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No dismissal, despite no trial within 180 days of two different IAD requests

State v. James Charleston, 2016AP2116-CR, 10/18/17, District 2 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Charleston was in custody in Illinois and had pending Wisconsin charges. Twice he submitted to his Illinois jailers properly prepared requests for final disposition of those charges under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers. The first request, in 2014, somehow didn’t make it to the Wisconsin authorities; the second in 2015 did and thus commenced the 180-day clock to try him or dismiss the case with prejudice. But, he wasn’t tried within 180 days, due in part to delays Charleston caused or agreed to. So, no dismissal.

Regarding the 2014 request that never made it, the law does not afford much succor to prisoners who, through no fault of their own, fail to get their requests delivered:

Charleston alleges that he followed all the proper procedures to submit his November 2014 request for final disposition. For the purposes of this decision, we accept Charleston’s claim. The question remains whether Charleston’s submission activated the provisions of WIS. STAT. § 976.05(3)(a) and (d) such that Charleston’s right to a speedy trial within 180 days was violated.  This court has already had occasion to consider at what point the clock starts running on the 180-day statutory time period. In Whittemore, 166 Wis. 2d at 132, the defendant argued that the 180 days begins running on the date the prisoner delivers the request for a final disposition to the sending state, while the State argued that the period begins when the receiving state receives the request. We concluded that the 180-day provision commenced on the date that the receiving state receives the prisoner’s request for final disposition, reasoning that the phrase “caused to be delivered” means “has delivered.” Id. at 133….

The United States Supreme Court agreed in Fex v. Michigan, 507 U.S. 43, 47 (1993), where the Court similarly considered the meaning of the phrase “caused to be delivered.” The Court concluded that “the 180-day time period in Article III(a) of the IAD does not commence until the prisoner’s request for final disposition of the charges against him has actually been delivered to the court and prosecuting officer of the jurisdiction that lodged the detainer against him.” Fex, 507 U.S. at 52. The Court acknowledged that under its interpretation “it is possible that a warden, through negligence or even malice, can delay forwarding of the request and thus postpone the starting of the 180-day clock,” but the Court reasoned that while that result would be unfortunate, it is “no worse than what regularly occurred before the IAD was adopted, and … cannot be entirely avoided by embracing” the view that the measuring event is receipt of the request by the warden. Id. at 50. The Supreme Court felt it was “more reasonable” to read the statute to protect against the receiving state’s prosecutors losing their case before they had even been informed of the trial request. Id. at 51.


Regarding the 2015 request, the court of appeals with the circuit court that Charleston waived any claim by helping to push his trial past the 180-day deadline:

At a November 20, 2015 district attorney pretrial hearing, Charleston’s counsel indicated that he would need more time to look into the issue of the November 2014 request. On December 8, 2015, Charleston’s counsel informed the court that he planned to bring a motion to dismiss for failure to comply with the requirements of the IAD, but he had not drafted it yet. After a continuance sought by Charleston due to medical reasons, the next status hearing was held on February 9, 2016, where Charleston’s counsel indicated that he had “drafted a motion” to dismiss, but had not filed it, and requested a date for the motion hearing. After the court denied the motion to dismiss at the hearing on March 24, 2016, Charleston’s counsel requested more time to review the case for possible appeal. At that time, the court raised the issue of having gone beyond the time limit established under the IAD due to “legal issues that need to be litigated on [Charleston’s] behalf.” After questioning Charleston as to whether he consented to the delay, the court found that he stipulated to going beyond the 180 days. We conclude that Charleston waived his right to a speedy trial under the IAD based on Charleston’s own conduct and consent.


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