This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).







State of Minnesota,





Jarvaris Earl Jackson,




Filed October 29, 2002

Reversed and remanded
Klaphake, Judge


Stearns County District Court

File No. T70112732


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN  55103; and


Jan F. Petersen, St. Cloud City Attorney, Janis L. Hovda, Assistant City Attorney, 400 Second Street South, St. Cloud, MN  56301 (for appellant)


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Lawrence Hammerling, Deputy State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue S.E., Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN  55414; and


John Moosbrugger, Chief Public Defender, Seventh Judicial District, James R. Chatto, Assistant District Public Defender, Suite 410, 816 West St. Germain Street, St. Cloud, MN  56301 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Shumaker, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            The State of Minnesota appeals from the district court’s order staying adjudication of respondent Jarvaris Earl Jackson’s conviction for misdemeanor domestic assault, Minn. Stat. § 609.2242, subd. 1 (2000).  Because the district court lacks authority to refuse to adjudicate the guilt of a defendant who has been found guilty after a trial and because there are no “special circumstances” here that indicate an abuse of discretion on the prosecutor’s part in charging, we reverse and remand.


            A district court “may not refuse to adjudicate the guilt of a defendant * * * who has been found guilty by a court or jury following a trial.”  Minn. Stat. § 609.095(b) (2000).  In very limited situations, a court may stay adjudication of a criminal conviction if there are “special circumstances” that involve a “clear abuse” of the prosecutor’s discretion in charging.  State v. Foss, 556 N.W.2d 540, 541 (Minn. 1996); State v. Krotzer, 548 N.W.2d 252, 254-55 (Minn. 1996).

            Here, Jackson was found guilty by the court of misdemeanor domestic assault for striking his girlfriend while they were having an argument.  The incident occurred in a vehicle in a Best Buy parking lot and was reported to police by a Best Buy employee.  At sentencing, Jackson indicated his willingness to follow all of the recommendations outlined in the presentence investigation report, but was concerned about the effect that a domestic assault conviction would have on his continued employment at a nursing home.

            The district court acknowledged that “the law is pretty clear that [the court] cannot grant a stay of adjudication * * * in an adult case over the objection of the prosecutor.”  Nevertheless, the court concluded that

at the risk of having the State appeal my sentence, I am * * * going to stay adjudication of sentence, of conviction, and continue this matter for one year and if you meet all conditions, then the Court would enter a dismissal.


The court stated its primary reasons for staying adjudication as its “concern for [Jackson’s] employment” and its belief that Jackson “will be open to and willing to go through programming addressing domestic abuse issues.”

            A district court’s “desire to relieve an offender of the collateral consequences of [a] conviction does not by itself constitute ‘special circumstances’ warranting a stay of adjudication.”  State v. Thoma, 569 N.W.2d 205, 209 (Minn. App. 1997), aff’d without opinion, 571 N.W.2d 773 (Minn. 1997).  Thus, the possibility that a defendant might lose his or her job is not a special circumstance.  State v. Twiss, 570 N.W.2d 487, 487 (Minn. 1997) (“The possibility that a defendant may lose her job in a corporation’s security department as a result of a conviction of gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child is not a ‘special circumstance’ allowing the trial court to stay an adjudication of guilt over the prosecutor’s discretion.”); State v. Leming, 617 N.W.2d 587, 589 (Minn. App. 2000) (same); State v. Scaife, 608 N.W.2d 163, 164 (Minn. App. 2000) (losses of job and driver’s license are not special circumstances), review denied (Minn. May 16, 2000).  Nor is the lack of a prior criminal record a special circumstance.  State v. Ohrt, 619 N.W.2d 790, 792 (Minn. App. 2000); Leming, 617 N.W.2d at 589 (“fact that a defendant has no criminal record” and his “[r]emorse and cooperation with authorities” are not special circumstances).  We therefore conclude that the district court lacked authority to stay adjudication once it found Jackson guilty of misdemeanor domestic assault after a trial.  See Minn. Stat. § 609.095(b); see also Leming, 617 N.W.2d at 590 (reversing district court’s stay of adjudication in case where court had even commented “on the record that these stays of adjudication would ‘probably not’ pass muster on appeal”). 

            Because Jackson was found guilty after trial and because there is no evidence of any abuse of discretion on the prosecutor’s part in charging Jackson with misdemeanor domestic assault, we reverse the district court’s stay of adjudication and remand the matter for entry of judgment.

            Reversed and remanded.