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Edward Elliott v. the State of Wyoming

February 24, 2011

EDWARD ELLIOTT, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



W.R.A.P. 11 Certification from the District Court of Converse County The Honorable John C. Brooks, Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hill, Justice.

OCTOBER TERM, A.D. 2010

Before KITE, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, VOIGT, and BURKE, JJ.

NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in Pacific Reporter Third. Readers are requested to notify the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002, of any typographical or other formal errors so that correction may be made before final publication in the permanent volume.

[¶1] This matter comes before the Court as a question certified to us by the district court for resolution under W.R.A.P. 11. The Appellant is Edward Elliot and the Appellee is the State of Wyoming (State). As rephrased by this Court, the question to be decided is:

Does collateral estoppel apply to an Office of Administrative Hearing [examiner's] ruling that found an officer lacked probable cause to arrest a defendant under Wyoming's implied consent statute, for the same incidents resulting in the defendant's conditional plea for DWUI?*fn1

[¶2] We answer the certified question in the negative and remand to the district court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

FACTS

[¶3] In accordance with W.R.A.P. 11.03(b), the district court provided this statement of all facts relevant to the question certified:

On January 17, 2009, Edward Elliot, the Defendant/Licensee/Appellant was arrested by Officer Curtis Bennett of the Douglas Police Department for driving while under the influence (DWUI) in Converse County Wyoming in violation of Wyoming Statute §31-5-233. [Elliott] appeared through counsel at his implied consent hearing, which was held on April 1, 2009. WYDOT appeared and presented evidence through the Officer's Signed Statement and certified record, and [Elliott] appeared via telephone with his attorney. .

During the implied consent hearing the OAH allowed [Elliott] to supplement the record with a copy of a DVD of the stop and arrest that [Elliott] had received from the Converse County attorney's Office thorough criminal discovery, as well as allowing [him] to file a Motion to Vacate Proposed Suspension. .

On April 30, 2009, OAH entered Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Decision and Order Rescinding Per Se Suspension.

On May 18, 2009, [Elliott] mailed to the Clerk of Converse County Circuit Court a Motion to Dismiss Based on Collateral Estoppel and Res Judicata. . The State responded to this motion on May 29, 2009 with State's Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Based on Collateral Estoppel and Res Judicata[.] . The Circuit Court denied [Elliott's] motion ...


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