State v. Roberts, No. A-7159.

CourtCourt of Appeals of Alaska
Writing for the CourtCOATS.
Citation999 P.2d 151
PartiesSTATE of Alaska, Petitioner, v. Lincoln D. ROBERTS, Respondent.
Decision Date10 March 2000
Docket NumberNo. A-7159.

999 P.2d 151

STATE of Alaska, Petitioner,
v.
Lincoln D. ROBERTS, Respondent

No. A-7159.

Court of Appeals of Alaska.

March 10, 2000.


999 P.2d 152
Kenneth M. Rosenstein, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals, Anchorage, and Bruce M. Botelho, Attorney General, Juneau, for Petitioner

Marcia E. Holland, Assistant Public Defender, Fairbanks, and Barbara K. Brink, Public Defender, Anchorage, Public Defender Agency as amicus curiae.

Before COATS, Chief Judge, MANNHEIMER and STEWART, Judges.

OPINION

COATS, Judge.

This case requires us to interpret a statute, AS 12.30.027, which governs the authority of the court to set conditions of bail release for a person charged with or convicted of a crime of domestic violence. We conclude the statute forbids the court to permit a person released on a charge or conviction of a crime involving domestic violence to return to the residence of his alleged victim.

A jury convicted Lincoln Roberts of assault in the third degree, a class C felony, for assaulting M.J. in Venetie, Alaska.1 Judge Beistline sentenced Roberts to a three-year presumptive sentence. Roberts appealed his sentence and asked for bail release during the pendency of his appeal. Judge Beistline conducted a bail hearing and released Roberts to the custody of a third-party custodian, the Village Chief of Venetie.

A few weeks following his initial release, Roberts requested a modification of his release conditions so that he could reside in the same residence with M.J., the victim of his assault. Before his arrest for the assault, Roberts and M.J. had been living together in a domestic relationship. They had a two-year-old daughter together. The state opposed the release modification, contending that AS 12.30.027 prohibited the court from allowing Roberts to reside with M.J. That statute provides that "[when] ordering release... of a person charged with or convicted of a crime involving domestic violence [the court] may not order or permit [the person so released] to return to the residence of the alleged victim or the residence of a petitioner who has a protective order directed to the person...."2 Roberts argued that the statute only restricted the court from permitting the release of a defendant to the residence of a victim who had obtained a protective order. Judge Beistline agreed with Roberts' interpretation. Judge Beistline modified Roberts' conditions of release

999 P.2d 153
to allow Roberts to reside with M.J. based upon M.J.'s testimony that she wanted the judge to modify the release conditions so that Roberts could reside with her, and the assurances of the Village Chief that he would supervise Roberts and would report any violations of the conditions of release to the authorities. The state filed a petition for review in this court, arguing that Judge Beistline's order violated AS 12.30.027(b). We granted review. Following our granting of the petition for review, Roberts moved to dismiss the petition on the ground that it was moot because Roberts had violated his conditions of release and was in custody. Roberts also stated that since the case was moot, he would not be filing a brief. The state opposed dismissal, arguing that the case fell within the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine—that the issue was an important one which might otherwise evade review. We invited the Public Defender Agency to file an amicus brief

The issue in this case is an appropriate one to resolve under the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine.

Generally courts will not resolve an issue when it is moot—that is, when the decision of an issue will not resolve an on-going case or controversy.3 The state concedes that the case before us is moot because Roberts is no longer on bail release under the disputed order. But the state argues that we should apply the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine. The public interest exception to the mootness doctrine provides that courts can resolve a dispute, even though it has become moot, when the issue is one of public interest which is capable of repetition and may repeatedly circumvent review:

The public interest exception requires the consideration of three main factors: (1) whether the disputed issues are capable of repetition, (2) whether the mootness doctrine, if applied, may cause review of the issues to be repeatedly circumvented, and (3) whether the issues presented are so important to the public interest as to justify overriding the mootness doctrine. None of these factors is dispositive; each is an aspect of the question of whether the public interest dictates that a court review a moot issue. Ultimately the determination of whether to review a moot question is left to the discretion of the court.4

The state argues that in enacting AS 12.30.027, the legislature intended to protect domestic violence victims. The state argues that bail release of those charged or convicted of domestic violence is a frequently occurring issue which tends to evade review because defendants, as in the current case, violate a condition of release or have their case resolved before this court has the opportunity to rule on the issue. Although the amicus, the Public Defender Agency, has argued against the state's interpretation of AS 12.30.027(b), the amicus has not challenged the application of the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine in this...

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7 practice notes
  • J.K. v. State, Court of Appeals No. A-13372
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Alaska
    • July 17, 2020
    ...use initials to protect J.K.’s privacy.7 Jackson v. Indiana , 406 U.S. 715, 92 S.Ct. 1845, 32 L.Ed.2d 435 (1972).8 See State v. Roberts , 999 P.2d 151, 153 (Alaska App. 2000) ("The public interest exception requires the consideration of three main factors: (1) whether the disputed issues ar......
  • Williams v. State, No. A-9139.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Alaska
    • November 24, 2006
    ...2. AS 18.66.100(c) lists the conditions that may be imposed in a domestic violence protective order. 3. In State v. Roberts, 999 P.2d 151 (Alaska App. 2000), we rejected the claim that AS 12.30.027(b) only restricted the court from releasing a defendant to the residence of a petitioner who ......
  • Y.J. v. State, No. A-9021.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Alaska
    • March 3, 2006
    ...123 P.3d at 1118; Vigue, 987 P.2d at 211. 5. Progressive Insurance Co. v. Simmons, 953 P.2d 510, 516 (Alaska 1998); State v. Roberts, 999 P.2d 151, 153 (Alaska App.2000); State v. McCallion, 875 P.2d 93, 98-99 (Alaska 6. See AS 11.81.900(b)(62). --------------- ...
  • Pedersen v. State, Court of Appeals No. A-10958
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Alaska
    • September 10, 2014
    ...his challenges to his pre-trial bail are moot — because he is no longer in custody under that pre-trial order. See State v. Roberts, 999 P.2d 151, 153 (Alaska App. 2000). Pedersen also challenges his post-conviction bail (that is, his bail pending appeal). But Appellate Rule 206(b) specifie......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • J.K. v. State, Court of Appeals No. A-13372
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Alaska
    • July 17, 2020
    ...use initials to protect J.K.’s privacy.7 Jackson v. Indiana , 406 U.S. 715, 92 S.Ct. 1845, 32 L.Ed.2d 435 (1972).8 See State v. Roberts , 999 P.2d 151, 153 (Alaska App. 2000) ("The public interest exception requires the consideration of three main factors: (1) whether the disputed issues ar......
  • Williams v. State, No. A-9139.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Alaska
    • November 24, 2006
    ...2. AS 18.66.100(c) lists the conditions that may be imposed in a domestic violence protective order. 3. In State v. Roberts, 999 P.2d 151 (Alaska App. 2000), we rejected the claim that AS 12.30.027(b) only restricted the court from releasing a defendant to the residence of a petitioner who ......
  • Y.J. v. State, No. A-9021.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Alaska
    • March 3, 2006
    ...123 P.3d at 1118; Vigue, 987 P.2d at 211. 5. Progressive Insurance Co. v. Simmons, 953 P.2d 510, 516 (Alaska 1998); State v. Roberts, 999 P.2d 151, 153 (Alaska App.2000); State v. McCallion, 875 P.2d 93, 98-99 (Alaska 6. See AS 11.81.900(b)(62). --------------- ...
  • Pedersen v. State, Court of Appeals No. A-10958
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Alaska
    • September 10, 2014
    ...his challenges to his pre-trial bail are moot — because he is no longer in custody under that pre-trial order. See State v. Roberts, 999 P.2d 151, 153 (Alaska App. 2000). Pedersen also challenges his post-conviction bail (that is, his bail pending appeal). But Appellate Rule 206(b) specifie......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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