Legal Blog

State’s Appeal Dismissed in South Georgia Rape Case

February 5, 2015

In State v. Andrade, the Georgia Court of Appeals dismissed the State's appeal holding that their notice of appeal was untimely filed and the Court therefore lacked jurisdiction over the case.

Andrade was charged with three counts of rape and one count of burglary. He filed a motion to suppress statements that he made to the police contending that the statements were involuntarily made. On June 6, 2014, the trial court granted his motion and ruled that the State would not be permitted to use the statements at trial. The State filed a notice of appeal on June 23, 2014.

Pursuant to an amendment to O.C.G.A. § 5-7-1 (a)(5)(A), which became effective on July 1, 2013, the State was required to file its notice of appeal within two days of the trial court’s ruling. Under the statute, the State generally has 30 days to file a notice of appeal, including appeals involving orders “suppressing or excluding evidence illegally seized or excluding the results of any test for alcohol or drugs.” However, the statute was amended to provide that if the State is appealing “an order, decision, or judgment excluding any other evidence to be used by the State at trial,” it must file it’s notice of appeal within two days of the order or decision by the trial court.

The Court of Appeals held that the appeal of an order suppressing a defendant’s statements falls under this latter category and, therefore, the notice of appeal must be filed within two days after the trial court’s order is filed. The Court noted that the proper and timely filing of a notice of appeal is an absolute requirement to confer jurisdiction on the Court. As a result, the Court dismissed the State’s appeal.

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