Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of Johnson County, Missouri The
Honorable Chad N. Pfister, Judge
Before: Mark D. Pfeiffer, Presiding Judge, and Lisa White
Hardwick and Edward R. Ardini, Jr., Judges
Pfeiffer, Presiding Judge
William White ("White") appeals the judgment of the
Circuit Court of Johnson County, Missouri ("trial
court"), following a jury trial convicting him of the
class D felony of driving without a valid license, third or
subsequent offense. White argues on appeal that section
302.020 violates the United States Constitution,
that the trial court lacked jurisdiction, and that he had a
valid driver's license issued by the "Pembina Nation
Little Shell Band of North America" which the State of
Missouri was obliged to recognize as a valid license of a
"nonresident . . . issued to him in his home state or
country[.]" We affirm.
and Procedural Background
was charged by amended information with the class D felony of
driving without a valid license in violation of section
302.020, in Johnson County, Missouri, on November 14, 2015,
by knowingly operating a motor vehicle on a highway during a
time when he did not have a valid license. The information
classified the charged crime as White's third or
subsequent offense based upon two prior convictions for the
same crime in 2013.
transcript of White's trial has not been deposited with
this court and thus is not part of the record on
appeal. The jury found White guilty of driving
without a valid license. The trial court found that White had
two prior convictions for driving without a valid license and
followed the jury's recommendation, sentencing White to
two days in the Johnson County Jail.
White filed a "Declaration of Mistrial," which
alleges the same arguments as those contained in his appeal.
The trial court denied relief to White pursuant to
White's "Declaration" and this appeal follows.
appeals pro se and his appellate brief contains
briefing deficiencies in violation of Rule
84.04. Though we exercise our discretion not to
dismiss this appeal, the deficiencies with White's
briefing are numerous and it would be well within our
discretion to dismiss this appeal.
argues that section 302.020 violates the United States
Constitution, "as used against this Tribal Nation."
We disagree. First, White is without standing to challenge
the constitutionality of the statute.
assuming for the sake of argument that White's
documentation sufficiently proves him to be a member of the
"Pembina Nation Little Shell Band of North
America," this group is not federally recognized.
Neal v. Arizona, No. CIV 07-8025-PCT-SMM, 2007 WL
2702002, at *2 (D. Ariz. Sept. 14, 2007). Congress enacted
the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994
("List Act"), Pub. L. No. 103-454, 108 Stat. 4791
(1994), which provided that:
Indian tribes may be recognized by: (1) an "Act of
Congress;" (2) "the administrative procedures set
forth in part 83 of the Code of Federal Regulations[;]"
or (3) "a decision of a United States court." Pub.
L. No. 103-454, § 103(3), 108 Stat. 4791; see also
United Tribe of Shawnee Indians v. United States, 253
F.3d 543, 547-48 (10th Cir. 2001). A recognized tribe is
placed on the DOI's "list of recognized
tribes[.]" 25 U.S.C. §§ 479a(3), 479a-1; 25
C.F.R. § 83.5(a).
Cherokee Nation of Okla. v. Norton, 389 F.3d 1074,
1076 (10th Cir. 2004). The List Act further explains that:
the Secretary of the Interior is charged with the
responsibility of keeping a list of all federally recognized
tribes; . . . the list published by the Secretary shall be
accurate, regularly updated, and regularly published . . .;
and . . . the list of federally recognized tribes which the
Secretary publishes should reflect all of the federally
recognized Indian tribes in the United States which are
eligible for the ...