State v. Lytle, COA22-675, ___ N.C. App. ___ (Feb. 21, 2023)

In this Buncombe County case, defendant appealed an order revoking his probation, arguing the trial court failed to make a finding of good cause to revoke his probation along with other errors. The Court of Appeals agreed with defendant and vacated the trial court’s judgment without remand.  

Defendant’s probation was revoked at a hearing held 700 days after the expiration of his probation term. The court noted that “the trial court failed to find good cause to revoke probation after the expiration of the probation period as required by [G.S.] 15A-1344(f)(3).” Slip Op. at 2. Subsection (f)(3) requires a finding of good cause to support the trial court’s jurisdiction to revoke probation; here, the record did not show any findings supporting good cause. Considering the appropriate remedy, the court applied State v. Sasek, 271 N.C. App. 568 (2020), holding that where no evidence in the record supports a finding of “reasonable efforts” by the state to hold a revocation hearing sooner, the appropriate remedy for failure to make findings of good cause under G.S. 15A-1344(f)(3) is vacating the judgment without remand. Slip Op. at 4.