Submitted on Briefs: March 14, 2018
FROM: District Court of the Thirteenth Judicial District, In
and For the County of Yellowstone, Cause No. DV 16-0030
Honorable Rod Souza, Presiding Judge
Appellant: John Edward Spaulding, self-represented, Deer
Appellee: Scott D. Twito, Yellowstone County Attorney, Kevin
Gillen, Deputy Yellowstone 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 Edward Spaulding (Spaulding) appeals the Judgment
entered in favor of Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder
(Linder) by the Thirteenth Judicial District Court pursuant
to the court's grant of summary judgment in Linder's
favor. We affirm.
On April 16, 2015, the Justice Court of Record, Yellowstone
County, issued a Probation or Parole Detention order which
provided: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
a. That the defendant is committed to the YELLOWSTONE COUNTY
DETENTION CENTER for such time as will enable the YELLOWSTONE
COUNTY SHERIFF to transport the defendant to the custody of
the CASCADE COUNTY SHERIFF.
b. That the defendant be admitted to bail while awaiting
transportation in the sum of $20, 000 CASH or SURETY. Upon
posting bail the YELLOWSTONE COUNTY SHERIFF shall release the
defendant and forward the bond and a copy of this order to
the Clerk of Court, 8TH Judicial District,
CASCADE COUNTY, MONTANA . . . and JUDGE GREG
PINSKI, A DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
c. That the defendant shall appear before JUDGE GREG
PINSKI . . . on or before APRIL 27, 2015, or within
10 days of release, in the courtroom of said judge . . .
On January 11, 2016, Spaulding, appearing pro se, filed a
civil suit against Linder, alleging Linder violated this
order by failing to either release Spaulding from custody
within 10 days of April 16, 2015, or transfer him to appear
before the Cascade County District Court for the April 27,
Linder filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted, pursuant to M. R. Civ. P.
12(b)(6), in which he alleged Spaulding misread the Justice
Court order. Linder suggested the District Court might
convert his motion to a motion for summary judgment to
consider the substance of the Justice Court order in
determining whether Spaulding had set forth a viable claim.
See Meagher v. Butte-Silver Bow City-Cty., 2007 MT
129, ¶ 16, 337 Mont. 339, 160 P.3d 552 ("Rule 12(b)
allows the court to convert a motion to dismiss into a motion
for summary judgment when matters outside the pleadings are
presented to the court.").
The District Court converted Linder's motion to dismiss
to a motion for summary judgment. The District Court reasoned
it was appropriate to convert the motion because Spaulding
did not object to Linder's attachment of the Justice
Court order to his brief, and Spaulding also attached
documents outside the pleadings to his response brief. The
District Court reviewed the Justice Court order, ...