Submitted on Briefs June 14, 2017
FROM District Court of the Thirteenth Judicial District, In
and For the County of Yellowstone, Cause No. DC 14-0081
Honorable Gregory R. Todd, Presiding Judge
Appellant Ashley Harada, Harada Law Firm, PLLC, Billings,
Appellee Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Jonathan
M. Krauss, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana
Twito, Yellowstone County Attorney, Julie Patten, Deputy
County Attorney, Billings, Montana
Pursuant to Section I, Paragraph 3(c), Montana Supreme Court
Internal Operating Rules, this case is decided by memorandum
opinion and shall not be cited and does not serve as
precedent. Its case title, cause number, and disposition
shall be included in this Court's quarterly list of
noncitable cases published in the Pacific Reporter and
John Springer appeals the Thirteenth Judicial District
Court's denial of his motion to dismiss charges relating
to his arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). He
asserts that the proceedings violated his constitutional
right to a speedy trial. We affirm.
Springer was arrested on January 20, 2014, and subsequently
charged with felony DUI and other related offenses. The
District Court set trial for May 6, 2014. Springer was
appointed new counsel, who filed a motion to reset trial. The
court rescheduled trial for September 10, 2014.
Springer posted bond on July 10, 2014. The terms of his
release mandated that he comply with the "24/7"
sobriety program. Eight days later, on July 18, Springer
failed his breath test-in violation of the program-and was
placed under arrest.
The District Court rescheduled trial sua sponte from
September 10, 2014, to November 24, 2014. After that trial
date passed with no resolution, the court rescheduled trial
again for February 24, 2015. The State filed an amended
information in January 2015.
On February 19, 2015, Springer was released from jail on his
own recognizance. The next day, he filed a motion to continue
trial because counsel could no longer represent him due to a
conflict. The court granted the motion and rescheduled trial
for June 24, 2015. Springer violated the terms of his release
again on April 9, 2015, and returned to jail.
Springer filed a motion to dismiss on May 29, 2015, arguing
that his right to a speedy trial had been violated. Because
Springer filed his motion so close to the June 24 trial date,
the court reset trial for August 11, 2015. The District Court
denied Springer's motion to dismiss. It concluded that
the State met its burden of showing that Springer had not
been denied his right to a speedy trial. The court found that
Springer had caused much of the delay through his motions to
continue, and that the portion of the delay attributable to
the State was merely institutional delay. The court concluded
further that the delay did not prejudice Springer.
On August 7, 2015-four days before trial-Springer pleaded
guilty to felony DUI. He reserved his right to appeal the
court's denial of his motion to dismiss for speedy trial
violations. The length of the delay between the time of
Springer's arrest and his guilty plea ...