State v. Borland

Decision Date24 March 2021
Docket NumberNo. 20200053,20200053
Citation956 N.W.2d 412
Parties STATE of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee v. Jordan Lee BORLAND, Defendant and Appellant
CourtNorth Dakota Supreme Court

Quentin B. Wenzel (argued), Assistant State's Attorney, Langdon, ND, and Jayme J. Tenneson (on brief), State's Attorney, Lakota, ND, for plaintiff and appellee.

Jessica J. Ahrendt, Grand Forks, ND, for defendant and appellant.

Jensen, Chief Justice.

[¶1] Jordan Borland appeals from a criminal judgment entered after a jury found him guilty of criminal vehicular homicide at the conclusion of a third jury trial on the charge. Borland argues double jeopardy barred his retrial; the district court erred by denying his requested jury instruction and special verdict form seeking a jury finding on double jeopardy; and he was denied the right to a speedy trial. We affirm.

I

[¶2] The State charged Borland with the offense of criminal vehicular homicide on October 17, 2017. Borland's trial was set to begin July 24, 2018. Two weeks before trial, the State requested additional trial time to present its case in order to accommodate the increased number of potential trial witnesses. Borland did not object to the State's request to extend the length of trial. To accommodate the request for additional trial time, the district court rescheduled the trial to October 2, 2018. The trial was held as scheduled on October 2, 2018, and the jury returned a guilty verdict. Borland filed a motion for a new trial alleging juror misconduct after discovering a juror brought into the jury room an extraneous, unauthorized definition of "reasonable doubt" and shared the definition with other jurors during deliberations.

On February 28, 2019, the court granted Borland's motion for a new trial.

[¶3] A second trial was scheduled for June 3, 2019. Prior to trial, the State filed a motion to continue trial and a motion to change the venue of the trial. Borland objected to the motion for a change of venue but did not object to the motion to continue. The district court granted the motion to continue, denied the motion for a change of venue, and rescheduled the second trial for July 8, 2019. Borland's second trial was held on July 8, 2019, as scheduled. After the case had been submitted to the jury, the jury communicated to the court it was unable to come to a unanimous decision. Borland moved for a mistrial, and his motion was granted on July 16, 2019.

[¶4] The third trial was scheduled for February 3, 2020. The State filed a motion to continue the trial and a motion to change the venue of the trial. Borland objected to both motions, and the district court denied both motions. On December 27, 2019, Borland filed a motion to dismiss the case in the interest of justice arguing double jeopardy barred retrial and he was denied his right to a speedy trial. The court denied the motion to dismiss. Borland subsequently filed proposed jury instructions including an instruction on double jeopardy and a special verdict form which asked the jury to determine if jeopardy had previously attached. The court denied the proposed instruction and special verdict form. The jury returned a guilty verdict on February 6, 2020. Borland appealed the criminal judgment.

II

[¶5] Borland argues double jeopardy barred multiple retrials for the same charges. The double jeopardy provisions of the federal and state constitutions and state law prohibit successive prosecutions and punishments for the same criminal offense. U.S. Const. amend. V ; N.D. Const. art. I, § 12 ; N.D.C.C. § 29-01-07. The standard of review for constitutional issues, such as double jeopardy, is de novo. State v. Peterson , 2016 ND 192, ¶ 8, 886 N.W.2d 71. "[J]eopardy attaches when the jury is empaneled and sworn." City of W. Fargo v. Ekstrom , 2020 ND 37, ¶ 9, 938 N.W.2d 915. "Each case in which a double jeopardy violation is asserted must turn upon its own facts." Id.

[¶6] A defendant waives the constitutional protection against being placed in double jeopardy after a verdict or judgment against them is set aside at their own instance, either by motion in trial court or upon successful appeal. City of Minot v. Knudson , 184 N.W.2d 58, 62 (N.D. 1971) ; see also Tibbs v. Florida , 457 U.S. 31, 39-41, 102 S.Ct. 2211, 72 L.Ed.2d 652 (1982) (Double Jeopardy Clause imposes no limitations whatever upon the power to retry a defendant who has succeeded in getting their first conviction set aside, with the exception that no retrial is permissible after a conviction has been reversed because of insufficiency of the evidence.). Double jeopardy does not necessarily bar retrial when the previous trial was terminated before a verdict is rendered. Ekstrom , 2020 ND 37, ¶ 9, 938 N.W.2d 915. If a mistrial is made with the defendant's consent, such as when the defendant moves for mistrial without having been goaded into doing so by prosecutorial misconduct, such mistrial does not generally bar a later prosecution. Id.

[¶7] Regarding retrials following a mistrial, this Court has determined the double jeopardy standard as stated by the United States Supreme Court in Oregon v. Kennedy , 456 U.S. 667, 102 S.Ct. 2083, 72 L.Ed.2d 416 (1982), is the proper standard for North Dakota. Ekstrom , 2020 ND 37, ¶ 15, 938 N.W.2d 915. The United States Supreme Court in Kennedy, 456 U.S. 667, 675-76, 102 S.Ct. 2083, 72 L.Ed.2d 416 (1982), stated:

Prosecutorial conduct that might be viewed as harassment or overreaching, even if sufficient to justify a mistrial on defendant's motion, therefore, does not bar retrial absent intent on the part of the prosecutor to subvert the protections afforded by the Double Jeopardy Clause. A defendant's motion for a mistrial constitutes a deliberate election on his part to forgo his valued right to have his guilt or innocence determined before the first trier of fact. Where prosecutorial error even of a degree sufficient to warrant a mistrial has occurred, the important consideration, for purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause, is that the defendant retain primary control over the course to be followed in the event of such error. Only where the governmental conduct in question is intended to "goad" the defendant into moving for a mistrial may a defendant raise the bar of double jeopardy to a second trial after having succeeded in aborting the first on his own motion.

(internal citations and quotations omitted). Furthermore, the Court in Kennedy held:

[T]he circumstances under which such a defendant may invoke the bar of double jeopardy in a second effort to try him are limited to those cases in which the conduct giving rise to the successful motion for a mistrial was intended to provoke the defendant into moving for a mistrial.

Id. at 679, 102 S.Ct. 2083.

[¶8] Borland argues double jeopardy barred his retrial for the same offense after the district court granted his motion for a new trial following the first trial and after the court granted his motion for a mistrial in the second trial. Borland asserts the State took advantage of the repeated trials to enhance the trial strategy by speaking with jurors, obtaining additional evidence, and refining the presentation of evidence. He does not argue the State intentionally provoked him to move for the new trial or the mistrial.

[¶9] We conclude double jeopardy did not bar retrial following Borland's first and second trials. After the jury reached a guilty verdict in Borland's first trial, the district court granted Borland's motion for a new trial. Because the jury's guilty verdict in the first trial was set aside at Borland's insistence after the discovery of juror misconduct, the State was entitled to retry the case. Further, double jeopardy does not prohibit a retrial of Borland following the second trial because the court granted Borland's motion for mistrial after the jury communicated it could not reach a unanimous verdict. The State did not provoke Borland into requesting the mistrial. Under the Kennedy standard adopted by this Court, the district court did not err finding double jeopardy was inapplicable. Having concluded the court did not err in finding double jeopardy to be inapplicable, we also conclude the court did not err by denying Borland's requested jury instruction and special verdict form seeking a jury finding on double jeopardy.

III

[¶10] Borland argues his constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated. The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article 1, section 12 of the North Dakota Constitution guarantees the right to a speedy trial. This Court has adopted a four-part balancing test from Barker v. Wingo , 407 U.S. 514, 530, 92 S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972), to decide speedy trial claims under the state and federal constitutions. State v. Erickson , 241 N.W.2d 854, 859 (N.D. 1976). The four-part test includes the following:

(1) the length of the delay; (2) the reason for the delay; (3) the accused's assertion of the right to a speedy trial; and (4) the prejudice to the accused. Id. No single factor of the test is controlling, and the Court must weigh all factors. State v. Moran , 2006 ND 62, ¶ 8, 711 N.W.2d 915. When an appellant raises a speedy trial issue, this Court reviews the district court's findings of fact under a clearly erroneous standard, and this Court reviews a speedy trial determination de novo. State v. Wayland , 2020 ND 106, ¶ 8, 942 N.W.2d 841.

[¶11] Before turning to the Barker balancing test, we note Borland's case was tried three times. Borland was charged on October 17, 2017. His first trial began on October 2, 2018. The district court subsequently granted a new trial due to juror misconduct. The second trial began on July 8, 2019, and a mistrial was declared in that trial after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. The third trial commenced on February 3, 2020, and resulted in a final conviction.

[¶12] This Court must initially consider what effect the multiple trials have on the calculation of the length of the delay. While w...

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4 cases
  • State v. Peters
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • November 10, 2022
    ...time between either the arrest or indictment, whichever is first, and the beginning of the trial. State v. Borland , 2021 ND 52, ¶ 14, 956 N.W. 2d 412 ; Sims , 847 F.3d at 634. Under the first factor, "a delay of one year or more is ‘presumptively prejudicial’ and triggers an analysis of th......
  • State v. Jensen
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • July 8, 2021
    ...S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972), to determine whether the right to a speedy trial has been denied. State v. Borland , 2021 ND 52, ¶ 10, 956 N.W.2d 412. [¶14] A defendant may waive their speedy trial claim in four ways: "(1) by failing to present the claim prior to or at the trial, (2) by ......
  • State v. Peters
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • November 10, 2022
    ... ... State v. Hamre, 2019 ... ND 86, ¶ 11, 924 N.W.2d 776 ...          A ...          [¶6] ... The length of delay is the time between either the arrest or ... indictment, whichever is first, and the beginning of the ... trial. State v. Borland, 2021 ND 52, ¶ 14, 956 ... N.W.2d 412; Sims, 847 F.3d at 634. Under the first ... factor, "a delay of one year or more is ... 'presumptively prejudicial' and triggers an analysis ... of the other speedy trial factors." Hamre, 2019 ... ND 86, ¶ 11. Peters' trial began on ... September 20, ... ...
  • Breeze v. Panos
    • United States
    • North Dakota Supreme Court
    • March 24, 2021

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