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State v. White

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division

July 31, 2018

STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent,
v.
WILLIAM H. WHITE II, Appellant.

          Appeal 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

          Mark D Pfeiffer, Presiding Judge

         Mr. 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[1] 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.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         White 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.

         A transcript of White's trial has not been deposited with this court and thus is not part of the record on appeal.[2] 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.

         Subsequently, 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.

          Analysis

         White appeals pro se and his appellate brief contains briefing deficiencies in violation of Rule 84.04.[3] 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.

         White 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.

         Even 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 ...

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