Forbes v. Singletary, No. 87358

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtGRIMES; KOGAN
Citation684 So.2d 173
Docket NumberNo. 87358
Decision Date31 October 1996
Parties21 Fla. L. Weekly S481 Michael FORBES, Petitioner, v. Harry SINGLETARY, etc., Respondent.

Page 173

684 So.2d 173
21 Fla. L. Weekly S481
Michael FORBES, Petitioner,
v.
Harry SINGLETARY, etc., Respondent.
No. 87358.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Oct. 31, 1996.

Michael Forbes, Bonifay, pro se.

Susan A. Maher, Deputy General Counsel, Department of Corrections, Tallahassee, for Respondent.

GRIMES, Justice.

Michael Forbes petitioned this Court for writ of habeas corpus. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(9), Fla. Const.

Following receipt of a response by respondent, we directed that Forbes be released from prison. However, the Court reserved jurisdiction so that we could issue an opinion in order to address the systemic problem underlying Forbes' particular situation.

In 1992, Forbes was convicted for lewd and lascivious acts involving a child and sentenced to two and one-half years' imprisonment followed by seven and one-half years' probation. The offenses were committed between February 1, 1989, and June 30, 1989. Based on time actually served and accumulated gain time, Forbes was released from prison and began his probation in August of 1993. Forbes subsequently violated the conditions of his probation and was resentenced to six years less 54 days of credit for time spent in jail after arrest for violation of probation, 120 days of original county jail time credit, "and all time previously served." In computing Forbes' tentative release date, the Department of Corrections (DOC) gave him credit for the time he had actually served in DOC custody but did not award him credit for the unforfeited basic gain time and incentive gain time he had accumulated while serving his original sentence.

Page 174

Forbes' petition asserts that pursuant to State v. Green, 547 So.2d 925 (Fla.1989), and Tripp v. State, 622 So.2d 941 (Fla.1993), he was entitled to be given credit for the unforfeited basic and incentive gain time he earned during his original incarceration. In its response, DOC concedes that under Green 1 Forbes may be entitled to credit for the unforfeited gain time he accumulated while serving his original sentence. However, DOC contends that it must rely on the sentencing documents to apply credits and that it has consistently interpreted directions such as this to mean that credit for time served only encompassed the time actually served in county jail and state custody.

In sentencing Forbes, the judge utilized the form set out in Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.986(d). The sentence specified:

JAIL CREDIT _X_ It is further ordered that the Defendant shall be allowed a

total of 174 days as credit for time incarcerated prior

to imposition of this sentence.

PRISON CREDIT _X_ It is further ordered that the Defendant be allowed credit

for all time previously served on this count in the

Department of Corrections prior to resentencing.

Sentencing is the obligation of the court rather than DOC. Thomas v. State, 612 So.2d 684, 684 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993). Thus, we can understand DOC's reluctance to take a position contrary to its interpretation of the sentencing order. Yet, judges are required to render sentences according to law. When Forbes was sentenced, our opinion in Green, which reasoned that "accrued gain time is the...

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26 practice notes
  • Gibson v. Florida Dept. of Corrections, No. 1D02-0118.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • October 9, 2002
    ...gain-time because that gain-time had been specifically awarded by the sentencing court is clearly meritless. See Forbes v. Singletary, 684 So.2d 173 (Fla.1996). Thus, the crux of the issue is whether DOC correctly concluded that Eldridge controls the manner in which the forfeiture of gain-t......
  • Kelly v. State, No. 5D00-1269.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 17, 2001
    ...clause. The courts generally agree that although sentencing in criminal cases is the obligation of the court, Forbes v. Singletary, 684 So.2d 173 (Fla.1996), a statute that requires imposition of a mandatory sentence does not violate the separation of powers clause. State v. Cotton, 769 So.......
  • Navarro v. State, No. 2D14–1097.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 23, 2014
    ...Fla. Stat. (2002) ; Johnson v. State, 60 So.3d 1045 (Fla.2011) ; Eldridge v. Moore, 760 So.2d 888 (Fla.2000) ; Forbes v. Singletary, 684 So.2d 173 (Fla.1996) ; Sweet v. State, 987 So.2d 747 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008) ; Bizzell v. State, 912 So.2d 386 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005) ; Paul v. State, 830 So.2d 95......
  • Williams v. DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, No. 97-3497.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 21, 1999
    ...that the DOC had acted within its discretion in forfeiting Williams' gain time pursuant to section 944.28(1). Forbes v. Singletary, 684 So.2d 173, 174-75 (Fla.1996); Bradley v. State, 631 So.2d 1096, 1098 (Fla.1994). We agree with the trial court's finding because any attempt to compel enfo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • Gibson v. Florida Dept. of Corrections, No. 1D02-0118.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • October 9, 2002
    ...gain-time because that gain-time had been specifically awarded by the sentencing court is clearly meritless. See Forbes v. Singletary, 684 So.2d 173 (Fla.1996). Thus, the crux of the issue is whether DOC correctly concluded that Eldridge controls the manner in which the forfeiture of gain-t......
  • Kelly v. State, No. 5D00-1269.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 17, 2001
    ...clause. The courts generally agree that although sentencing in criminal cases is the obligation of the court, Forbes v. Singletary, 684 So.2d 173 (Fla.1996), a statute that requires imposition of a mandatory sentence does not violate the separation of powers clause. State v. Cotton, 769 So.......
  • Navarro v. State, No. 2D14–1097.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • July 23, 2014
    ...Fla. Stat. (2002) ; Johnson v. State, 60 So.3d 1045 (Fla.2011) ; Eldridge v. Moore, 760 So.2d 888 (Fla.2000) ; Forbes v. Singletary, 684 So.2d 173 (Fla.1996) ; Sweet v. State, 987 So.2d 747 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008) ; Bizzell v. State, 912 So.2d 386 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005) ; Paul v. State, 830 So.2d 95......
  • Williams v. DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, No. 97-3497.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 21, 1999
    ...that the DOC had acted within its discretion in forfeiting Williams' gain time pursuant to section 944.28(1). Forbes v. Singletary, 684 So.2d 173, 174-75 (Fla.1996); Bradley v. State, 631 So.2d 1096, 1098 (Fla.1994). We agree with the trial court's finding because any attempt to compel enfo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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