Return to
Return to the Opinions Page
An unpublished opinion of the North Carolina Court of Appeals does not constitute controlling legal authority. Citation is disfavored, but may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Rule 30(e)(3) of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.

NO. COA07-267


Filed: 4 September 2007


         v.                        Onslow County
                                Nos. 06 CRS 53710;
MICHAEL JAY CLAYTON                        05 CRS 60050

    Appeal by defendant from judgments entered 27 November 2006 by Judge Charles H. Henry in Onslow County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 20 August 2007.

    Attorney General Roy A. Cooper, III, by Assistant Attorney General J. Philip Allen, for the State.

    Carol Ann Bauer, for defendant-appellant.

    JACKSON, Judge.

    Michael Jay Clayton (“defendant”) appeals from judgments entered upon revocation of his probation. For the following reasons, we hold no error.
    On 27 July 2006, defendant pled guilty to one count of felonious breaking and entering, two counts of injury to personal property, and three counts of breaking or entering a motor vehicle. The trial court sentenced defendant to two suspended terms of six to eight months' imprisonment and thirty-six months of supervised probation. As part of his probation, defendant was placed under electronic house arrest for nine months.
    On 6 November 2006, defendant's probation officer filed separate probation violation reports, alleging that defendant: (1)failed to contact his probation officer immediately upon his release from jail on 6 November 2006; (2) removed his electronic house arrest transmitter and left his residence; (3) absconded supervision; (4) tested positive for marijuana use; (5) failed to return home immediately after a visit with his probation officer, in violation of electronic house arrest, and (6) failed to make any payments toward the monetary conditions of probation or his monthly supervision fee. On 8 November 2006, defendant's probation officer filed an additional violation report, alleging that defendant: (1) tested positive for marijuana use; and (2) violated electronic house arrest by failing to return home immediately after visiting the officer on 6 November 2006.
    At the beginning of his probation hearing, defendant admitted to (1) using marijuana; (2) failing to return to electronic house arrest after meeting with his probation officer on 6 November 2006; (3) non-payment of the monetary conditions of probation; and (4) non-payment of his monthly supervision fees. He denied the remaining violations. After hearing testimony from defendant and his electronic house arrest officer, the trial court revoked defendant's probation and activated his sentences. With the exception of the monetary violations, the trial court found defendant had committed each of the alleged violations “willfully and without valid excuse.” The court further found that “[e]ach violation is, in and of itself, a sufficient basis upon which this Court should revoke probation and activate the suspended sentence[s].”    On appeal, defendant claims that the trial court erred in revoking his probation without making findings of fact to reflect its consideration of his hearing testimony, as required by North Carolina General Statutes, section 15A-1345(e). We disagree.
    The trial court's decision to revoke a defendant's probation is reviewed for abuse of discretion. See State v. Tennant, 141 N.C. App. 524, 526, 540 S.E.2d 807, 808 (2000). “All that is required to revoke probation is evidence satisfying the trial court in its discretion that the defendant violated a valid condition of probation without lawful excuse.” State v. Tozzi, 84 N.C. App. 517, 521, 353 S.E.2d 250, 253 (1987). Moreover, “[t]he breach of any single valid condition upon which the sentence was suspended will support an order activating the sentence.” State v. Braswell, 283 N.C. 332, 337, 196 S.E.2d 185, 188 (1973). However, the trial court must allow defendant an opportunity to “present relevant information” regarding the alleged violations and must “make findings to support [its] decision.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-1345(e) (2005). When a defendant presents evidence of his inability to comply with the conditions of probation, the court's findings must show that it considered the evidence. See State v. Hill, 132 N.C. App. 209, 213, 510 S.E.2d 413, 415 (1999).
    In the case sub judice, the judgments enumerate the specific violations found by the court by reference to the violation reports, and include a finding that “the defendant violated each condition willfully and without valid excuse.” Further, the judgments expressly state that the court considered the parties'evidence and arguments in reaching its decision. Although many of the court's findings are pre-printed on the judgment form, they are sufficient to demonstrate the court's compliance with section 15A-1345(e). See State v. Henderson, __ N.C. App. __, __, 632 S.E.2d 818, 822 (2006) (“We conclude the completed form, together with the probation violation report which was incorporated by reference, contained sufficient findings of fact to support revocation of defendant's second probation.”). Accordingly, defendant's assignment of error is overruled.
    No Error.
    Chief Judge MARTIN and Judge CALABRIA concur.
    Report per Rule 30(e).

*** Converted from WordPerfect ***