from the 22nd Judicial District Court in and for the Parish
of St. Tammany, Louisiana Trial Court No. 534714 Honorable
August J. Hand, Judge
L. MONTGOMERY DISTRICT ATTORNEY MATTHEW CAPLAN ASSISTANT
DISTRICT ATTORNEY COVINGTON, LA ATTORNEYS FOR STATE OF
R. PADDISON COVINGTON, LA ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT-APPELLEE
TRACY P. DASPIT.
BEFORE: GUIDRY, PETTIGREW, AND CRAIN, JJ.
case, the State of Louisiana challenges the trial court's
August 4, 2016 order granting defendant's motion for
expungement. For the reasons that follow, we reverse.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
February 25, 2016, defendant, Tracy P. Daspit, filed a Motion
to Set Aside Conviction and Dismiss Prosecution and a Motion
for Expungement relative to his October 1, 2013 conviction
for driving while intoxicated, first offense. On the front of
the Motion to Set Aside Conviction and Dismiss Prosecution,
there is a stamp by the St. Tammany Parish District
Attorney's Office dated March 3, 2016, indicating
opposition to same. The following handwritten notation is
included: "Per C.Cr.P. Article 977D(2), expungement of a
misdemeanor DWI shall occur only once during a 10-year
period. This defendant had a misdemeanor DWI expunged on or
about 10/15/08 under docket #389285." Said notation
appears to be signed by Assistant District Attorney Bruce G.
trial court heard arguments on the Motion to Set Aside
Conviction and Dismiss Prosecution on April 5, 2016, after
which the trial court granted said motion. On May 20, 2016,
the District Attorney for the Parish of St. Tammany,
appearing on behalf of the State of Louisiana, filed an
Affidavit of Response, again setting forth the State's
position that pursuant to Article 977D(2), defendant was not
entitled to an expungement in this case because of his prior
expungement in 2008.
Motion for Expungement proceeded to hearing on August 4,
2016. After considering the arguments of the parties, the
trial court granted the motion for expungement, stating:
All right. Still have questions in my mind as to the
eligibility, only because of the 10 year cleansing period and
the date in which it commences, based upon the prior plea and
expungement thereof. I'm going to grant the motion to
expungement. But I'm not going to pass judgment on
whether the department is going to honor that order. It may
be an issue that needs to [be] addressed through [the] 19th
Judicial District Court, in their venue, to determine whether
that is going to be a successful order, and their expungement
of the record.
trial court signed the Order of Expungement of
Arrest/Conviction Record on August 4, 2016, but did not check
the boxes on the form judgment regarding the specific relief
that was granted in the proceeding.
August 30, 2016, the State filed a Motion for Suspensive
Appeal and for Designation of Record, requesting that "a
copy of the court record under docket number 389285" be
included in the record on appeal. Defendant opposed this
motion. Thereafter, on September 13, 2016, the trial court
signed the order of appeal providing that the record on
appeal would include "the proceedings designated in the
foregoing Motion for Appeal." Defendant subsequently
filed a Motion to Suppress the Record, arguing that the
records from docket number 389285 had been expunged, and
therefore, were confidential and not allowed to be produced
under any exceptions under the law. This matter was set for
hearing on November 3, 2016, at which time the trial court
informed the parties that due to the matter being on appeal,
the motion would be continued without date.
court issued a rule to show cause order on November 21, 2016,
advising the parties that the August 4, 2016 judgment lacked
specificity. The matter was remanded to the trial court for
the limited purpose of allowing the trial court to sign an
amended judgment to cure the defects in same. On December 1,
2016, the trial court corrected the order of expungement by
specifically checking the ...