Submitted on Briefs: September 18, 2019
District Court of the Twentieth Judicial District, In and For
the County of Lake, Cause No. DV-19-04 Honorable Deborah Kim
Christopher, Presiding Judge.
Appellant: Jared Hendrickson, Self-Represented, Arlee,
Appellee: Walter E. Congdon, Civil Deputy Lake County
McGrath, Chief Justice.
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
Pro se Appellant Jared Hendrickson ("Hendrickson")
appeals from an order of the Twentieth Judicial District
Court, Lake County. He contends that his State criminal
convictions for felony offenses committed within the
boundaries of the Flathead Indian Reservation are not subject
to State jurisdiction because the application of Public Law
83-280, 18 U.S.C. § 1162, 25 U.S.C. § 1321
("PL-280") has never been properly enabled by
Montana statute or consented to by the Confederated Salish
and Kootenai Tribes ("CSKT"). Hendrickson also
argues that PL-280 and subsequent Montana enabling statutes
violate the 1855 Hellgate Treaty, 12 Stat. 975. The District
Court dismissed his complaint. We affirm.
On January 7, 2019, Hendrickson filed a pro se habeas corpus
petition requesting the District Court dismiss all felony
criminal charges against him, dating back to a May 10, 2013
judgment. He alleges that the State had no jurisdiction over
him as an enrolled member of the CSKT who committed a felony
crime within the boundaries of the Flathead Indian
Reservation. On January 16, 2019, Appellee Steven
Eschenbacher ("Eschenbacher"), the Lake County
Attorney, filed a motion to dismiss the charges claiming
Hendrickson failed to state a claim pursuant to M. R. Civ. P.
12(b)(6) and raising a res judicata issue. The District Court
converted Hendrickson's habeas corpus petition to a
petition for postconviction relief and, on March 8, 2019,
issued an order denying Hendrickson's petition on the
basis that it was procedurally barred by the post-conviction
statute, § 46-21-105(2), MCA, and, regardless,
Hendrickson's argument failed on the merits. On April 8,
2019, Hendrickson filed this appeal.
At the outset, we note that Hendrickson's habeas corpus
petition was not a petition for postconviction relief. Unlike
post-conviction relief, governed by §§ 46-21-101
through -203, MCA, the writ of habeas corpus is a vehicle for
challenging the legality of imprisonment or restraint, such
as a challenge to a court's jurisdiction over a matter.
Section 46-22-101, MCA; State v. Dist. Ct., 35 Mont.
321, 324, 89 P. 63, 65 (1907); In re Shaffer, 70
Mont. 609, 613-14, 227 P. 37, 38 (1924); see also Lott v.
State, 2006 MT 279, ¶ 22, 334 Mont. 270, 150 P.3d
337 (holding that a writ of habeas corpus is the proper
vehicle to challenge a facially invalid sentence); In re
Harris, 5 Cal.4th 813, 838-39 (1993) (holding habeas
corpus is available in cases where the court has acted in
excess of its jurisdiction). Hendrickson is challenging the
District Court's authority to impose a sentence on him
due to a lack of jurisdiction. However, we will affirm the
district court when it reaches the right result, even if it
reaches the right result for the wrong reason. State v.
Ellison, 2012 MT 50, ¶ 8, 364 Mont. 276, 272 P.3d
The District Court correctly dismissed Hendrickson's
petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The exact issue that
Hendrickson raises was recently addressed in Lozeau v.
Anciaux, 2019 MT 235, 397 Mont. 312, ___ P.3d ___, which
held that the CSKT has consented to concurrent jurisdiction
over felony criminal matters with the State through the
application of PL-280 and neither PL-280 or Montana's
enabling statutes violate the 1855 Hellgate Treaty. State
ex rel. McDonald v. Dist. Ct., 159 Mont. 156, 496 P.2d
78 (1972); State v. Spotted Blanket, 1998 MT 59, 288
Mont. 126, 955 P.2d 1347.
We have determined to decide this case pursuant to Section I,
Paragraph 3(c) of our Internal Operating Rules, which
provides for memorandum opinions. This appeal presents no
constitutional issues, no issues of first impression, and
does not establish new precedent or modify existing
Concur: LAURIE McKINNON, JAMES JEREMIAH SHEA, DIRK M.