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State of North Dakota v. Michael Stafford

April 4, 2013

STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA,
PLAINTIFF AND APPELLEE
v.
MICHAEL STAFFORD FARRELL, JR.,
DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT



Appeal from the District Court of Nelson County, Northeast Central Judicial District, the Honorable Joel D. Medd, Judge.

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

N.D. Supreme CourtState v. Farrell, 2013 ND 55

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

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REVERSED.

Opinion of the Court by Sandstrom, Justice.

[¶1] Michael Farrell appeals a district court civil judgment of $400 in unpaid fines and fees. We conclude the trial court judgment for costs and fees should not have been entered, and we reverse.

I

[¶2] On May 11, 1993, Farrell pled guilty to criminal trespass and criminal mischief and was ordered to pay fines, restitution, and fees. On May 18, 1994, the district court issued a bench warrant for failure to pay $1,351.88 in fines and costs.

[¶3] On July 30, 2012, Farrell, in writing, requested from the district court under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act a final disposition on any and all charges. Apparently in response to Farrell's letter, the State, on August 9, moved to dismiss a separate pending simple assault charge because Farrell was incarcerated in Utah and the case was too old to warrant prosecution. On August 21, the district court granted the State's motion to dismiss the simple assault charge. On the same day, the district court ordered a civil judgment totaling $400 be docketed against Farrell for unpaid fines and costs. The civil judgment was mailed, and on September 4, Farrell appealed to this Court. On December 31, the State moved to "satisfy the judgment," acknowledging that under N.D.C.C. § 29-26-22.1, a criminal judgment that imposes fines and fees may be docketed as a civil judgment only within 10 years of the criminal judgment. The district court granted the State's motion and ordered the civil judgment satisfied on January 3, 2013.

[¶4] The district court had jurisdiction under N.D. Const. art. VI, § 8, and N.D.C.C. § 27-05-06. Farrell's appeal is timely under N.D.R.App.P. 4(a). We have jurisdiction under N.D. Const. art. VI, §§ 2 and 6, and N.D.C.C. § 28-27-01.

II

[¶5] On appeal, Farrell argues his rights were violated under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act because he was not brought to court to be sentenced or informed of his charge. Apparently the charge to which Farrell refers is the civil judgment. Farrell seeks dismissal of his criminal trespass and criminal mischief charges as well as compensation of $500 per week beginning July 30, 2012.

[ΒΆ6] The district court judgment was entered beyond the ten years permitted by law. Section 29-26-22.1, ...


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