State of Utah v. Grindberg

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State v. Grindberg. Filed October 7, 1999 IN THE UTAH COURT OF APPEALS


State of Utah,
Plaintiff and Appellee,


Paul Lynn Grindberg,
Defendant and Appellant.

(Not For Official Publication)

Case No. 981184-CA

October 7, 1999
    1999 UT App 286 -----

First District, Logan Department
The Honorable Clint S. Judkins

Candice A. Johnson, Salt Lake City, for Appellant
Jan Graham and Catherine M. Johnson, Salt Lake City, for Appellee


Before Judges Davis, Jackson, and Orme.


"'Whether the trial court had the authority to extend [or revoke] defendant's probation is a question of law. "[W]e accord a trial court's conclusions of law no particular deference, reviewing them for correctness."'" State v. Grate, 947 P.2d 1161, 1164 (Utah Ct. App. 1997) (citations omitted) (alterations in original).

Grindberg argues that the trial court validly terminated his probation by signing the September 26, 1996 order and later incorrectly characterized the order as a clerical error. We agree. "'Where the language of a judgment is clear and unambiguous, it must be given effect as it is written . . . .'" State v. Denney, 776 P.2d 91, 93 (Utah Ct. App. 1989) (citation omitted). Moreover, the primary purpose of the procedural rule allowing clerical errors in judgments to be corrected "is limited to curing errors in accurately memorializing a judgment." State v. Moya, 815 P.2d 1312, 1317 (Utah Ct. App. 1991).

The trial court's order of September 26, 1996 unambiguously terminated Grindberg's probation. There are no facts in the record showing that the trial court intended otherwise at the point in time when it signed the order. Nor do the facts show that the defendant or his attorney tried in any way to mislead the court. We must then give effect to the order terminating probation. After all, "[p]robation may be terminated at any time at the discretion of the court." Utah Code Ann. § 77-18-1(10)(a)(i) (Supp. 1999). The order shows the trial court here exercised its discretion to "review the Defendant's probation" and terminate probation.

On this basis, Grindberg asserts the trial court lacked jurisdiction when it later conducted a hearing and purported to revoke Grindberg's probation. Again, we agree. A revocation proceeding begun after probation has ended "exceed[s] the trial court's jurisdiction and authority." Grate, 947 P.2d at 1166.

Because Grindberg's probation was terminated by court order, we vacate the trial court's later order purporting to revoke Grindberg's probation. Reversed.

Norman H. Jackson, Judge



James Z. Davis, Judge

Gregory K. Orme, Judge