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State of Missouri vs. Anthony Stevenson
Case Number: WD83734
Judge: Lisa White Hardwick and
W. Douglas Thomson
Court: MISSOURI COURT OF APPEALS
Plaintiff's Attorney: Kristen S. Johnson
Kansas City, MO - Criminal defense attorney represented Defendant charged with 14 counts of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and 13 counts of armed criminal action.
On October 4, 2018, the State filed a complaint charging Stevenson in Ray
County with 14 counts of first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer and 13 2
counts of armed criminal action. On June 17, 2019, the Ray County Circuit Clerk
received a packet of documents from the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal
Bureau of Prisons by certified mail. The packet included a form signed by the
warden of a federal prison in Illinois where Stevenson was in custody. It was
addressed specifically to the Clay County Prosecuting Attorney and “to all other
prosecuting officers and courts of jurisdiction listed below from which
indictments, information or complaints are pending” against Stevenson. The
warden offered to deliver temporary custody of Stevenson to Clay County
pursuant to the IAD for disposition of his charges in Clay County and also
authorized the Clay County Prosecuting Attorney to transfer Stevenson to
authorities in Ray County for disposition of his charges in Ray County.
The packet included a letter from the warden to the Clay County
Prosecuting Attorney stating that Stevenson had requested disposition of the
pending charges in Clay County pursuant to the IAD. Another form in the packet
noted the length of Stevenson’s term of commitment to the Illinois federal prison,
the time he had served, the time remaining to be served, and the amount of good
time earned. The form stated that the detainers “currently on file” against
Stevenson from the State of Missouri were filed by Clay County. The packet
included an “Inmate Request to Staff” signed by Stevenson on June 12, 2019, in
which he stated, “I would like to file under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers
Act, for pending charges out of Clay County, MO and Ray County, MO.” In
response to this request, the staff member indicated, in the space marked 3
“Disposition,” “IAD Initiated on June 12, 2019.” The Ray County Circuit Clerk filed
the packet of documents in the court file, and the Ray County Prosecuting
Attorney received an eNotice from Case.net on June 17, 2019, that the packet had
On February 28, 2020, Stevenson filed a motion to dismiss the Ray County
criminal case with prejudice pursuant to Articles III and V of the IAD. In his
motion, Stevenson asserted that the packet of documents received by the Ray
Count Circuit Court on June 17, 2019, constituted a “request for a final disposition
of the complaint pending against him pursuant to the [IAD]” and triggered the
running of the 180-day time limit during which the IAD mandated that he be tried.
Because Ray County had taken no action to proceed with prosecuting him by
December 16, 2019, Stevenson argued that the IAD required dismissal of the Ray
County charges with prejudice.
The court held a hearing on Stevenson’s motion to dismiss on March 24,
2020. The hearing was not recorded, so no transcript of the hearing was made.
The next day, the court entered an order granting Stevenson’s motion and
dismissing the criminal complaint with prejudice. The State appeals.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
“Whether the trial court properly interpreted and applied the IAD to the
facts is a question of law which this [c]ourt reviews de novo.” State v. Woods,
259 S.W.3d 552, 555 (Mo. App. 2008). “To the extent the court’s application of the
law was based upon the evidence presented, we defer to the court’s factual 4
findings and credibility determinations.” Id. When, as in this case, the circuit
court does not make specific findings of fact, we “must assume that all facts were
found in accordance with the result reached.” State v. Revels, 13 S.W.3d 293, 297
(Mo. banc 2000).
In its sole point on appeal, the State contends the circuit court erred in
granting Stevenson’s motion to dismiss because Stevenson failed to show that he
complied with all of the IAD’s requirements. The State asserts that, because
Stevenson’s request for disposition of the charges against him did not meet the
IAD’s requirements, the request did not trigger the IAD’s time limitations.
The IAD allows a prisoner in one state to request disposition of a criminal
charges filed against the prisoner by a second state. State v. Morrison, 364
S.W.3d 779, 784 (Mo. App. 2012). The purpose of the IAD “is to encourage the
expeditious and orderly disposition of charges outstanding against a prisoner and
determination of the proper status of any and all detainers based on untried
indictments, informations, or complaints.” Id. (citation omitted). “A detainer is a
request filed by a criminal justice agency with the institution in which a prisoner is
incarcerated, asking the institution either to hold the prisoner for the agency or to
notify the agency when release of the prisoner is imminent.” Id. (quoting
Carchman v. Nash, 473 U.S. 716, 719 (1985)).
To invoke the IAD, the prisoner must establish the following:5
(1) the person is incarcerated in one state (sending state); (2) there
are untried charges against the person in a second state (receiving
state); (3) the receiving state has lodged a detainer against the person
on the basis of the untried charges; and (4) the person has notified
both the prosecuting attorney and the appropriate court of the
prosecuting attorney’s jurisdiction in the receiving state of his current
place of imprisonment in the sending state and his request for final
disposition of the untried charges.
Id. (citing § 217.490, Art. III, § 11
). “If these four criteria are met, then the receiving
state must bring the person to trial on the untried charges within 180 days of the
notification and request for disposition, or the charges must be dismissed.” Id.
(citing § 217.490, Art. III, § 4). The prisoner has the burden of proving the four
criteria were met. Id. Once the prisoner presents evidence establishing his
compliance with the IAD’s requirements, the burden then shifts to the State to
produce evidence showing that there was good cause to delay the trial past 180
Here, it is undisputed that Stevenson was incarcerated in a federal
correctional institution in Illinois and that there were charges pending against him
in Ray County; therefore, he met the first two criteria. The State asserts that
Stevenson failed to establish the third criterion, i.e., that a detainer was lodged
against him by any criminal justice agency in Ray County, and the fourth criterion,
i.e., that the Ray County Prosecuting Attorney received notice of his request for
disposition of the charges pending against him.
1 All statutory references are to the Revised Statutes of Missouri 2016.6
Looking first at the detainer requirement, “Missouri courts have already
decided that a detainer must be lodged against a prisoner before he can invoke
the protections of the IAD.” State v. Delong, 348 S.W.3d 866, 869 (Mo. App. 2011).
Indeed, “the lodging of a detainer against the prisoner is a fundamental
procedural requirement of § 217.490 and must have occurred before a request for
disposition of the untried charges can be effective.” Id. at 871.
The documents in the packet that the Ray County Circuit Court received
from the federal correctional institution where Stevenson was imprisoned stated
that a detainer had been filed against Stevenson by the Clay County Prosecuting
Attorney with respect to the untried charges in Clay County. While the documents
did not expressly state that Ray County had also filed a detainer against
Stevenson, in one of the documents, the warden of the federal correctional
institution gave the Clay County Prosecuting Attorney the authority to transfer
Stevenson to the “custody of appropriate authorities” in Ray County for his
untried charges in Ray County. Based upon the warden’s authorization to transfer
Stevenson to Ray County, the circuit court could have reasonably inferred that
Ray County had, in fact, lodged a detainer against Stevenson for the untried
charges in that county.
Because we have no transcript of the hearing on Stevenson’s motion, we
do not know what, if any, additional information was presented to the court to
support such an inference. Rule 81.12(a) requires that the record on appeal
“contain all of the record, proceedings, and evidence necessary” to determine the 7
issue on appeal, and the rule places the burden of preparing this record on the
appellant. Rule 81.12(b) and (c). The State argues that the circuit court’s decision
not to record the hearing prevented it from obtaining a transcript. The State,
however, could have obtained a stipulation from Stevenson’s counsel detailing
the information presented at the hearing and provided that stipulation to this
court pursuant to Rule 81.12(f)(1). What the State cannot do is file an incomplete
record on appeal and then argue that the incomplete record does not support the
court’s implicit finding that Ray County had lodged a detainer against Stevenson
for the untried charges.
The State next argues that Stevenson failed to prove that the Ray County
Prosecuting Attorney received notice of his request for disposition of the charges.
The IAD provides that, when a prisoner requests disposition of untried charges,
the warden or other official having custody of the prisoner must forward the
request, along with other required information, to the appropriate prosecuting
official and court by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. §
217.490, Art III, § 2. The 180-day limitations period is triggered only when the
prosecuting attorney and the appropriate court receive the required documents.
State v. Smith, 686 S.W.2d 543, 546 (Mo. App. 1985).
Courts in this state have construed the IAD to “place the onus of
compliance upon the officials of the incarcerating and receiving states, rather than
upon the prisoner. The officials are generally in a better position to advance the
case and to secure cooperation from each other than is the prisoner.” State ex 8
rel. Suitor v. Stremel, 968 S.W.2d 221, 223 (Mo. App. 1998) (quoting State v.
Walton, 734 S.W.2d 502, 503 (Mo. banc 1987)). Consequently, “if the prisoner
makes a good-faith effort to invoke the [IAD], and he omits nothing essential to
the statute’s operation, his failure to comply strictly with its requirements will not
be fatal to his claim.” Id. Written notice to both the prosecuting attorney and the
appropriate court of the request for disposition of the untried charges is an
essential requirement of the IAD. Woods, 259 S.W.3d at 557.
The record before us indicates that the federal correctional institution in
Illinois where Stevenson was incarcerated sent his request and supporting
documents only to the Ray County Circuit Clerk. The Ray County Prosecuting
Attorney did, however, receive notice of the request because Case.net’s eNotice
History shows that she received an eNotice on June 17, 2019, informing her that
Stevenson’s request for disposition and supporting documents had been filed.
Supreme Court Rule 103.08 provides that “[s]ervice shall be made to registered
users through the electronic filing system,” and that such service is “complete
upon transmission.” Given that Missouri provides for service of documents
through the electronic filing system and the record conclusively shows that the
Ray County Prosecuting Attorney received actual notice of Stevenson’s request
for disposition of the untried charges through that system, we find that Stevenson
made a good-faith effort to invoke the IAD and omitted nothing essential to
Section 217.490’s operation. Because the record established that Stevenson was
not brought to trial within 180 days after he properly invoked the IAD on June 17, 9
2019, the circuit court did not err in dismissing the criminal complaint against him
with prejudice. Point denied
Outcome: The order dismissing the criminal complaint with prejudice is affirmed.