Bogue v. Fennelly, 96-1977

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Citation705 So.2d 575
Docket NumberNo. 96-1977,96-1977
Parties22 Fla. L. Weekly D1346 Robert BOGUE, Petitioner, v. The Honorable John E. FENNELLY, Respondent.
Decision Date28 May 1997

Page 575

705 So.2d 575
22 Fla. L. Weekly D1346
Robert BOGUE, Petitioner,
The Honorable John E. FENNELLY, Respondent.
No. 96-1977.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
Fourth District.
May 28, 1997.

Page 576

Amanda Maxwell of Law Offices of Amanda Maxwell, Coconut Grove, for petitioner.

Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Joseph A. Tringali, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for respondent.


By writ of prohibition, defendant asserts violations of his statutory and constitutional rights to speedy trial because of the failure of the trial court to dismiss criminal charges to which he had previously pled guilty. We deny the writ of prohibition, finding that the statutory safeguards of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD), section 941.45, Florida Statutes, do not apply to sentencing detainers where a defendant has fled the state after pleading guilty, but prior to sentencing. Further, defendant's claim that his constitutional rights to due process and to speedy trial have been violated by the state's delay in sentencing him, which was not addressed by the trial court, is premature for us to consider by petition for writ of prohibition because defendant has not yet been returned to this state for sentencing.


Defendant is presently incarcerated in Pennsylvania serving a sentence for criminal charges in that state. This case dates back to March 1, 1981, when defendant was arrested in Florida and charged by information with trafficking in cocaine and using a firearm during the commission of a felony. Defendant pled guilty to both charges on September 23, 1981, but failed to appear for his subsequent sentencing in Martin County.

On June 27, 1989, defendant was arrested in Pennsylvania on new charges of possession with intent to deliver marijuana. Three days later, on June 30, 1989, defendant was rearrested on a warrant, charging him with being a fugitive from the State of Florida. No bail was set for defendant, who was then committed to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania to await extradition to Florida. On July 7, 1989, the District Attorney's Office of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania advised the State Attorney's Office in Martin County, Florida to begin extradition proceedings.

On January 14, 1991, defendant was sentenced on the Pennsylvania charges to consecutive sentences totaling five and one-half (5 1/2) to eleven (11) years. At that time, defendant was also awaiting sentencing in a federal case in Arizona. In May 1994, the Arizona federal court sentenced defendant to four years in custody to run concurrently with defendant's Pennsylvania sentence. Only the Florida charges remained unresolved.

On September 26, 1994, defendant submitted formal written notice and requested final disposition of his charges by the State of Florida pursuant to section 941.45, article III(a) and (b) of the IAD. The state has never instituted extradition proceedings and refuses to transfer defendant to Florida for sentencing until he has completed his other sentences. The position of the state is that it is under no obligation to begin proceedings

Page 577

to sentence defendant, who voluntarily fled the state, until he completes his Pennsylvania sentence.

Defendant asserts that the state's refusal to sentence him has prejudiced defendant by preventing a Florida trial court from exercising its discretion to run his Florida sentence concurrently with the Pennsylvania sentence. He also alleges prejudice by claiming that the unresolved status of the Florida charges has affected his ability to participate in certain rehabilitative programs in Pennsylvania for which he would otherwise be eligible. The state maintains that defendant's current predicament is solely a product of his own action in fleeing the state in the first place.


Section 941.45, Florida Statutes (1995), adopts and incorporates into this state's jurisprudence the IAD, articles I--IX. The IAD is an intergovernmental compact between the United States and individual cooperating states by which a prisoner in one jurisdiction can seek disposition of detainers filed against him in another jurisdiction. See Carchman v. Nash, 473 U.S. 716, 719, 105 S.Ct. 3401, 3403, 87 L.Ed.2d 516 (1985); Moody v. Corsentino, 843 P.2d 1355, 1367 (Colo.1993); Arizona v. Burkett, 179 Ariz. 109, 876 P.2d 1144, 1146 (Ct.App.1993), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1121, 115 S.Ct. 923, 130 L.Ed.2d 802 (1995). A detainer is "a request filed by a criminal justice agency with the institution in which a prisoner is incarcerated, asking that the prisoner be held for the agency, or that the agency be advised when the prisoner's release is imminent." Burkett, 876 P.2d at 1146 (quoting Fex v. Michigan, 507 U.S. 43, 44, 113 S.Ct. 1085, 1087, 122 L.Ed.2d 406 (1993)). 1

The IAD's policy and purpose is set forth in article I:

The party states find that charges outstanding against a prisoner, detainers based on untried indictments, informations, or complaints, and difficulties in securing speedy trial of persons already incarcerated in other jurisdictions produce uncertainties which obstruct programs of prisoner treatment and rehabilitation. Accordingly, it is the policy of the party states and the purpose of this agreement to encourage the expeditious and orderly disposition ... of any and all detainers based on untried indictments, informations, or complaints.

§ 941.45 (emphasis supplied).

To effectuate this purpose, article III(a) specifies that

whenever during the continuance of the term of imprisonment there is pending in any other party state any untried indictment, information, or complaint on the basis of which a detainer has been lodged against the prisoner, he shall be brought to trial within 180 days after he shall have caused to be delivered ... written notice....

Id. (emphasis supplied). If the case has not been "brought to trial" within 180 days, then the court where the indictment, information, or complaint has been pending "shall" dismiss the case with prejudice so that the detainer ceases to have any force or effect. See id., Art. V(c).


This case does not turn on whether a defendant who flees a jurisdiction is entitled to the protection of the IAD. 2 If a defendant

Page 578

flees the state after being charged with a crime, but before pleading guilty, the IAD would provide him with a statutory right to speedy trial upon demand after recapture, State v. Bivona, 496 So.2d 130, 132 n. 2 (1986), 3 because the detainer lodged would be based on an "untried indictment, information, or complaint."

The question here is whether the detainer lodged against a defendant who has fled the state after pleading guilty, but before sentencing, is likewise a detainer based on an "untried indictment, information, or complaint." This case, therefore, turns on questions of statutory interpretation. The simple answer is that where, as here, a defendant has been convicted of a crime as the result of a guilty plea, there is no pending "untried indictment, information, or complaint," even though the defendant has not been sentenced. While defendant has not yet been punished by receiving a sentence, he has admitted his guilt by pleading guilty; he has been convicted of the crimes charged.

The IAD is a federal law subject to federal construction. Carchman, 473 U.S. at 718, 105 S.Ct. at 3402-03. Because the United States Supreme Court has interpreted the IAD in Carchman, we are bound to analyze the statute consistently with Carchman. See Burkett, 876 P.2d at 1146.

In Carchman, the United States Supreme Court confronted the issue of whether a detainer based on an outstanding parole or probation-violation charge triggers the protections of the IAD. It noted that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals had "[d]eclined to adopt a technical interpretation of the relevant language of [a]rt. III, and instead relied on 'the broader purposes of the legislation.' " Carchman, 473 U.S. at 723, 105 S.Ct. at 3405.

The Supreme Court rejected the "policy analysis" approach of the third circuit, instead concentrating on the actual language employed in the operative section, article III. It noted that the adjective "untried" would "seem to refer to matters that can be brought to full trial." This interpretation is reinforced by the "requirement [of article III] that a prisoner who requests final disposition of the indictment, information, or complaint 'shall be brought to trial within 180 days.' " Id.

Applying principles of statutory construction, the Supreme Court held that the language of the legislative declaration of purpose in article I must be read in the context of articles III and IV, with the specific language of article III controlling over the general language of article I. Id. at 726 n. 4, 105 S.Ct. at 3406 n. 4. By its own terms, article III "does not apply to all detainers, but only to those based on 'any untried indictment, information or complaint.' " Id. at 727, 105 S.Ct. at 3407.

It is the phrase "untried indictment, information, or complaint" which defines the reach and scope of the IAD. Id.; United States v. Coffman, 905 F.2d 330, 332 (10th Cir.1990). In contrast to indictments, informations, and complaints, which are all documents that institute charges against individuals, the sentencing process finalizes the disposition of charges which have already been adjudicated. Thus, it follows that detainers based only on unresolved sentencing issues are not included within the scope of the IAD.

Further, article III requires that a defendant be brought to "trial" within 180 days or the charges will be dismissed. A trial is a

Page 579

phase of criminal proceedings distinct from the sentencing phase. See, e.g., Fla. R.Crim. P., section IX (The Trial) and section XIV (Sentence). In addition, our own speedy trial rule, Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure...

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