Saturday, June 14, 2014

Detainer Act claim can be addressed on appeal even in light of district court concession

Adam D. Stolte won in State v. Diederich, No. 109,286 (Kan. App. May 23, 2014), obtaining reversal and remand with directions to dismiss with prejudice in a Reno County identity theft prosecution.  This case involved Mr. Diederich's claim that the state violated the Uniform Mandatory Disposition of Detainers Act.  As is the case in many speedy trial claims, the procedural history is somewhat convoluted on account of multiple charges and prosecutions.  But it was not uncontested that more than 180 days had passed under the Act; the only question was whether its jurisdictional limits had been properly extended:
Our Supreme Court noted in Burnett that this statute provides three ways to extend the 180-day time limit: "(1) the court for good cause in open court grants additional time; (2) the parties stipulate to a continuance; or (3) a continuance is granted on notice to the attorney of record and opportunity to be heard."
Diederich's argument on appeal is a simple one—that the 180-day time limit expired because it wasn't extended under any of the ways authorized by the statute. The State doesn't argue that an extension was granted in one of the ways the statute authorizes. Instead, the State emphasizes that Diederich conceded in the district court that the time during which he was being held in other counties should not be counted.
But Diederich has taken a contrary position on appeal, and because this is a question of the district court's jurisdiction, he can do that. Parties cannot confer subject-matter jurisdiction (the authority to hear a specific claim) on a court by consent, waiver, or estoppel, so the failure to object to jurisdiction doesn't eliminate a jurisdictional problem. And our Supreme Court has applied that rule in a case involving a jurisdiction question under the Uniform Mandatory Disposition of Detainers Act.
Having determined that it could reach the jurisdictional issue, the COA had little trouble resolving it:
The State took no action to obtain an extension of the 180-day time limit before it expired. The district court did not enter any extension of the time limit before it expired. Accordingly, as of February 23, 2012, K.S.A. 22-4303 provided that "no court of this state shall any longer have jurisdiction thereof" and that "the court shall dismiss [the complaint or information] with prejudice."
This case presents a nice contrast between the Detainer Act, which is jurisdictional and most other statutory speedy trial provisions, which are not.

[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on June 30, 2014.]

No comments: