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In re Expungement of Record Concering Brandon Taliaferro

Supreme Court of South Dakota

November 25, 2014

IN THE MATTER OF THE EXPUNGEMENT OF THE RECORD CONCERNING BRANDON TALIAFERRO

Argued: October 8, 2014.

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE FIFTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT BROWN COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE GENE PAUL KEAN Retired Judge.

MARTY J. JACKLEY, Attorney General, PAUL S. SWEDLUND, Assistant Attorney General Pierre, South Dakota and MICHAEL R. MOORE, Special Prosecutor Brown County State's Attorney's Office, Huron, South Dakota, Attorneys for respondent and appellee.

MICHAEL J. BUTLER, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Attorney for petitioner and appellant.

OPINION

Page 806

WILBUR, Justice.

Brandon Taliaferro petitioned for expungement of several charges against him. The circuit court granted expungement of some but not all of the charges. Taliaferro appeals the circuit court decision. We affirm.

Background

On April 20, 2012, and September 14, 2012, a Brown County grand jury indicted Taliaferro on the following seven charges: witness tampering, three counts of subornation of perjury, conspiracy to commit perjury, unauthorized disclosure of confidential abuse and neglect information, and obstructing law enforcement. Taliaferro pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. The State dropped the conspiracy to commit perjury charge prior to trial; then, after trial, the State formally dismissed the charge.

Jury trial began on January 7, 2013. After the State rested, the prosecutor dismissed, with prejudice, the obstructing law enforcement charge. Taliaferro motioned for the acquittal of the five remaining charges. The circuit court granted judgments of acquittal.

Taliaferro filed a petition for expungement of all seven charges pursuant to SDCL 23A-3-27. Citing SDCL 23A-3-27(2), the State refused to consent to the expungement. The circuit court granted the petition of expungement as to the five acquitted charges under SDCL 23A-3-27(3), but denied the petition as to the two dismissed charges because the court did not have the prosecutor's consent under SDCL 23A-3-27(2). Taliaferro raises the following issue for our review:

Whether the circuit court erred in denying expungement of the two dismissed charges.

Standard of Review

The law of statutory interpretation is well settled. This Court ...


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