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State of Missouri vs. Loren Burhop, Jr.
Case Number: WD83735
Judge: Lisa White Hardwick
Court: MISSOURI COURT OF APPEALS
Plaintiff's Attorney: Kristen S. Johnson
Kansas City, MO - Criminal defense attorney represented Loren Burhop, Jr. with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia charges.
In August 2017, the State filed a complaint charging Burhop in Ray County
with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. 2
On September 20, 2019, the Ray County Circuit Clerk received a packet of five
documents from a correctional facility in Kansas by certified mail. The first
document, labeled “UNIFORM MANDATORY DISPOSITION OF DETAINERS ACT
PURSUANT TO K.S.A. 22-4301,” indicated that Burhop was currently serving a
sentence in the Kansas Department of Corrections and stated the length of his
sentence, the time served, and the remaining time on his sentence. The second
document indicated that Burhop had untried charges against him in Ray County.
The third document was addressed to the Ray County Circuit Court and the Ray
County Prosecuting Attorney and indicated that Burhop wished to have a final
disposition of the charges pending against him “and placed as detainers against
[him] at this institution.” The fourth document, which was signed by the records
clerk and the warden of the Kansas correctional facility where Burhop was an
inmate, stated that a detainer was “currently on file” against Burhop from Ray
County for the charges in this case. The fifth document was a letter signed by the
records clerk and the warden offering to deliver Burhop to the temporary custody
of Ray County. 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 September 20, 2019, that the packet of documents had been filed.
On February 21, 2020, Burhop filed a letter in the circuit court requesting an
update on the status of his request to have his case disposed. On March 18, 2020,
Burhop filed a motion to dismiss the Ray County criminal case with prejudice
pursuant to Articles III and V of the IAD. In his motion, Burhop asserted that the 3
packet of documents received by the Ray County Circuit Court on September 20,
2019, “contained all of the information necessary to put the State and Court
clearly on notice of [his] request under the IAD” and triggered the running of the
180-day time limit during which the IAD mandated that he be tried. Burhop
argued that, because Ray County had taken no action to proceed with prosecuting
him by March 18, 2020, the IAD required dismissal of the Ray County charges with
The court held a hearing on Burhop’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 the 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
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 Burhop’s motion to dismiss because he did not show that he complied
with all of the IAD’s requirements. The State asserts that, because Burhop failed
to prove that he met the IAD’s requirements, his request for disposition of the
charges against him did not trigger the IAD’s time limitation.
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:
(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. 5
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 Burhop was incarcerated in Kansas and that there
were charges pending against him in Ray County; therefore, he met the first two
criteria. The State asserts that Burhop failed to prove 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.
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.
1 All statutory references are to the Revised Statutes of Missouri 2016.6
One of the documents sent by the Kansas correctional facility to the Ray
County Circuit Court along with Burhop’s request for disposition of the charges in
this case stated that Ray County had a detainer “currently on file” against Burhop
for those charges. This document was signed by the records clerk and the warden
of the Kansas correctional facility where Burhop was incarcerated. Clearly, the
court chose to find this document credible, and we must defer to its decision to do
so. Woods, 259 S.W.3d 555. This document constituted sufficient evidence that
Ray County had lodged a detainer against Burhop for the untried charges before
he requested disposition of those charges.
The State next argues that Burhop 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 7
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 Kansas correctional facility where
Burhop was incarcerated sent his request and supporting documents by certified
mail 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 September 20, 2019, informing her that
Burhop’s request for disposition and supporting documents had been filed.
Supreme Court Rule 103.08 states 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 Burhop’s request for disposition of
the untried charges through that system, we find that Burhop made a good-faith
effort to invoke the IAD and omitted nothing essential to Section 217.490’s
operation. Because the record established that Burhop was not brought to trial
within 180 days after he properly invoked the IAD on September 20, 2019, and 8
because the State has not presented any evidence to establish good cause for the
failure to bring Burhop to trial within the 180-day period, 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.