State v. Jefferson, CAAP-20-0000510

CourtCourt of Appeals of Hawai'i
PartiesSTATE OF HAWAI'I, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MICHELLE JEFFERSON, Defendant-Appellant
Docket NumberCAAP-20-0000510
Decision Date16 September 2022

STATE OF HAWAI'I, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.

MICHELLE JEFFERSON, Defendant-Appellant

No. CAAP-20-0000510

Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii

September 16, 2022


NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST'S HAWAI'I REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER

APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE FIRST CIRCUIT HONOLULU DIVISION (CASE NO. 1DCW-20-0001581)

Nelson W.S. Goo, for Defendant-Appellant.

Loren J. Thomas, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Ginoza, Chief Judge, Hiraoka and Nakasone, JJ.

SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER

Defendant-Appellant Michelle Jefferson appeals from the "Notice of Entry of Judgment and/or Order" entered by the District Court of the First Circuit, Honolulu Division, on June 19, 2020.[1] For the reasons explained below, we affirm.

Jefferson was charged by complaint with Harassment in violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 711-1106(1)(b). She was arraigned on June 12, 2020. She was represented by a deputy public defender (Arraignment Counsel). She pleaded not guilty. Her oral motion for release from custody was denied. Bail was set at $500. She was returned to custody.

Jefferson's trial was held on June 19, 2020. She was represented by a different deputy public defender (Trial Counsel). The district court heard testimony from the

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complaining witness, the husband of the complaining witness, and Jefferson. The court found Jefferson guilty as charged. The State requested a sentence of 10 days of incarceration with credit for time served. Trial Counsel requested a sentence of time served (7 days) and a waiver of fees due to inability to pay. The court sentenced Jefferson to 7 days with credit for time served, and waived fees due to inability to pay. The Judgment was entered on June 19, 2020. This appeal followed. Jefferson raises two points on appeal: (1) "Whether Jefferson was denied her constitutional right to reasonable bail?" and (2) "Whether Jefferson was deprived of [her] constitutionally guaranteed right to effective assistance of counsel?"

We must first address the issue of appellate jurisdiction because we have "an independent obligation to ensure jurisdiction over each case." State v. Smith, 149 Hawai'i 153, 163, 484 P.3d 166, 176 (App. 2021) (cleaned up). The Judgment was entered on June 19, 2020. Jefferson's notice of appeal was due on July 20, 2020. See Hawai'i Rules of Appellate Procedure (HRAP) Rules 4(b)(1) and 26(a).[2] Her notice of appeal was filed on August 14, 2020. She did not obtain an extension of time to file the notice of appeal.

"[A]s a general rule, compliance with the requirement of timely filing of a notice of appeal is jurisdictional[.]" State v. Uchima, 147 Hawai'i 64, 77, 464 P.3d 852, 865 (2020) (citations omitted). However, Jefferson expressed an intent to appeal when she was sentenced. The supreme court "has allowed untimely appeals when 'defense counsel has inexcusably or ineffectively failed to pursue a defendant's appeal from a criminal conviction in the first instance.'" Id. (citation omitted). We conclude we have appellate jurisdiction.

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(1) Jefferson could not afford bail. She acknowledges she is raising the issue for the first...

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