APPEAL FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 518-240, SECTION " C" . Honorable Benedict J. Willard, Judge.
Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney, J. Bryant Clark, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, Parish of Orleans, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT/STATE OF LOUISIANA.
D. Omavi Harshaw, ORLEANS PUBLIC DEFENDERS, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE.
(Court composed of Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Paul A. Bonin, Judge Daniel L. Dysart).
Daniel L. Dysart, J.
[2014-0523 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] The State appeals the trial court's granting of defendant, Garland Rainey's, motion to quash. For the reasons discussed below, we reverse the trial court's ruling and remand for further proceedings.
Garland Rainey was charged by bill of information with one count of possession of oxycodone, a violation of La. R.S. 40:967C(2). The defendant filed a motion to quash the bill of information, arguing tat he had a valid prescription for the pills found in his possession. As evidence, the defendant introduced a copy of a prescription and his patient's history report from Wilkinson Family Pharmacy. The trial court granted the motion, dismissing the charge against the defendant. The State has appealed that ruling.
Appellate courts review motions to quash using an abuse of discretion standard. State v. Tran, 12-1219, p. 2 (La.App. 4 Cir. 4/24/13), 115 So.3d 672, 673; State v. Williams, 12-0110, p.2 (La.App. 4 Cir. 10/10/12), 101 So.3d 533, 534.
[2014-0523 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] We note that this court has held that the proper standard of review relative to a motion to quash is de novo, and that a motion to quash is analogous to an exception of no cause of action in a civil case. State v. Marcelin, 13-0893, p. 4 (La.App. 4 Cir. 12/18/13), 131 So.3d 427, 430; State v. Schmolke, 12-0406, pp. 3-4 (La.App. 4 Cir. 1/16/13), 108 So.3d 296, 298. Further, it has been explained that a motion to quash is a mechanism for consideration of pre-trial pleas, which are pleas that do not go to the merits of the charge, and that a trial court's consideration of the motion is confined to questions of law, and as a general rule, does not extend to defenses based upon factual findings. Marcelin, 13-0893, pp. 3-4, 131 So.3d at 430 (" ...,[t]he trial judge's range of permissible actions is limited to those matters which do not go to the merits of the charge." ); Schmolke, 12-0406, p. 4, 108 So.3d at 299 (Any factual determinations by a trial judge at this time regarding the merits of the defense are unauthorized.).
In 2009, La. Code Crim. Proc. art. 532 was amended to add subsection (10), which added to the list of grounds to be raised by a ...