State v. Kidwell, 061617 WVSC, 16-0163

Docket Nº:16-0163
Party Name:State of West Virginia, Plaintiff Below, Respondent v. Todd Kidwell, Defendant Below, Petitioner
Judge Panel:CONCURRED IN BY Chief Justice Allen H. Loughry II, Justice Robin Jean Davis, Justice Margaret L. Workman, Justice Menis E. Ketchum, Justice Elizabeth D. Walker
Case Date:June 16, 2017
Court:Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

State of West Virginia, Plaintiff Below, Respondent


Todd Kidwell, Defendant Below, Petitioner

No. 16-0163

Supreme Court of West Virginia

June 16, 2017

Jefferson County 15-M-AP-7


Petitioner Todd Kidwell, by counsel James T. Kratovil, appeals the Circuit Court of Jefferson County's January 20, 2016, order denying his petition for appeal of a conviction and sentence from the Magistrate Court of Jefferson County as untimely filed. The State of West Virginia, by counsel Brandon C.H. Sims, filed a response in support of the circuit court's order and a supplemental appendix. Petitioner filed a reply. On appeal, petitioner argues that the circuit court erred in denying his appeal as untimely.

This Court has considered the parties' briefs and the record on appeal. The facts and legal arguments are adequately presented, and the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument. Upon consideration of the pertinent legal authority, the briefs, and the record presented, this Court finds that the circuit court order erred in denying petitioner's petition for appeal as untimely. This case satisfies the "limited circumstances" requirement of Rule 21(d) of the Rules of Appellate Procedure and is appropriate for a memorandum decision rather than an opinion.

In March of 2015, petitioner was charged in magistrate court with one count of domestic battery related to allegations that he "head butted" his girlfriend causing swelling on her eye, cheek, and forehead; that he spit on her; that he forcibly held her in a "bear hug" for several minutes causing redness on her arms, neck, and face; that he "trapped" her in a bathroom; and that he grabbed and pushed her.

On September 17, 2015, the magistrate court held a bench trial. At the conclusion of that trial, petitioner was found guilty as charged. On that date, the magistrate court sentenced petitioner to thirty days in jail; imposed a fine in the amount of $200; and imposed court costs in the amount of $165.25. On September 21, 2015, petitioner filed a motion for a new trial. Petitioner's motion simply stated that he "would represent that he was improperly convicted." Petitioner did not cite any statute, rule, or case law in support of his motion.1

On November 17, 2015, the magistrate court held a hearing on petitioner's motion for a...

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