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State of North Dakota v. Michael Woodrow

September 15, 2011

STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA,
PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT
v.
MICHAEL WOODROW, DEFENDANT AND APPELLEE



Appeal from the District Court of Divide County, Northwest Judicial District, the Honorable David W. Nelson, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kapsner, Justice.

N.D. Supreme Court

State v. Woodrow,

2011 ND 192 This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents]

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REVERSED AND REMANDED.

Opinion of the Court by Kapsner, Justice.

[¶1] The State appeals from a district court order granting Michael Woodrow's motion to dismiss five counts of gross sexual imposition, class A felonies, based on a lack of jurisdiction. Because we conclude the district court has jurisdiction under N.D.C.C. § 27-20-34(8), we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

I

[¶2] In December 2007, the State filed a summons and amended petition in the juvenile court alleging Woodrow committed five counts of gross sexual imposition. The juvenile court subsequently entered an order transferring jurisdiction for all five counts to the district court, and Woodrow appealed. In Interest of M.W., 2009 ND 55, 764 N.W.2d 185 ("M.W. I"), this Court reversed the juvenile court order and remanded for further proceedings under N.D.C.C. § 27-20-34(1)(c).

[¶3] On remand, the juvenile court held another transfer hearing in August 2009, and the parties presented further testimony regarding the other elements required for transfer under N.D.C.C. § 27-20-34(1)(c). On January 3, 2010, Woodrow turned twenty years old. In orders dated January 6, 2010, and filed January 7, 2010, the juvenile court transferred jurisdiction for counts four and five of the amended petition to the district court, but denied transferring the first three counts. Woodrow appealed the juvenile court's order transferring counts four and five to the district court. In Interest of M.W., 2010 ND 135, 785 N.W.2d 211 ("M.W. II"), we held the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction over the matter at the time it entered its transfer order because Woodrow had turned twenty years of age.

[¶4] In January and February 2010, the State filed four criminal complaints in the district court alleging Woodrow committed five counts of gross sexual imposition. In July 2010, Woodrow filed a motion to dismiss, alleging the district court lacked jurisdiction over the five gross sexual imposition charges under N.D.C.C. § 27-20-34(5). The State opposed the motion, asserting Woodrow was properly charged in the district court under N.D.C.C. § 27-20-34(8). After a September 2010 hearing, the court issued an order granting Woodrow's motion to dismiss all five counts, stating the court was without jurisdiction.

II

[ΒΆ5] The State argues the district court erred in dismissing the charges against Woodrow based on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. To address this issue, we must construe provisions of N.D.C.C. ch. 27-20 to decide ...


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