FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ACADIA,
NO. CR 81971 HONORABLE JOHN D. TRAHAN, DISTRICT JUDGE
A. Stutes District Attorney Roger P. Hamilton, Jr. Assistant
District Attorney COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: State of Louisiana
Kevin Stockstill COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Damon
composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Shannon J.
Gremillion, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.
State of Louisiana appeals a trial court judgment granting a
motion to quash a bill of indictment charging the defendant,
Damon Broussard, with one count of indecent behavior with a
juvenile and one count of molestation of a juvenile. For the
reasons set forth herein, we reverse the decision of the
trial court and remand for proceedings consistent herewith.
OF THE RECORD
defendant, Damon Broussard, was indicted by a grand jury on
one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile, in violation
of La.R.S. 14:81, and one count of molestation of a juvenile,
in violation of La.R.S. 14:81.2. The indictment was filed on
February 19, 2014. On March 27, 2014, the defendant
filed a single pleading containing multiple motions therein,
Motion for a Preliminary Hearing; Motion for Discovery of
Material Discoverable Under the Authority of Brady v.
Maryland and Kyles v. Whitley, Motion for
Discovery of Records of Criminal Arrests and Convictions of
State's Witnesses; Motion for Oyer of Warrants of Arrest,
Search, and Seizure and Affidavits; Motion for Production of
"Initial Reports" R.S. 44:3A(4); Motion for
Discovery Pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure Articles
716, et seq.; Motion for State to Disclose to Defendant
Grants of Immunity, Plea Bargain, Agreement or Consideration
Granted to Any Witness or Prospective Witness of the State;
Motion to Suppress Evidence; and a Request for Notice Under
La. C.E. 404(b) and 412.2.
March 28, 2014, the trial court signed an order setting a
hearing date of May 5, 2014, for six of the eight discovery
motions filed by the defendant. The order for hearing did not
include the motion for a preliminary examination or the
motion to suppress. The minutes of the trial court for May 5,
2014, reflect that the hearing on the discovery motions was
continued to June 18, 2014. On June 18, 2014, the minutes of
the trial court and the transcript of the hearing reflect
that counsel for the defendant advised the trial court that
the discovery motions set for hearing that date had been
satisfied by the State and that he reserved the right to file
additional motions after reviewing the provided discovery
trial court minutes for June 18, 2014, further reflect that a
pre-trial conference set for that day was passed, and it was
later set for July 23, 2014, but was again passed and reset
for October 15, 2014. On October 15, the pre-trial conference
was again passed and reset for November 19, 2014. On November
19, it was passed and reset for March 23, 2015. On March 23,
2015, the pre-trial conference was passed and reset for
September 21, 2015. The trial court minutes for November 16,
2015, reflect that the trial of the matter was set for that
day, but was continued on motion of the State and reset for a
status hearing on December 17, 2015, and trial was set for
January 25, 2016. Thereafter, neither the trial court minutes
nor the transcript of the proceedings reflect any hearings,
appearances, or motions being filed until April 2017.
defendant filed a motion to quash on April 5, 2017, alleging
that he had not been brought to trial within the two-year
time limit from the institution of prosecution. The minutes
of court for May 1, 2017, reflect that the trial of the case,
scheduled for that day was continued on motion of the State.
It further reflected the filing of the defendant's motion
to quash and that the State was ordered to submit a reply
brief within two weeks. On August 31, 2017, the hearing on
the motion to quash was reset to September 25, 2017.
Following the September 25 hearing, the trial court denied
the motion to quash, finding that the defendant's Motion
for Preliminary Hearing and Motion to Suppress had never been
disposed of, and thus, continued to suspend the time
limitation for commencing trial. The defendant applied for writs
to this court, and on February 16, 2018, we issued the
following writ ruling:
WRIT GRANTED AND MADE PEREMPTORY: The Defendant
seeks review of the trial court's September 25, 2017
determination that his Motion for Preliminary Hearing and
Motion to Suppress were unresolved preliminary pleas that
suspended the running of prescription under La.Code Crim.P.
art. 580. The motions either became moot on June 18, 2014,
when defense counsel said the Defendant's discovery
motions were satisfied and reserved his right to file
additional motions or were abandoned when defense counsel
made no effort to have them set for hearing for approximately
three and a half years. Cf. State v. Williams,
97-1135 (La.App. 5 Cir. 5/27/98), 714 So.2d 258; State v.
Washington, 98-69 (La.App. 5 Cir. 1/26/99), 727 So.2d
673; State v. Vernon, 16-692 (La.App. 4 Cir.
12/21/16), 207 So.3d 525, writ denied, 17-137 (La.
9/22/17), 227 So.3d 824. Accordingly, the trial court's
ruling is vacated, and these matters are remanded for
reopening of the motion to quash hearing.
State v. Broussard, 17-1009 (La.App. 3 Cir. 2/16/18)
Savoie dissented, as follows:
The Motion for Preliminary Hearing and Motion to Suppress
filed in March 2014 are preliminary pleas that suspended
the running of prescription under La.Code Crim.P. art. 580.
Because the motions were unresolved at the time the Motion
to Quash was filed, I find no error in the trial
court's September 25, 2017 ruling and would deny the
Defendant's writ application. See State v.
Dillon, 06-488 (La.App. 5 Cir. 11/28/06), 947 So.2d
the case was remanded to the trial court, the motion to quash
was reset for March 1, 2018. At a hearing held that date, the
trial court granted the motion to quash, relying on the writ
decision of this court, from which the State sought review by
writ application to this court. On June 12, 2018, this court
granted the State's writ application and remanded the
case to the trial court with instructions to treat the
State's notice of intent to file a writ application as a
motion to appeal. State v. Broussard, 18-262
(La.App. 3 Cir. 6/12/18) (unpublished opinion). Thereafter,
the State moved for an appeal, which was granted by the trial
court on June 18, 2018. On appeal, the State argues that the
trial court erred in granting the motion to quash.
Code of Criminal Procedure Article 578(A) provides that: [N]o
trial shall be commenced nor any bail obligation be
(1) In capital cases after three years from the date of
institution of the prosecution;
(2) In other felony cases after two years from the date of
institution of the prosecution; and
(3) In misdemeanor cases after one year from the date of
institution of the prosecution.
Code of Criminal Procedure Article 580(A) (emphasis added)
When a defendant files a motion to quash or other preliminary
plea, the running of the periods of limitation established by
Article 578 shall be suspended until the ruling of the
court thereon; but in no case shall the state have less
than one year after the ruling to commence the trial.
supreme court has distinguished between a suspension of the
limitation on the commencement of trial and the interruption
of the running of the time limitation:
A motion to quash is the proper procedural vehicle for
challenging an untimely commencement of trial. See
La.Code Crim.Proc.Ann. arts. 532(7), 581; see also State
v. Brown,451 So.2d 1074, 1079 (La.1984); State v.
Taylor,439 So.2d 410 (La.1983); State v.
Walgamotte,415 So.2d 205 (La. 1982). When defendant has
brought an apparently meritorious motion to quash based on
prescription, the state bears a heavy burden to demonstrate
either an interruption or a suspension of the time limit such
that prescription will not have tolled. See State v.
Brown,451 So.2d 1074, 1079 (La.1984); State v.
Taylor,439 So.2d 410, 412 ...