This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).








State of Minnesota,





Nathaniel James Wilson, a/k/a J Stone,




Filed March 12, 2002


Parker, Judge*



Stearns County District Court

File No. K6001372



Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Robert A. Stanich, Assistant Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103 (for appellant)


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Davi Axelson, Special Assistant Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge, Shumaker, Judge, and Parker, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


This is an appeal from a pretrial order effectively dismissing a complaint charging racketeering and controlled substance offenses.  Appellant argues that the district court abused discretion by allowing jurisdiction under the Uniform Mandatory Disposition of Detainers Act (UMDDA), Minn. Stat. § 629.292, subd. 3 (2000), to expire without setting a trial date and ruling that there was no good cause to extend the time to bring this case to trial.  We affirm.


            Whether good cause for extending the UMDDA six-month deadline exists “is a subjective, factual question within the discretion of the [district] court.”  State v. Miller, 525 N.W.2d 576, 580 (Minn. App. 1994) (citation omitted).

The state contends the district court abused discretion by determining that no good cause existed to order a continuance.  Neither the state nor Wilson had moved for a continuance.  The state argues the district court misconstrued the statute to mean that an extension of time could be granted only upon the motion of a party.  The state also contends the district court erred by looking at whether there was sufficient time for respondent Wilson’s counsel to prepare as if it were still the fall of 2000 instead of 2001.

            Wilson contends that forcing him to move for a continuance resulting from the state’s unexplained, four-month delay effectively forces him to choose between his right to a fair trial and his right to a speedy trial.  We agree.  If Wilson moved for a continuance so that his counsel could prepare for this complicated case, he would lose his right to a speedy trial.  On the other hand, if Wilson did not move for a continuance, given the volume of discovery, his counsel would not have time to prepare an adequate defense.

            We note that the state never moved for a continuance but is asking this court essentially to reverse the district court for failing sua sponte to order a continuance.  We see no circumstances requiring this court to reverse the district court for so failing. The UMDDA, by providing that dismissal is the alternative to a continuance, necessarily puts the burden on the state to show “good cause” for a continuance.  The fact that the defense needed more time due to the state’s delay should not disguise this reality.  The state’s insistence that it was prepared for trial left the district court with little choice.

            Moreover, the supreme court has already stated in dictum in a prior appeal in this case that while the district court could find good cause to grant a continuance, “on this record the court could properly deny a continuance for lack of good cause.”  State v. Wilson, 632 N.W.2d 225, 229 (Minn. 2001).  Because the record was not materially supplemented on remand and the supreme court authorized the district court’s ruling, we hold that the district court acted within the scope of discretion in determining no good cause existed to continue this case.



*  Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.