COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT: CRIMINAL PROCEDURE – Trial court erred in not granting State’s motion for continuance and sua sponte dismissing case. Order of dismissal reversed. State v. Yaple, No. CRC 07-8 APANO, (Fla. 6th Cir.App.Ct. Sept. 24, 2007).

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL

CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

 

 

STATE OF FLORIDA

 

            Appellant,

 

v.                                                                                                                                          Appeal No. CRC 07-8 APANO

                                                                        UCN522007AP00008XXXXCR

LISA YAPLE

 

            Appellee.

______________________________/

 

Opinion filed ___________________.

 

Appeal from an order entered

by the Pinellas County Court

County Judge John Carassas

 

C. Marie King, Esquire

Assistant State Attorney

 

Lisa Yaple, Pro Se

 

ORDER AND OPINION

 

            THIS MATTER is before the Court on the State’s appeal from an order entered by the Pinellas County Court dismissing the charges. After reviewing the State’s brief and the record --- the appellee failed to file an answer brief --- this Court reverses the order of dismissal.

            When its witness (a police officer) failed to appear for trial, the State asked for a continuance. The trial court denied the motion for continuance and then sua sponte dismissed the charges. This was error.

            This Court has previously addressed this situation in the case of State v.Rucker, No. CRC 05-80 APANO (Fla. 6th Cir. Ct. May 11, 2006). In Rucker this Court noted that the sanction of dismissal was not favored at law and is only an option of last resort. That opinion set forth the procedure that trial courts must follow under these circumstances. A review of the record reveals that the proper procedure was not followed in the case at bar. Therefore, the dismissal was in error.

            IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the order of dismissal is reversed, and this case is remanded to the trial court for action consistent with this opinion.

            ORDERED at Clearwater, Florida this _____ day of September, 2007.

 

 

 

                                                                        _______________________

                                                                                    Linda R. Allan

                                                                                 Circuit Court Judge

 

 

 

                                                                        _______________________

                                                                                    R. Timothy Peters                              

                                                                                   Circuit Court Judge

 

 

 

                                                                        ________________________

                                                                                    John A. Schaefer

                                                                                  Circuit Court Judge

 

cc:        Office of the State Attorney

 

            Honorable John Carrassas

 

            Lisa Yaple