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. Joseph

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

March 21, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
RUDOLPH JOSEPH

          APPEAL FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 508-659, SECTION "0" Honorable Tracey Flemings-Davillier, Judge

          Leon Cannizzaro, District Attorney Donna Andrieu, Assistant District Attorney Irena Zajickova, Assistant District Attorney ORLEANS PARISH COUNSEL FOR STATE OF LOUISIANA/APPELLANT

          Sherry Watters LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE

          Court composed of Judge Rosemary Ledet, Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins, Judge Dale N. Atkins

          SANDRA CABRINA JENKINS JUDGE

         The State appeals the trial court's June 25, 2018 ruling granting defendant's motion to quash the indictment based upon a violation of defendant's right to a speedy trial. The State argues that defendant failed to show that either the statutory time limitations for commencing trial had expired or that his constitutional right to speedy trial had been violated. Based on our review of the record of this case and in light of the applicable law and jurisprudence, we find merit in the State's arguments. Thus, finding that the trial court abused its discretion in granting defendant's motion to quash the indictment for a violation of his right to a speedy trial, we reverse the trial court's ruling, reinstate the indictment, and remand for further proceedings.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY[1]

         The record of this case reflects the following procedural history relevant to our subsequent discussion of the statutory time limitations for commencing trial, pursuant to La. C.Cr.P. art. 578, and the factors for determining a constitutional violation of defendant's right to a speedy trial, as set forth in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 92 S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972).

         On September 15, 2011, the grand jury for Orleans Parish returned an indictment charging defendant, Rudolph Joseph, with one count of aggravated rape, two counts of forcible rape, and three counts of second degree kidnapping, violations of La. R.S. 14:42, 14:42.1, and 14:44.1, respectively.[2] Defendant was charged "at large," and an alias capias was issued for his arrest.

         On November 2, 2011, defendant appeared for arraignment unrepresented by counsel.[3] After the trial court determined defendant's indigency and appointed counsel, the arraignment proceeded and defendant entered a plea of not guilty. On that same date, defense counsel filed an omnibus motion to suppress statements, evidence, and identification, and for discovery and inspection.

         From the date of defendant's arraignment and filing of pre-trial motions, on November 2, 2011, until a hearing was finally held on those motions, on March 9, 2017, proceedings in this case were reset forty-two times. On thirty-four dates set for hearing on motions, the record indicates that defendant was in the custody of the Department of Corrections and the State failed to secure defendant's transportation to court. In addition, the State was granted nine continuances; the defense was granted seven continuances; and four joint continuances were granted. Finally, on March 9, 2017, the trial court held a hearing on defendant's motions to suppress evidence, identification, and statements. At the conclusion of that hearing, the trial court denied defendant's motions and set a discovery hearing for March 20, 2017.

         On March 31, 2017, the record indicates that discovery was satisfied and a trial date was set for May 30, 2017, but later reset for August 28, 2017. On the latter date, the record indicates that defense counsel had withdrawn and a hearing to determine counsel was set. On October 25, 2017, the trial court assigned new counsel to defendant; also, the State tendered a plea offer to defendant. On November 15, 2017, defendant rejected the State's plea offer; and the case was set for another discovery hearing.

         On the subsequent six court dates, the record indicates that another substitute defense counsel enrolled and discovery was being reviewed. On April 13, 2018, the State advised the court that all discovery had been tendered; a pre-trial conference was set for May 17, 2018; and trial was set for June 25, 2018. On May 17, 2018, defendant filed his motion to quash the indictment.

         On June 25, 2018, the trial court held a hearing on defendant's motion to quash the indictment. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court granted defendant's motion to quash.

         The State's timely appeal followed.

         DISCUSSION

         In its sole assignment of error, the State argues that the trial court erred in granting defendant's motion to quash the indictment because defendant failed to show that either his statutory or constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated. As to defendant's statutory right to a speedy trial, the State argues that the trial court erred in finding that the statutory time limitations for commencing trial had expired. As to defendant's constitutional right to a speedy trial, the State argues that defendant failed to establish a constitutional violation, based on the four factor test enunciated in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 92 S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972).

         Louisiana law and jurisprudence recognizes two distinct bases for asserting the right to a speedy trial: a statutory right based upon the time limitations set forth by La. C.Cr.P. art. 578; and a constitutional right guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, § 16 of the Louisiana Constitution. See State v. Sorden, 09-1416, p. 7 (La.App. 4 Cir. 8/4/10), 45 So.3d 181, 185-86 (citing State v. Powers, 344 So.2d 1049, 1051 (La. 1977)). The two are not equivalent; "the question of whether a speedy trial violation is statutory or constitutional involves wholly separate inquiries." Sorden, 09-1416, p. 7, 45 So.3d at 186.

         In this case, defendant's motion to quash asserted both his statutory and constitutional rights to a speedy trial had been violated, both of which arguments were presented to the trial court. In granting defendant's motion to quash, the trial court's ruling appears to be based upon ...


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.