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Kamoe v. Ridge, 2021 UT 5 (Jan. 28, 2021)

Jan 28, 2021

Kamoe entered a negotiated plea and was sentenced in a justice court proceeding.  She then appealed to the district court but withdrew her appeal when that court denied her renewed motion to suppress.  Back in justice court, Kamoe requested that the original judgment be reinstated.  The prosecutor objected, arguing the operation of Utah Code § 78A-7-118(3) had voided the judgment upon Kamoe’s appeal.  That statute provides that an appeal of a negotiated plea voids the “negotiation with the prosecutor.”  Both the justice court and the district court agreed this language meant that the original judgment was voided by Kamoe’s appeal.  On appeal from the district court’s denial of Kamoe’s petition for extraordinary relief, the Utah Supreme Court reversed and remanded with instructions to restore the original judgment, holding the plain language of § 78A-7-118(3) does not void any sentence or judgment entered by the justice court, only the negotiated plea between the defendant and prosecutor.