Submitted on Briefs: March 21, 2018
FROM: District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, In and
For the County of Missoula, Cause No. DC 15-687 Honorable
Leslie Halligan, Presiding Judge
Appellant: Adam Kenneth Jackson, self-represented, Missoula,
Appellee:Kirsten H. Pabst, Missoula County Attorney,
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
Adam Jackson (Jackson) appeals from the June 21, 2016 order
of the Fourth Judicial District Court, Missoula County
denying his motion to dismiss for violation of his right to
speedy trial for failure to conduct his trial within the
six-month deadline provided for in § 46-13-401(2), MCA.
On May 9, 2015, Jackson was charged with driving under the
influence of a dangerous drug in violation of §
61-8-401, MCA, and a seatbelt violation under §
61-13-103, MCA. He pled not guilty to both misdemeanor
offenses on May 11, 2015. At the time of omnibus hearing on
July 1, 2015, the State sought continuance as it had not
received Jackson's toxicology report. As such, the
Justice Court continued the omnibus to August 5, 2015. On
August 5, 2015, in response to Jackson's request for
continuance to provide him additional time to develop
photographs of the arrest scene, the Justice Court continued
the omnibus to September 2, 2015. On September 2, 2015,
Jackson again requested continuance asserting he needed
additional time to obtain his booking photo. Thus, the
Justice Court continued the omnibus to October 7, 2015.
Jackson failed to appear at the omnibus on October 7, 2015,
and the Justice Court set trial for December 4, 2015. On
December 3, 2015, Jackson moved for dismissal for lack of
speedy trial which the Justice Court denied finding Jackson
had waived his right to speedy trial under § 46-13-401,
MCA, by his prior motions for continuance.
Jackson was convicted of the DUI offense and found not guilty
of the seatbelt violation at jury trial on December 4, 2015.
The Justice Court imposed sentence and Jackson timely
appealed the denial of his motion to dismiss for speedy trial
to the District Court. The District Court likewise denied
Jackson's motion to dismiss determining "Jackson
waived his right to a speedy trial with his numerous
continuances." Following a bench trial, Jackson was
found guilty of the DUI offense and not guilty of the
seatbelt violation. The District Court imposed sentence and
Jackson filed a timely appeal.
Jackson asserts, albeit in a non-conforming brief, the
Justice Court and District Court erred in not dismissing his
case for violation of his right to a speedy trial as provided
by § 46-13-401(2), MCA. The State counters Jackson's
continuances constitute good cause for delaying the six-month
time limit set forth in § 46-13-401(2), MCA.
Jackson's motion to dismiss for lack of speedy trial is
based upon a legal interpretation made by the District Court,
we will review the court's legal conclusions as to
whether the court correctly interpreted the law. State v.
Luke, 2014 MT 22, ¶ 10, 373 Mont. 398, 321 P.3d 70.
Section 46-13-401(2), MCA, provides:
After the entry of a plea upon a misdemeanor charge, the
court, unless good cause to the contrary is shown, shall
order the prosecution to be dismissed, with prejudice, if
defendant whose trial has not been postponed upon the
defendant's motion is not brought to trial within 6
Jackson argues § 46-13-401(2), MCA, requires dismissal.
We have previously found § 46-13-401(2), MCA, mandates
the dismissal of a misdemeanor charge not brought to trial
within six months only if two conditions are met: (1)
the defendant has not asked for a postponement; and
(2) the State has not shown ...