State v. Moore, 370 N.C. 338 (Dec. 8, 2017)

On appeal from a divided panel of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___, 795 S.E.2d 598 (2016), the court modified and affirmed the decision below, holding that the defendant received adequate notice of his probation revocation hearing pursuant to G.S. 15A-1345(e). The trial court revoked the defendant’s probation for violating the condition that he commit no criminal offenses, specifically fleeing to allude arrest and no operator’s license. On appeal, the defendant argued that because the probation violation reports did not specifically list the “commit no criminal offense” condition as the condition violated, the statutory notice requirement was not satisfied. The court determined that the issue was one of first impression. The statute requires that the State give the probationer notice of the hearing and its purpose, including a statement of the violations alleged. The words “violation” and “violations” as used in the statute refer to violations of conditions of probation. It follows that the phrase “statement of the violations alleged” refers to a statement of what the probationer did to violate his conditions of probation. It does not require a statement of the underlying conditions that were violated. The court also overruled post-Justice Reinvestment Act cases decided by the Court of Appeals that had created a different notice requirement. Here, the State sought to prove that the defendant had violated the condition that he commit no criminal offense. Thus, the notice needed to contain a statement of the actions the defendant allegedly took that constituted a violation of the probation— that is, a statement of what the defendant actually did that violated a probation condition. The defendant received proper notice when the violation report named the specific offenses that the defendant was alleged to have committed, listing his pending criminal charges.