Salt Lake City
v.
Jeppson

Not overruled or negatively treated on appealinfoCoverage
Utah Court of AppealsApr 4, 2002
2002 UT App. 93 (Utah Ct. App. 2002)

Case No. 20010407-CA.

Filed April 4, 2002. (Not For Official Publication)

Appeal from the Third District, Salt Lake Department, The Honorable Robin W. Reese.

Robert B. Breeze, Salt Lake City, for Appellant.

Jeanne Robison, Salt Lake City, for Appellee.

Before Judges Jackson, Billings, and Davis.


MEMORANDUM DECISION


JACKSON, Presiding Judge:

Jeppson appeals the trial court's guilty verdict on charges for Animals Running At Large, under Salt Lake City, Utah, Ordinance § 8.04.390 (2000), and Dogs Attacking Persons And Animals, under Salt Lake City, Utah, Ordinance § 8.04.410 (2000). We affirm.

Jeppson first argues that the trial court erred by failing to rule on his motion to suppress his confession to having custody of, or control over the dog. Salt Lake City cites Rule 12(d) of the Utah Rules of Criminal Procedure to argue that Jeppson had an "affirmative obligation to bring his motion to the attention of the court prior to trial[,] which he failed to do." Even if we assume the trial court erred by not hearing the motion to suppress, the error would be harmless because the information in the record reflects that the statements Jeppson wishes to suppress were made voluntarily. See Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 478, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 1630 (1966) ("Volunteered statements of any kind are not barred by the Fifth Amendment and their admissibility is not affected by our holding today.").

Deborah Snyder, an employee of Salt Lake County Animal Services, testified that she spoke with Jeppson about the incident and indicated she "would be back to issue [Jeppson's] mother a citation." Jeppson then volunteered, "Give it to me, I'm taking care of [the dog], I'm — [the dog] is my dog." Snyder's comment was not one that she "'should have known [was] reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.'"State v. Yoder, 935 P.2d 534, 545 (Utah Ct.App. 1997) (quoting Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291, 302, 100 S.Ct. 1682, 1690 (1980)); see also State v. Dutchie, 969 P.2d 422, 426 (Utah 1998) (refusing to suppress defendant's statement when police officer's words and acts were "normally attendant to arrest and custody and were not likely to elicit an incriminating response"). All other relevant evidence on the record is consistent with Snyder's testimony. For the trial court to have suppressed Jeppson's statement would have been an abuse of discretion.See State v. Veteto, 2000 UT 62,¶ 8, 6 P.3d 1133. Accordingly, lack of a hearing and ruling on the motion was harmless.

Next, Jeppson challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, contending that "no evidence . . . indicates that [Jeppson] deliberately or intentionally allowed the dog to run at large or to attack the puppy of a neighbor." He claims that the Salt Lake City ordinance unlawfully "attempts to incorporate mental elements not recognized by state law, including careless, inadvertent, or negligent." However, only "offense[s] not involving strict liability . . . require a culpable mental state." Utah Code Ann. § 76-2-102 (1999). Both sections 8.04.390 and 8.04.410 specifically state that they are strict liability offenses. See Salt Lake City, Utah, Ordinance §§ 8.04.390, 8.04.410. Thus, although chapter 8.04 of the Salt Lake City, Utah, Ordinance includes various mental states in the definition of "allow," no evidence of mental state is required for a conviction under sections 8.04.390 and 8.04.410. See Utah Code Ann. § 76-2-102; Salt Lake City, Utah, Ordinance § 8.04.010(b) (1999). Accordingly, Jeppson's challenge to the sufficiency of evidence of his mental state is without merit.

Jeppson raised two new arguments in his reply brief, asserting that we should review the sufficiency of the evidence under a plain error or exceptional circumstances analysis. However, we will not review new arguments raised in the reply brief. See Brown v. Glover, 2000 UT 89,¶ 23, 16 P.3d 540; State v. Arviso, 1999 UT App 381,¶ 4 n. 2, 993 P.2d 894.

WE CONCUR: Judith M. Billings, Associate Presiding Judge, James Z. Davis, Judge.