-- DA 17-0348 STATE OF MONTANA, Plaintiff and Appellee, v. NATHANIEL J. LAKE, Defendant and Appellant. Oral Argument is set for Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. in the Courtroom of the Montana Supreme Court, Joseph P. Mazurek Justice Building, Helena, Montana.
--DA 18-0110 MONTANA ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION CENTER and SIERRA CLUB, Plaintiffs and Appellees, v. MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, Defendant and Appellant, and WESTERN ENERGY COMPANY, Defendant/Intervenor and Appellant. Oral Argument is set for Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. in the Courtroom of the Montana Supreme Court, Joseph P. Mazurek Justice Building, Helena, Montana.
--DA 16-0445 CITY OF KALISPELL, Plaintiff and Appellee, v. THOMAS SALSGIVER, Defendant and Appellant. Oral Argument is set for Friday, April 5, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. in the George Dennison Theater, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, with an introduction to the oral argument beginning at 9:00 a.m.
On March 17, 2015, Thomas Salsgiver was arrested and charged with Partner or Family Member Assault and Criminal Mischief. The Kalispell Municipal Court ordered Salsgiver to personally appear at all court proceedings. Salsgiver was cautioned that failure to appear would waive his right to a jury trial and informed that the next hearing would be May 5. A week later, Salsgiver’s attorney received an Order which also stated, “your personal presence is required” at the May 5 hearing. On May 5, Salsgiver’s attorney personally appeared at the hearing, but Salsgiver did not. Because Salsgiver did not personally appear, the Municipal Court concluded he waived his right to a jury trial.
Salsgiver objected, but the Municipal Court held that his failure to appear waived his right to a jury trial under Article II, Section 26, of the Montana Constitution. The court then convicted him of both charges after a bench trial. Salsgiver appealed to the District Court, which affirmed the Municipal Court’s ruling denying Salsgiver’s motion for a jury trial.
On appeal to the Montana Supreme Court, Salsgiver argues that he did not waive his right to a jury trial under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The State disagrees, arguing that Salsgiver knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waived his right to a jury trial by failing to personally appear at the May 5 hearing.