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State v. Power

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

April 21, 2015

STATE OF MAINE
v.
ROBERT E. POWER JR

Argued: April 10, 2015.

Judgment vacated. Remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

On the briefs:

Hunter J. Tzovarras, Esq., Bangor, for appellant Robert E. Power Jr.

William B. Entwisle, Asst. Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial District No. VII, Ellsworth, for appellee State of Maine.

Jamesa J. Drake, Esq., Drake Law, LLC, Auburn, for amicus curiae Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

At oral argument: Hunter J. Tzovarras, Esq., for appellant Robert E. Power Jr.

Matthew J. Foster, Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial District No. VII, Ellsworth, for appellee State of Maine.

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM, JJ.

OPINION

PER CURIAM

[¶1] This appeal is before us based on a certificate of probable cause, issued pursuant to 17-A M.R.S. § 1207(2) (2014) and M.R. App. P. 19(f), authorizing Robert E. Power Jr. to appeal from a judgment entered in the Superior Court (Hancock County, Cuddy, J. ) revoking his probation and imposing the previously suspended sentence. The certificate authorized an appeal on the issue of " [w]hether a defendant's due process rights to a neutral and detached decision maker are violated where the presiding judge of the Adult Drug Treatment Court [('Drug Court')] in which the defendant participates adjudicates the defendant's probation revocation."

[¶2] Power contends that his constitutional right to a neutral and detached decision maker was violated because of the active role the justice assumed and the extensive communications about him the justice engaged in during the course of

Page 663

Drug Court proceedings. Because the trial court apparently applied an incorrect standard of proof in revoking probation, we vacate the judgment without reaching ...


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