STATE OF LOUISIANA v. JONATHAN M. LOPEZ
EDWARDS, JUDGE PRO TEMPORE, J.
Appellant, the State of Louisiana, appeals a trial court's ruling that granted defendant's motion to quash the bill of information. For the reasons that follow, the State's appeal is dismissed, and we reserve the State's right to file an application for supervisory writs.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
On March 27, 2017, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office filed a bill of information charging defendant, Jonathan Lopez, with possession of marijuana, third offense, in violation of La. R.S. 40:966(C). Defendant pled not guilty at his arraignment on March 29, 2017. Thereafter, on May 12, 2017, defendant filed a motion to quash the bill of information, arguing that one of his prior convictions could not be used as a predicate conviction for enhancement purposes. The trial court granted defendant's motion following a hearing on May 30, 2017. The State timely sought the instant appeal.
Only a final judgment or ruling is appealable. La. C.Cr.P. art. 912(A). A final judgment is one which puts an end to the proceedings. State v. Arceneaux, 13-953 (La. App. 5 Cir. 04/23/14), 140 So.3d 304, 306. A motion to quash an indictment or any count thereof may be appealed by the State. La. C.Cr.P. art. 912 (B)(1). When read and interpreted in reference to subsection A, a ruling on a motion to quash must be a final judgment that puts an end to the proceedings in order to be appealable. Arceneaux, 140 So.3d at 306. The quashing of a predicate offense does not put an end to the proceedings and, instead simply reduces the grade of the offense. State v. Millette, 14-76 (La. App. 5 Cir. 10/29/14), 164 So.3d 865.
In this case, the trial court's quashing of the 2009 predicate only reduced the grade of the offense from a possession of marijuana, third offense to a possession of marijuana, second offense. Therefore, it is not a final, appealable judgment. The State's proper avenue to seek review is by an application for a writ of review under our supervisory jurisdiction. Arceneaux, supra; Millette, supra.
Accordingly, we dismiss the present appeal. We reserve to the State the right to file a proper application for supervisory writs, in compliance with U.R.C.A. Rule 4-3, within fifteen days from the date of this decision. Further, we construe the motion for appeal as a notice of intent to seek a supervisory writ so the State is not required to file a notice of intent nor obtain an order setting a return date pursuant to U.R.C.A. Rule 4-3. State v. Donaldson, 13-703 (La. App. 5 Cir. 11/19/13), 130 So.3d 394.
101 DERBIGNY STREET (70053)
POST OFFICE BOX 489
GRETNA, LOUISIANA 70054
SUSAN M. CHEHARDY CHIEF JUDGE
FREDERICKA H. WICKER
JUDE G. GRAVOIS
MARC E. JOHNSON
ROBERT A. CHAISSON
ROBERT M. MURPHY
STEPHEN J. WINDHORST
HANS J. LILJEBERG JUDGES
CHERYL Q. LANDRIEU CLERK OF COURT
MARY E. LEGNON CHIEF DEPUTY CLERK
SUSAN BUCHHOLZ FIRST DEPUTY CLERK
MELISSA C. LEDET DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL STAFF
(504) 376-1400 (504) 376-1498 FAX
NOTICE OF JUDGMENT AND CERTIFICATE OF DELIVERY
I CERTIFY THAT A COPY OF THE OPINION IN THE BELOW-NUMBERED MATTER HAS BEEN DELIVERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH UNIFORM RULES - COURT OF APPEAL, RULE 2-16.4 AND 2-16.5 THIS DAY MARCH 28, 2018 TO THE TRIAL JUDGE, CLERK OF COURT, COUNSEL OF RECORD AND ALL PARTIES NOT REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL, AS LISTED BELOW:
CHERYL Q. LANDRIEU CLERK OF COURT
24TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT (CLERK)
HONORABLE CORNELIUS E. REGAN (DISTRICT JUDGE)
TERRY M. BOUDREAUX (APPELLANT)
R. STEVEN LEMOINE (APPELLEE)
HON. PAUL D. CONNICK, JR.
DARREN A. ALLEMAND (APPELLANT)
ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT
200 DERBIGNY STREET
GRETNA, LA 70053
MARION F. EDWARDS, JUDGE PRO TEMPORE JUDGE