BRANDEN P. KEOGH A/K/A BRANDEN KEOGH A/K/A BRANDEN PATRICK KEOGH, APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/20/2013.
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: OKTIBBEHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAMES T. KITCHENS JR. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: DISMISSED APPEAL AND ISSUED A WRIT OF PROCEDENDO.
FOR APPELLANT: STEPHANIE L. MALLETTE.
FOR APPELLEE: CAROLINE CRAWLEY MOORE.
BEFORE IRVING, P.J., ISHEE AND CARLTON, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., ISHEE, ROBERTS, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. BARNES, J., CONCURS IN PART AND IN THE RESULT WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.
NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - MISDEMEANOR
[¶1] On February 11, 2010, the Starkville Municipal Court found Branden Keogh guilty of simple assault. Keogh appealed his conviction to the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court but failed to appear for his trial on January 24, 2011. Upon a motion by the City of Starkville (City), the circuit court entered an order for a writ of procedendo on January 24, 2011, to dismiss the appeal and remand the case to the municipal court for enforcement of the municipal court's judgment. On August 15, 2013, Keogh filed a notice of appeal with this Court, asserting that the circuit court erred by issuing the writ of procedendo. Keogh now asks this Court to reverse the circuit court's denial of his motion to reconsider and to remand the matter for a trial de novo. Finding no error, we affirm.
[¶2] Following his simple-assault conviction in municipal court, Keogh filed an appeal to the circuit court on March 10, 2010, for a trial de novo. After several continuances, all unresolved matters related to Keogh's case were scheduled for trial in circuit court on January 24, 2011. When Keogh failed to appear for trial on the scheduled date, the City raised an ore tenus motion for the circuit court to dismiss Keogh's appeal and issue a writ of procedendo. On January 24, 2011, the circuit court entered an order granting the City's motion and remanding Keogh's case to the municipal court for enforcement of that court's judgment.
[¶3] After the circuit court remanded his case, Keogh failed to appear in municipal court on the scheduled date for imposition of the judgment against him. On October 25, 2011, the municipal court judge entered a complaint against Keogh for default and for failure to appear. The complaint ordered Keogh, who was in abstentia and in default, to pay " $7,154.04 in unpaid fines, assessments, and/or restitution[.]" After Keogh's failure to pay the ordered amount, the municipal court judge issued an arrest warrant for Keogh. Starkville police officers served Keogh the warrant in Georgia and transported him back to Mississippi on April 19, 2012.
[¶4] On October 9, 2012, over a year and a half after the circuit court's dismissal of his appeal and almost a year after the municipal court's imposition of the judgment against him, Keogh filed a motion in circuit court titled " Motion to Set Aside Writ of Procedendo and Other Relief." The circuit court judge found that Keogh's matter constituted a criminal case controlled by Rule 12.02 of the Uniform Rules of Circuit and County Court. As reflected in the circuit court judge's order, Rule 12.02(B)(1) states in part that, " [i]f the defendant fails to appear at the time and place set by the court, the court may dismiss the appeal with prejudice and with costs and order forfeiture of the appearance bond or cash deposit."
[¶5] Based upon his review of Mississippi caselaw and statutory law, the circuit court judge determined that he possessed the authority to issue a writ of procedendo ...