962 P.2d 636 (N.M.App. 1998), 18508, State v. Wilson

Docket Nº:18508.
Citation:962 P.2d 636, 125 N.M. 390, 1998 -NMCA- 84
Opinion Judge:Apodaca, Judge.
Party Name:STATE of New Mexico, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. John N. WILSON, Defendant-Appellee.
Attorney:Tom Udall, Attorney General, William McEuen, Assistant Attorney General, Santa Fe, for Appellant. J. Scott Hall, Miller, Stratvert & Torgerson, P.A., Santa Fe, for Appellee.
Judge Panel:BOSSON and ARMIJO, JJ., concur.
Case Date:May 27, 1998
Court:Court of Appeals of New Mexico
 
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Page 636

962 P.2d 636 (N.M.App. 1998)

125 N.M. 390, 1998 -NMCA- 84

STATE of New Mexico, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

John N. WILSON, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 18508.

Court of Appeals of New Mexico.

May 27, 1998

Page 637

[125 N.M. 391] Tom Udall, Attorney General, William McEuen, Assistant Attorney General, Santa Fe, for Appellant.

J. Scott Hall, Miller, Stratvert & Torgerson, P.A., Santa Fe, for Appellee.

OPINION

APODACA, Judge.

¶1 The State appeals the district court's order dismissing certain misdemeanor charges against Defendant for prejudice due to delay. The State argues that the district court erred in applying Rule 5-604 NMRA 1997, which governs proceedings initiated in district court, to Defendant's case. Defendant's case originated in the magistrate court, which he appealed to district court. The State contends the case is governed by Rule 6-703 NMRA 1997. We agree and therefore reverse the district court's order of dismissal. On remand, Defendant may reargue his constitutionally-based speedy trial claim as a basis for dismissal.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

¶2 A magistrate court convicted Defendant of two counts of water pollution and two counts of public nuisance. Defendant appealed the magistrate court's judgment and sentence to the district court in October 1994. In June 1995, the district court held a trial on the de novo appeal and granted Defendant's motion to dismiss. The State appealed the dismissal to our Court, which upheld dismissal of the nuisance counts but reversed dismissal of the pollution counts. In that first appeal, this Court remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings. We issued a mandate directing this case to the district court on June 28, 1996.

¶3 On December 13, 1996, Defendant filed a petition for writ of superintending control, request for stay, and an alternative petition for extension of time in our Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted Defendant's request for stay on December 24, 1996. On January 22, 1997, the Supreme Court entered an order granting Defendant's request for extension of time to commence trial within 90 days following appointment or designation of a new district court judge to hear the case. A Supreme Court order filed January 31, 1997, designated a district court judge.

¶4 On March 25, 1997, a trial on the merits occurred at which time the district court heard arguments on Defendant's motion to dismiss for prejudice due to delay. The district court considered this issue in light of Rules 5-604 and 6-703. 1 Both rules require the commencement of criminal trials within six months, and this time period expired

Page 638

[125 N.M. 392] under each rule. The effects of noncompliance with the time requirement, however, differ under these two rules. This difference is at the heart of the district court's dismissal and the arguments of the parties on appeal.

¶5 Rule 5-604(B)(4) is a criminal procedure rule for the district courts. It provides time limits for the commencement of a criminal trial in the event of an appeal from the district court to an appellate court. Id. The trial must begin six months following the filing of the mandate or order in the district court disposing of the appeal. Id. Noncompliance with these time limits results in dismissal of the criminal charges. Rule 5-604(D).

¶6 The State, however, argues that Rule 6-703, not Rule 5-604, governs the time limits for Defendant's de novo appeal from the magistrate court. This rule is a criminal procedure rule for the magistrate courts. Section (L) of the rule provides that the...

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