This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Daniel Ray Wiganowsky,
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 04080028
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; and
Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Thomas A. Weist, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Jodie L. Carlson, Assistant
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Minge, Judge.
challenges his conviction on the basis that his trial on stipulated facts was
tantamount to a guilty plea, and challenges a condition of his probation that
prohibits him from entering
December 5, 2004, police were called to an address in
was represented by counsel. He
stipulated to the facts set forth in the complaint. Appellant filed a written waiver of his rights
and confirmed this waiver in open court.
The district court considered the case on this record and found
appellant guilty. The district court
sentenced appellant to one year and one day in custody, but stayed execution of
the sentence and placed appellant on immediate administrative probation. Appellant, a resident of
first issue is whether appellant’s trial on stipulated facts was valid. Interpretation of the rules of criminal
procedure is a question of law, reviewed de novo. State
v. Halseth, 653 N.W.2d 782, 784 (
defendant can waive his right to a jury trial if he “does so personally in
writing or orally upon the record in open court, after being advised by the
court of the right to trial by jury and after having had an opportunity to
consult with counsel.” Minn. R. Crim. P.
26.01, subd. 1(2)(a). A case may be
tried based on stipulated facts by agreement of the defendant and the state if
a defendant on the record, orally or in writing, acknowledges and waives his
rights “to testify at trial, to have the prosecution witnesses testify in open
court in the defendant’s presence, to question those prosecution witnesses, and
to require any favorable witnesses to testify for the defense in court.”
Here, appellant was represented by counsel and submitted a written waiver of the rights described in Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.01. The district court also confirmed appellant’s waiver of these rights at the hearing. Thus, appellant validly waived his rights to contest facts at trial and consented to a trial on stipulated facts.
that the trial was improper because the stipulation to facts was really a
“disguised” guilty plea. Although there
may be some similarity between the two, an agreement to a stipulated-facts
trial is not the functional equivalent of a guilty plea. Significantly, there is no guilty plea in the
stipulation. See State v. Johnson, 689 N.W.2d 247, 253 (Minn. App. 2004) (holding
that appellant could not withdraw his agreement to a stipulated-facts trial
when the district court refused to abide by the parties’ sentencing agreement
because consent to a stipulated-facts trial is not the same as a guilty plea), review denied (Minn. Jan. 20, 2005). Further,
Here, appellant points to the fact that he acknowledged in court that the district court would likely find him guilty, and that he started to characterize the stipulated-facts trial as a “fancy way of pleading guilty,” but stopped speaking before he finished the phrase. These facts establish that appellant knew that the district court would likely convict him. However, from the record, appellant’s motive for proceeding in this way is unclear. Appellant may have intended a Lothenbach plea. Although his attorney stated at the hearing that appellant intended to appeal the conviction, the basis of such an appeal is unclear because there were no pretrial rulings in this case. Appellant’s attorney pointed this out to appellant at the hearing, when he asked appellant to confirm that the attorney had told him that any appeal would likely be a waste of time. But ultimately appellant did not explicitly concede guilt, and neither the procedure followed nor the facts admitted violate the requirements for a stipulated-facts trial under Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.01, subd. 3. Further, appellant does not explain how he was prejudiced by the proceeding.
Appellant also argues that his trial was effectively a guilty plea because the district court did not deliberate before convicting appellant. But extended deliberation was not necessary here where the stipulated facts were limited. In addition, appellant challenges the district court’s failure to make written findings of the facts supporting its finding of appellant’s guilt, as required by Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.01, subd. 2. Appellant admits that this failure was only a “technical omission.” See State v. Thomas, 467 N.W.2d 324, 326-27 (Minn. App. 1991) (holding that failure to make written findings is not a basis for reversal of a conviction where appellant was not prejudiced by such failure, and where evidence was sufficient to support conviction). But appellant argues that the failure to make written findings is further evidence that the trial was a “sham.” The district court made oral findings on the record of the facts supporting the conviction. Although written findings would add another level of formality, their absence does not transform the character of the proceedings into a guilty plea. Appellant’s stipulated-facts trial was valid.
second issue is whether the district court abused its discretion in requiring
appellant, as a condition of his probation, not to enter
conditions “must be reasonably related to the purposes of sentencing and must
not be unduly restrictive of the probationer’s liberty or autonomy.”
1) the purpose sought to be served by probation;
2) the extent to which constitutional rights enjoyed by law-abiding citizens should be accorded to probationers; and
3) the legitimate needs of law enforcement.
435 N.W.2d at 516. The purposes of
probation include rehabilitating the offender and protecting public
Minnesota Supreme Court reversed the probation condition, holding that it was
not reasonably related to the goals of the sentence.
appellant was arrested based on suspicious activity in a certain block in
Minneapolis, but as a condition of his probation was excluded from all of
Hennepin County other than for medical appointments. It is not clear from the record what specific
site or situation was the object of appellant’s troublesome behavior. The district court did not identify a
specific reason for excluding appellant from all of
note that the district court is generally required to provide reasons for
geographic restrictions and explain how they are related to the purposes of the