State v. Abordo

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Justia Opinion Summary

Defendant was found guilty of operating a vehicle after license and privilege have been suspended or revoked for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. The intermediate court of appeals (ICA) vacated the district court’s judgment and remanded the case for a new trial based on the district court’s misstatement of the standard of proof. On certiorari, Defendant argued that the ICA erred in concluding that the district court properly allowed the State to amend the charge against Defendant to allege the required mens era for the offense. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the ICA correctly determined that the district court properly permitted the State to amend the charge; and (2) Defendant’s remaining claims lacked merit.

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*** NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST’S HAWAI I REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER *** Electronically Filed Supreme Court SCWC-12-0000602 28-JAN-2016 08:41 AM SCWC-12-0000602 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF HAWAI I ________________________________________________________________ STATE OF HAWAI I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. EDDY A. ABORDO, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant. ________________________________________________________________ CERTIORARI TO THE INTERMEDIATE COURT OF APPEALS (CAAP-12-0000602; CASE NO. 1DTC-11-082314) SUMMARY DISPOSITION ORDER (By: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Pollack, and Wilson, JJ.) Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant Eddy A. Abordo (Abordo) seeks review of the Intermediate Court of Appeals’ (ICA) April 13, 2015 Judgment on Appeal, entered pursuant to its February 23, 2015 Summary Disposition Order, which vacated the District Court of the First Circuit’s (district court)1 May 30, 2012 1 The Honorable Linda K.C. Luke presided. *** NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST’S HAWAI I REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER Judgment and remanded the case for a new trial.2 *** The district court found Abordo guilty of Operating a Vehicle after License and Privilege Have Been Suspended or Revoked for Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (OVLPSR-OVUII), in violation of Hawai i Revised Statutes § 291E-62 (2007 & Supp. 2010). On certiorari, Abordo contends, inter alia, that the ICA erred in holding that the district court properly permitted the State to amend the charge against Abordo to allege the required mens rea for the offense. Abordo argues that the defective charge rendered the district court without jurisdiction over the case, and, therefore, without jurisdiction to permit the State to amend the charge. We disagree. In Schwartz v. State, we recently held that “the failure of a charging instrument to allege an element of an offense does not constitute a jurisdictional defect that fails to confer subjectmatter jurisdiction to the district court.” 282, 361 P.3d 1161, 1185 (2015). 136 Hawai i 258, Accordingly, the ICA correctly concluded that the district court properly permitted the State to amend the charge. We further conclude that Abordo’s remaining claims lack merit. 2 The ICA vacated and remanded the case based on the district court’s misstatement of the standard of proof. 2 *** NOT FOR PUBLICATION IN WEST’S HAWAI I REPORTS AND PACIFIC REPORTER *** IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the ICA’s Judgment on Appeal is affirmed. DATED: James S. Tabe for petitioner Honolulu, Hawai i, January 28, 2016. /s/ Mark E. Recktenwald /s/ Paula A. Nakayama Brian R. Vincent for respondent /s/ Sabrina S. McKenna /s/ Richard W. Pollack /s/ Michael D. Wilson 3