Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Kalauli

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

March 20, 2018

STATE OF ARIZONA, Petitioner/Appellant,
v.
HON. MITCHELL KALAULI, Respondent Judge/Appellee, DELIANA MILDRED KROLL, Real Party in Interest/Appellee.

         Appeal from the Superior Court in Mohave County No. L8015CV201507173 The Honorable Lee F. Jantzen, Judge

          Lake Havasu City Attorney's Office, Lake Havasu City By Charles F. Yager Counsel for Petitioner/Appellant

          Whitney & Whitney PLLC, Kingman By Jacob W. Baldridge Counsel for Real Party in Interest/Appellee

          Peoria City Attorney's Office, Peoria By Michael L. Dynes Counsel for Amicus Curiae City of Peoria

          Judge Michael J. Brown delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Diane M. Johnsen and Judge Jon W. Thompson joined.

          OPINION

          BROWN, JUDGE

         ¶1 We address here whether a defendant charged with misdemeanor theft of services is entitled to a jury trial under the Arizona Constitution. Under our criminal code, theft is a unified offense and a defendant's eligibility for a jury trial must therefore be analyzed within that context. Because at least one of the varieties of theft has a common-law antecedent, we hold that a defendant charged with misdemeanor theft has the right to have his or her guilt determined by a jury.

         BACKGROUND

         ¶2 The State charged Deliana Kroll with theft, a class one misdemeanor, alleging she failed to pay the fare for a shuttle ride she took in Lake Havasu City. She was also charged with disorderly conduct for cursing and other offensive conduct directed toward the driver. The State filed a motion requesting a bench trial, asserting in part that Arizona's "misdemeanor theft statute has never had a common law antecedent and shares no substantially similar elements to common law larceny." Kroll disagreed, pointing to case law recognizing larceny as the antecedent of shoplifting, and suggesting the jury eligibility question must be determined by recognizing theft as a single offense that may be committed in a number of ways. The Lake Havasu City Municipal Court denied the State's motion, concluding that "[historically[, ] theft charges have been [j]ury [t]rial eligible."

         ¶3 The State filed a petition for special action in superior court challenging the municipal court's ruling. The superior court accepted jurisdiction but denied relief, reasoning in part that although the State had raised "credible arguments regarding why the specific theft in this case does not fit the common law definition of larceny . . . the bottom line . . . is that the State of Arizona has always allowed for jury trials for theft .... Misdemeanor theft requires a jury trial." The State then filed a notice of appeal.

         JURISDICTION

         ¶4 Although neither party questions this court's jurisdiction relating to the State's challenge of the superior court's ruling, we have an independent duty to determine our jurisdiction to consider an appeal. Sorensen v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Ariz., 191 Ariz. 464, 465 (App. 1997). The State asserts that appellate jurisdiction exists pursuant to Arizona Rule of Procedure for Special Actions 8(a). This procedural rule alone, however, does not provide a statutory basis for jurisdiction, and it is unclear whether we have appellate jurisdiction over a superior court order denying special action relief. See State v. Bayardi, 230 Ariz. 195, 197 n.4, ¶ 7 (App. 2012).

         ¶5 Without deciding whether we have appellate jurisdiction, we may nonetheless consider the State's challenge if we elect to exercise special action jurisdiction. See Ariz. R.P. Spec. Act. 8(a). The State appears to have no "equally plain, speedy, or adequate remedy by appeal, " and the issue raised is one of first impression with statewide importance. See Sanchez v. Gama, 233 Ariz. 125, 127, ΒΆ 4 (App. 2013) ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.