Q: Does hicks rule apply only in circuit court or also district court
A: The Hicks court opinion (from which the "rule" gets its nickname) only applies to the circuit court criminal rule of procedure that contains the 180 day trial deadline limit, and there is no corresponding 180 day deadline for trial in District Court, so no, the rule only applies in Circuit Court cases. The rule itself is not always a hard and fast rule, as their are "good cause" exceptions that allow a trial date to be held beyond 180 days, including Covid restrictions which have had that effect. Also, delays caused or acquiesced in by the defendant has been found to justify extending the deadline. The 180 day time frame is not the end of the speedy trial issue, however. The US Constitution imposes a speedy trial right in all criminal cases, which is measured not by a specific time frame, but by unreasonable delay which is the fault of the government/prosecutor/courts that causes actual prejudice to the defendant (loss of evidence needed for the defense, defense witnesses dying or becoming unavailable, faded memories of the events, extended pre-trial incarceration without a trial, etc.). Speedy trial motions to dismiss are not often granted until more than a year has passed, and the burden is on the defendant to show actual prejudice to their ability to defend the case based on the passage of time, and that they have no role in why the prosecution has been delayed (e.g., by requesting continuances or postponements for a significant part of the delay, failure to appear at prior at prior hearings that caused their cancellation and rescheduling, consent to postponements, requests for other accommodations that caused delay, such as requests for interpreters, third-party subpoenas, etc.).
Scott Scherr agrees with this answer
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.