State v. Dudley, No. 3641.

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtCONNOR, J.
Citation581 S.E.2d 171,354 S.C. 514
Docket NumberNo. 3641.
Decision Date14 May 2003
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Dana DUDLEY, Appellant.

354 S.C. 514
581 S.E.2d 171

The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Dana DUDLEY, Appellant

No. 3641.

Court of Appeals of South Carolina.

Heard March 19, 2003.

Decided May 14, 2003.


354 S.C. 518
Assistant Appellate Defender Aileen P. Clare, of SC Office of Appellate Defense, of Columbia, for Appellant

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Charles H. Richardson, Senior Assistant Attorney General Harold M. Coombs, Jr., of Columbia; and Solicitor Druanne Dykes White, of Anderson, for Respondent.

CONNOR, J.:

Dana Dudley appeals her convictions for trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Dudley, a Georgia resident, raises two issues on appeal: (1) whether South Carolina had jurisdiction to prosecute her because any alleged criminal conduct took place outside the state; and (2) whether the trial judge erred in failing to direct a verdict of not guilty on the charge of conspiracy to traffic cocaine because there was no evidence she agreed to violate South Carolina law. We vacate her convictions.

Originally, a three-judge panel of this Court heard this case. In a divided opinion, the panel affirmed Dudley's conviction and sentence for trafficking in cocaine, and reversed her conviction for conspiracy to traffic cocaine. State v. Dudley, Op. No. 3579 (S.C. Ct.App. filed Dec. 9, 2002) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 41 at 57). Pursuant to section 14-8-90(a)(2) of the South Carolina Code of Laws, the full Court voted to rehear the case en Banc. S.C.Code Ann. § 14-8-90(a)(2) (Supp.2002) ("The Court may sit en banc to hear cases upon ... its own motion agreed to by six judges of the Court."). Section 14-8-90(b) requires six votes for a reversal of the judgment below. S.C.Code Ann. § 14-8-90(b) (Supp.2002). On rehearing, six judges voted to vacate both of Dudley's convictions. Accordingly, the original panel opinion is hereby withdrawn, and the opinions of this Court are substituted.

354 S.C. 519
FACTS

Earl Hale and Donald Stokes, admitted drug dealers, both resided in Roanoke, Virginia. Because Stokes and Hale were having some "dry spells" in Roanoke, they decided to go to Atlanta to make a "dope run." Dana Dudley, a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, was a long-time friend of Stokes. On numerous occasions, Stokes spoke with Dudley by telephone. Some time in the early part of September of 1997, Stokes called Dudley from Roanoke and told her that he was planning a trip to Atlanta and he would contact her when he arrived. On September 9, 1997, Stokes and Hale drove from Roanoke to Atlanta. Upon arriving, Stokes and Hale went to a nightclub and then returned to their hotel. The next morning, September 10th, Stokes called Dudley and asked her to come to his hotel room. Stokes asked Dudley if she could get them cocaine. Dudley took money from Stokes and Hale and left to purchase the cocaine. Within thirty to forty-five minutes, Dudley returned with the cocaine.

After purchasing the cocaine, Hale and Stokes proceeded to drive home to Roanoke via Interstate 85 north toward Virginia. Hale and Stokes intended to sell the cocaine in Virginia. As they were driving through Anderson County, Deputy Matthew Durham, employed with the Anderson County Sheriff's Department, signaled for them to stop after noticing Hale was weaving and making an improper lane change. Deputy Durham gave Hale a warning and asked whether he could search the vehicle. After Hale consented, Deputy Durham searched the vehicle and found the cocaine. At that point, Stokes attempted to flee while Hale was being arrested by Deputy James Littleton, Deputy Durham's partner. While Deputy Durham chased Stokes, Hale broke free in an attempt to retrieve the cocaine and dispose of it. Ultimately, the deputies apprehended Stokes and Hale.

After their arrest, Stokes and Hale identified Dudley as the person from whom they had purchased the cocaine. As part of a deal, Stokes and Hale agreed to assist the Drug Enforcement Agency in prosecuting narcotics cases in South Carolina and Virginia. Through a series of recorded telephone conversations, Stokes set up a controlled buy with Dudley. Dudley refused to meet Stokes in South Carolina, but agreed to meet

354 S.C. 520
him in Atlanta. Although Stokes met with Dudley just outside of Atlanta on September 15th, the purchase was not successful. Dudley, however, was arrested at this time for the prior transaction when Stokes and Hale were stopped in Anderson on September 10th

An Anderson County grand jury indicted Dudley for trafficking in cocaine in an amount greater than 200 grams and less than 400 grams, and conspiracy to traffic cocaine.1 A jury convicted Dudley of both charges. The trial judge sentenced her to twenty-five years imprisonment and payment of a $6,000 fine on both charges. The sentences were to be served concurrently. Dudley appeals.

DISCUSSION

I.

In her appeal, Dudley raises two distinct issues. First, Dudley argues South Carolina lacked jurisdiction to prosecute her for trafficking in cocaine given she is a Georgia resident who never entered Anderson County and never intended to commit any criminal act in South Carolina. Secondly, Dudley contends the trial judge erred in failing to direct a verdict of not guilty as to the charge of conspiracy because there was no evidence she agreed to violate South Carolina law.

In its analysis of these issues, the original panel thoroughly discussed several jurisdictional concepts. Specifically, all members of the panel found: (1) the circuit court was vested with subject matter jurisdiction by means of a valid indictment; and (2) Dudley consented to the circuit court's exercise of personal jurisdiction because she appeared at trial, defended her case, and failed to raise any objection. Because Dudley

354 S.C. 521
was a Georgia resident and never entered the State of South Carolina in conjunction with the two offenses for which she was charged, the panel concluded its jurisdictional analysis with a discussion of this State's exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction over acts committed by Dudley outside the state

Although neither Dudley nor the State specifically raised or argued extraterritorial jurisdiction,2 the original panel implicitly recognized that extraterritorial jurisdiction is a theory under the general concept of subject matter jurisdiction. See Weinhauer v. State, 334 S.C. 327, 513 S.E.2d 840 (1999) (stating issues involving subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at anytime, including for the first time on appeal); State v. Brown, 351 S.C. 522, 570 S.E.2d 559 (Ct.App.2002) (stating issues related to subject matter jurisdiction can be raised at anytime, can be raised for the first time on appeal, and can be raised sua sponte by the Court).

During the rehearing en banc, the question arose concerning whether extraterritorial jurisdiction is actually a component of subject matter jurisdiction or whether it is more properly considered part of personal jurisdiction. This question is significant in several respects. If extraterritorial jurisdiction is a component of subject matter jurisdiction, this Court is required to address it in this case despite Dudley's failure to specifically argue it at trial or on appeal. If, on the other hand, extraterritorial jurisdiction is classified as part of personal jurisdiction, then this Court would be precluded from addressing this issue, given Dudley waived any challenge to personal jurisdiction. See Bakala v. Bakala, 352 S.C. 612, 629 576 S.E.2d 156, 165 (2003) ("Objections to personal jurisdiction, unlike subject matter jurisdiction, are waived unless raised."); State v. Douglas, 245 S.C. 83, 138 S.E.2d 845 (1964) (holding a defendant may waive any objection to personal jurisdiction by failing to object and going to trial on the merits).

354 S.C. 522
To answer this question, we must analyze the general concept of jurisdiction and distinguish between the component parts of subject matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction.

A.

"[J]urisdiction of the offense charged and of the person of the accused is indispensable to a valid conviction." State v. Langford, 223 S.C. 20, 26, 73 S.E.2d 854, 857 (1953). Our Supreme Court has distinguished the types of jurisdiction as follows:

Jurisdiction is of two distinct kinds: (1) Jurisdiction of the subject or subject matter, and (2) jurisdiction of the person. In determining questions relating to each, different rules apply. Jurisdiction of the subject matter cannot be waived by any act or admission of the parties; but a party may confer jurisdiction over his person by consent, or may waive the right to raise the question.

Douglas, 245 S.C. at 87, 138 S.E.2d at 847. The Court has explained the theoretical underpinnings of subject matter jurisdiction as follows:

[T]he question of [subject matter] jurisdiction cannot be waived by any act or admission of the parties, for the very obvious reason that the parties have no power to invest any tribunal with jurisdiction of a subject over which the law has not conferred jurisdiction upon such tribunal. Hence the common expression, `Consent cannot confer jurisdiction.'

Langford, 223 S.C. at 27, 73 S.E.2d at 857 (quoting City of Florence v. Berry, 61 S.C. 237, 240, 39 S.E. 389, 390 (1901)). "Subject matter jurisdiction is the power of a court to hear and determine cases of the general class to which the proceedings in question belong." Pierce v. State, 338 S.C. 139, 150, 526 S.E.2d 222, 227 (2000).

A circuit court has subject matter jurisdiction over a criminal offense if: (1) there has been an indictment that sufficiently states the offense; (2) there has been a waiver of indictment; or (3) the charge is a lesser-included offense of the crime charged in the indictment. Carter v. State, 329 S.C. 355, 495 S.E.2d 773 (1998). An indictment is sufficient if the offense is stated with sufficient certainty and particularity to enable the court to know...

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13 practice notes
  • State v. Jackson, No. 2 CA-CR 2002-0391.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • May 28, 2004
    ...See also State v. Shrum, 7 Ohio App.3d 244, 455 N.E.2d 531, 532-33 (1982) (territorial jurisdiction cannot be waived); State v. Dudley, 354 S.C. 514, 581 S.E.2d 171, 180 (Ct.App.2003) (territorial jurisdiction is aspect of subject matter jurisdiction that cannot be waived); but see People v......
  • John Doe v. Department of Public Safety, Supreme Court No. S-16748
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • June 14, 2019
    ...the statute's punitive effects. Id . at 1018.47 Doe cites Wheat v. State , 734 P.2d 1007, 1009 (Alaska App. 1987), and State v. Dudley , 354 S.C. 514, 581 S.E.2d 171, 181-82 (S.C. App. 2003).48 See Wheat, 734 P.3d at 1008 (noting that appeal dealt with jurisdiction for criminal prosecutions......
  • State v. Jack, No. S-11051.
    • United States
    • Alaska Supreme Court
    • December 12, 2005
    ...for it.50 The same rule has been recognized in South Carolina, as well as in a leading text on criminal law: "As noted in State v. Dudley, 354 S.C. 514, 581 S.E.2d 171 (App.2003), though `states have adopted the Strassheim doctrine by enacting a jurisdictional statute,' elsewhere `the absen......
  • State v. Crocker, No. 4038.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 31, 2005
    ...the requirements of subject matter jurisdiction are satisfied when appropriate charges are filed in a competent court. State v. Dudley, 354 S.C. 514, 523, 581 S.E.2d 171, 176 (Ct.App.2003), aff'd as modified, 364 S.C. 578, 614 S.E.2d "Jurisdiction of the offense charged and of the person of......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • State v. Jackson, No. 2 CA-CR 2002-0391.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • May 28, 2004
    ...See also State v. Shrum, 7 Ohio App.3d 244, 455 N.E.2d 531, 532-33 (1982) (territorial jurisdiction cannot be waived); State v. Dudley, 354 S.C. 514, 581 S.E.2d 171, 180 (Ct.App.2003) (territorial jurisdiction is aspect of subject matter jurisdiction that cannot be waived); but see People v......
  • John Doe v. Department of Public Safety, Supreme Court No. S-16748
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • June 14, 2019
    ...the statute's punitive effects. Id . at 1018.47 Doe cites Wheat v. State , 734 P.2d 1007, 1009 (Alaska App. 1987), and State v. Dudley , 354 S.C. 514, 581 S.E.2d 171, 181-82 (S.C. App. 2003).48 See Wheat, 734 P.3d at 1008 (noting that appeal dealt with jurisdiction for criminal prosecutions......
  • State v. Jack, No. S-11051.
    • United States
    • Alaska Supreme Court
    • December 12, 2005
    ...for it.50 The same rule has been recognized in South Carolina, as well as in a leading text on criminal law: "As noted in State v. Dudley, 354 S.C. 514, 581 S.E.2d 171 (App.2003), though `states have adopted the Strassheim doctrine by enacting a jurisdictional statute,' elsewhere `the absen......
  • State v. Crocker, No. 4038.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 31, 2005
    ...the requirements of subject matter jurisdiction are satisfied when appropriate charges are filed in a competent court. State v. Dudley, 354 S.C. 514, 523, 581 S.E.2d 171, 176 (Ct.App.2003), aff'd as modified, 364 S.C. 578, 614 S.E.2d "Jurisdiction of the offense charged and of the person of......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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