Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

City of Helena v. Frankforter

Supreme Court of Montana

August 7, 2018

CITY OF HELENA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
RYAN SCOT FRANKFORTER, Defendant and Appellant.

          Submitted on Briefs: June 27, 2018

          APPEAL FROM: District Court of the First Judicial District, In and For the County of Lewis and Clark, Cause No. ADC 15-157 Honorable Mike Menahan, Presiding Judge

          For Appellant: Chad Wright, Appellate Defender, Danny Tenenbaum, Assistant Appellate Defender, Helena, Montana

          For Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Mardell Ployhar, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana, Thomas Jodoin, Helena City Attorney, Iryna O'Conner, Deputy City Attorney, Helena, Montana

          OPINION

          LAURIE MCKINNON JUSTICE

         ¶1 Ryan Scot Frankforter appeals a decision of the First Judicial District Court, Lewis and Clark County, affirming two convictions of partner or family member assault (PFMA) from Helena Municipal Court. We reverse one PFMA conviction and clarify our jurisprudence regarding jurisdiction and venue in criminal cases, addressing the following issues:

1. Does a defendant waive his right to object to the county in which a charge is filed if he fails to object before the first witness is sworn at trial?
2. Does a defendant waive his right to object to the prosecution's failure to establish jurisdiction of the trial court?

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         ¶2 On the evening of August 26, 2014, Frankforter's wife contacted the police, reporting that Frankforter assaulted and injured her. An officer responded to the call and noted injuries-bruising and abrasions-consistent with assault. At that time, Frankforter's wife also had a cast on her hand. She told the officer that Frankforter previously injured her hand by grabbing her arm and twisting it.

         ¶3 The City of Helena (City) charged Frankforter with two counts of PFMA: one count stemming from the August 26, 2014 incident, and the other count stemming from the previous incident leading to the hand injury. The case proceeded to a bench trial in April 2015. At trial, Frankforter's wife recanted her earlier statement regarding her hand injury, stating she actually injured her hand in a boating accident on Canyon Ferry Reservoir. Frankforter testified that his wife injured her hand while boating near White Sandy Beach, which is at Hauser Lake. The officer testified regarding Frankforter's wife's statements to him on the evening of August 26, 2014-that Frankforter previously injured her hand by grabbing and twisting it during an argument. He stated he did not know where the alleged incident occurred.

         ¶4 The Municipal Court found Frankforter guilty of both PFMA charges and Frankforter subsequently appealed his convictions to the District Court, raising two issues-speedy trial and sufficiency of the evidence. The District Court affirmed Frankforter's convictions and he now appeals to this Court, arguing the City failed to prove the Municipal Court was a proper venue for, or had jurisdiction over, the second charge.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶5 On appeal from a municipal court, the district court acts as an intermediate appellate court. City of Helena v. Broadwater, 2014 MT 185, ¶ 8, 375 Mont. 450, 329 P.3d 589. When reviewing the district court's decision in such an appeal, we review the case as if the appeal was originally filed in this Court, applying the appropriate standard of review. City of Billings v. Nelson, 2014 MT 98, ¶ 15, 374 Mont. 444, 322 P.3d 1039. We review a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.