at 652; Bradshaw v. State, 120 Idaho 429, 432, 816 P.2d 986, 989 (1991). A third exception exists when the challenger continues to face an impact from the same dead issue. Adams v. Killeen, 115 Idaho 1034, 1035, 772 P.2d 241, 242 (Ct.App.1989).

1. Suppression Challenge

Hoyle argued to the Court of Appeals that the warrants used to search his personal and real estate office located within Hoyle's Insurance offices were overbroad and vague. The Court of Appeals properly determined that issue was moot and affirmed the district court because: (1) the instant case was dismissed; (2) Hoyle was acquitted of Counts A and E and most of the predicate acts to Count B; and (3) Hoyle was neither convicted nor acquitted on the remaining seven Acts of Count B, or Count B itself. Therefore, the district court is affirmed because there remains no justiciable controversy.

2. Prosecutorial Authority Challenge

Hoyle argues that Deputy Attorney General Dennis Charney prosecuted independently of the Ada County Prosecutor and thereby exceeded his statutory duties in violation of I.C. § 67-1401 and violated Mr. Hoyle's state and federal constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. However, the Court of Appeals properly determined that the issue of the Attorney General's conduct is no longer justiciable, so any determination has no effect and is moot.

B. The District Court Did Not Err In Denying Hoyle's Motion For Acquittal Based On The Verdict Form.

In its decision, the Court of Appeals noted that if Hoyle's Motion for Judgment of Acquittal should have been granted by the district court, double jeopardy bars Hoyle's subsequent prosecution in Case 795 because the predicate acts at issue constitute lesser-included offenses of racketeering as charged in Count B. Sivak v. State, 112 Idaho 197, 210-15, 731 P.2d 192, 205-10 (1986). As such, Hoyle's challenge is justiciable under the "collateral legal consequences" exception. Russell v. Fortney, 111 Idaho 181, 183, 722 P.2d 490, 492 (Ct.App.1986).

The issue is whether the district court properly granted a mistrial. A district court's decision to declare a mistrial is discretionary. United States v. Cawley, 630 F.2d 1345, 1349 (9th Cir.1980); State v. Lee, 131 Idaho 600, 605-07, 961 P.2d 1203, 1208-10 (Ct.App.1998). A deadlocked jury presents a "manifest necessity" justifying a mistrial declaration. State v. Sharp, 104 Idaho 691, 693, 662 P.2d 1135, 1137 (1983). The Court of Appeals properly held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in declaring a mistrial because the jury did not return a unanimous verdict on Count B or the seven predicate acts. Therefore, we hold the district court did not abuse its discretion in declaring a mistrial because the jury failed to return a unanimous verdict.

C. The District Court Did Not Err In Denying Hoyle's Motion For Judgment Of Acquittal.

After the jury returned its verdict, Hoyle moved the district court for a judgment of acquittal from Count B pursuant to I.C.R. 29(c) because the jury could not agree as to seven predicate acts. "If no verdict is returned the court may enter a judgment of acquittal." I.C.R. 29(c). The district court denied Hoyle's motion. The Court of Appeals stated "[w]hen we review the grant or denial for judgment of acquittal, we examine the record for sufficiency of the evidence ... the trial court must deny the motion if there is some evidence of guilt produced at trial." State of Idaho v. Hoyle, 2003 Opinion No. 19 at 10; (quoting State v. Griffith, 127 Idaho 8, 11, 896 P.2d 334, 337 (1995)). Hoyle contends that the proper standard is whether there is substantial evidence upon which any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

When reviewing a decision on a motion for judgment of acquittal, older Idaho case law required evidence "sufficient to sustain a conviction of the offense." State v. Greene, 100 Idaho 464, 466, 600 P.2d 140, 142 (1979); State v. Holder, 100 Idaho 129, 594 P.2d 639, 641, 642 (1979). More recently, this Court further...

To continue reading

Request your trial
34 cases
  • Houpt v. Wells Fargo Bank, Nat'l Ass'n
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • March 9, 2016
    ...raise an issue on appeal, the record must contain an adverse ruling to form the basis for assignment of error...." State v. Hoyle, 140 Idaho 679, 687 99 P.3d 1069, 1077 (2004) (citation omitted) (quotation marks omitted). However, issues of standing are jurisdictional, and "they can be rais......
  • Houpt v. Wells Fargo Bank, Nat'l Ass'n, 41990.
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • March 9, 2016
    ..."To raise an issue on appeal, the record must contain an adverse ruling to form the basis for assignment of error...." State v. Hoyle, 140 Idaho 679, 687 99 P.3d 1069, 1077 (2004) (citation omitted) (quotation marks omitted). However, issues of standing are jurisdictional, and "they can be ......
  • Hoyle v. Ada County
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • August 2, 2007
    ...for discretionary review on the issue, and, in a 3-2 decision, affirmed the decision of the appeals court. State v. Hoyle, 140 Idaho 679, 688, 99 P.3d 1069, 1073, 1078 (Idaho 2004). Stating that the majority had not addressed Hoyle's double jeopardy claim, Justice Eismann concluded in disse......
  • State v. Alley
    • United States
    • Idaho Court of Appeals
    • February 11, 2014
    ...raises concerns of substantial public interest. State v. Barclay, 149 Idaho 6, 8, 232 P.3d 327, 329 (2010) ; State v. Hoyle, 140 Idaho 679, 682, 99 P.3d 1069, 1072 (2004). The state argues that the issue of whether AM–2201 is a schedule I controlled substance is moot because, by pleading gu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT