Stachowski v. State

Decision Date09 January 2008
Docket NumberNo. 55, Sept. Term, 2007.,55, Sept. Term, 2007.
Citation403 Md. 1,939 A.2d 158
PartiesKenneth Martin STACHOWSKI, Jr. v. STATE of Maryland.
CourtCourt of Special Appeals of Maryland
939 A.2d 158
403 Md. 1
Kenneth Martin STACHOWSKI, Jr.
v.
STATE of Maryland.
No. 55, Sept. Term, 2007.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
January 9, 2008.

Celia Anderson Davis, Asst. Public Defender (Nancy S. Forster, Public Defender), on brief, for petitioner.

Jeremy M. McCoy, Asst. Atty. Gen. (Douglas F. Gansler, Atty. Gen.), on brief, for respondent.

Russell P. Butler, Johanna L. Oliver, Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center, Inc., Upper Marlboro, amicus curiae.

Argued before BELL, C.J., RAKER, HARRELL, BATTAGLIA, GREENE, ALAN M. WILNER (Retired, specially assigned) and DALE R. CATHELL (Retired, specially assigned), JJ.

BATTAGLIA, J.


Kenneth Martin Stachowski, Jr., Petitioner, asks this Court to review the legality of an order of the Circuit Court for Somerset County requiring him to pay restitution under the Maryland Home Improvement Law1 to three individuals who

939 A.2d 159

were victims in three separate criminal cases, as a condition of probation in a fourth, unrelated theft case, which is not before us. We conclude that the writ of certiorari should be dismissed.

I. Introduction

Between October 2003 and February 2004, Petitioner entered into separate written home improvement contracts with Darlene Wright, Ruth Daniels and Emma Daniels, but later refused to perform the requested work. The aggrieved individuals filed complaints with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission, and as a result, Stachowski was separately charged three times in the District Court of Maryland, sitting in Somerset County, with failing to perform home improvement contracts in violation of Section 8-605 of the Business Regulation Article, Maryland Code (1992, 1998 Repl.Vol.),2 and with acting as a contractor without a license in violation of Section 8-601 of the Business Regulation Article, Maryland Code (1992, 1998 Repl.Vol.).3

In the Darlene Wright case (District Court Case 4G10084), Petitioner pled guilty to failing to perform a home improvement contract, the State nolle prossed the charge for acting as a contractor without a license, and Petitioner received a six months suspended sentence, a $1,000.00 suspended fine, three years supervised probation, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,142.85, in $250.00 monthly installments. In the Ruth Daniels case (District Court Case 2G10348), Stachowski pled guilty to failing to perform a home improvement contract, the State nolle prossed the charge for acting as a contractor without a license, and Stachowski received a six months suspended sentence, a $1,000.00 suspended fine, three years supervised probation, and was ordered to pay restitution of $8,997.00 in monthly payments of $250.00. In the Emma Daniels case (District Court Case 3G10349), Petitioner pled guilty to acting as a contractor without a license, the State nolle prossed the charge for failing to a perform home improvement contract, and Petitioner received a thirty days suspended sentence, a $1,000.00 suspended fine, three years supervised probation, and was ordered to pay restitution of $4,140.00 in monthly increments of $250.00.

939 A.2d 160

The restitution orders were a condition of Stachowski's probation in each case; in none of them did he make the required payments. Subsequently, Judge R. Patrick Hayman of the District Court found Petitioner in violation of probation in all three cases and sentenced Stachowski to six months incarceration in the Darlene Wright case, another six months in the Ruth Daniels case, and another thirty days in the Emma Daniels case, all sentences to be served consecutively. Judge Hayman also separately imposed the $1,000.00 fine, heretofore suspended, in all three cases. Stachowski timely appealed the disposition of the three violation of probation cases to the Circuit Court.

On October 11, 2006, Petitioner pled guilty in the Circuit Court in the three violation of probation cases, now numbered Cases 8150 (the Darlene Wright case), 8151 (the Ruth Daniels case) and 8152 (the Emma Daniels case), which were consolidated for the purposes of the hearing pursuant to a motion filed by the State. Stachowski also agreed to plead guilty in an unrelated, separate matter, Case 8089 that originated in the Circuit Court, in which he was charged with theft under $500.00 in violation of Section 7-104 of the Criminal Law Article.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, Stachowski admitted guilt in Case 8089, the unrelated, separate, theft case, and was sentenced to eighteen months, with all but five months suspended, and five years probation. As part of Stachowski's probation in Case 8089, the Court ordered restitution to be paid to the victims in the home improvement contract cases. In the three violation of probation cases, the Circuit Court revoked Stachowski's probation and imposed a six months sentence in Case 8150, another six months sentence in Case 8151, and a thirty day sentence in Case 8152, all to be served consecutively. The following colloquy occurred:

[THE STATE]: Your Honor, I believe we've worked out a plea agreement although I had not stated that on the record. My understanding of the plea agreement, your Honor, three of these are an appeal for violation of probation from District Court. I think that we're in agreement and the State would consent to the fact that Judge Hayman had imposed all of the backup time for the cases. And in addition to that he had imposed a thousand dollar fine per case and ordered that the Defendant serve that off at ten dollars a day.

Your Honor, that portion that we're in agreement with is that the thousand dollar fine that he would serve off at ten dollars a day was an illegal sentence. My understanding as part of the plea agreement the Defendant will agree to serve the suspended portion of the sentence which was six months, six months and thirty days. If you need to know for each case it will take me a minute to find that out.

[THE COURT]: I'll look at it in a minute. Go ahead and finish up and we'll make sure we have our numbers right.

[THE STATE]: Your Honor, as well the Defendant has agreed to plead guilty in Case No. K-06-8089 to the only count, single count of bad check. Your Honor, the State would recommend an active portion of five months incarceration which would be consecutive to the three other sentences as well. Those would be six months consecutive, consecutive to six months, consecutive to thirty days.

[THE COURT]: Sixty days isn't it? Did you say thirty or sixty?

[THE STATE]: I believe it's thirty days, your Honor. And that's consecutive to—

939 A.2d 161

[COUNSEL FOR STACHOWSKI]: And that's Case No. 8152.

[THE STATE]: Consecutive to five months. In this case the suspended portion, your Honor, we would leave up to you, but we would recommend some sort of a split sentence with an active period of incarceration.

As well, your Honor, restitution has already been paid in this case. His wife provided documentation this morning —

[THE COURT]: So all restitution is paid?

[THE STATE]: In this Case No. 8089 a hundred and eighty-two dollars and fifty cents has been paid by cash to the victim.

[THE COURT]: Okay.

[THE STATE]: I just need a copy of that for the files.

Your Honor, as well, the State is not opposed to work release for those active incarcerations as well as local time contingent on the fact that if he is granted work release that he would pay restitution to the victims in the violation of probation cases. Your Honor, he will agree to pay three hundred dollars a month that would be a hundred dollars per victim. Your Honor, that's not going to be enough to cover all of the restitution but at least they'll be able to recover some portion of it. And then either sue him civilly or you know —

[THE COURT]: Central collection.

[THE STATE]: Central collection or put a lien on his house or something of that nature.

And, your Honor, I believe that that would be the nature of the nature of the plea agreement.

[COUNSEL FOR STACHOWSKI]: I would like to add that the three hundred dollars a month starts at the end of the first full calendar month he's out.

[THE STATE]: Your Honor, that would be contingent on work release.

[COUNSEL FOR STACHOWSKI]: Yeah, if he's out on work release.

[THE STATE]: Okay. I thought you meant out of jail.

[COUNSEL FOR STACHOWSKI]: He's out on work release.

[THE COURT]: Okay.

* * *

[THE COURT]: All right. In 8089 the sentence of the Court is the Defendant shall serve eighteen months in the Somerset County Detention Center. The Court is going to suspend all but five months of that sentence. Give him credit for forty-five days time served. I'm doing it this way for ease of computation.

He's placed on supervised probation for a period of five years. And I'll come back to the probation in just...

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6 cases
  • Stachowski v. State Of Md.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 22 Octubre 2010
    ...and argument, this Court on January 9, 2008, in an opinion by Judge Battaglia, dismissed the writ of certiorari. Stachowski v. State, 403 Md. 1, 939 A.2d 158 (2008). The Court pointed out that the issue presented by Stachowski in his supplemental petition, which the Court had determined war......
  • Stachowski v. State
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • 22 Octubre 2010
    ...and argument, this Court on January9, 2008, in an opinion by Judge Battaglia, dismissed the writ of certiorari. Stachowski v. State, 403 Md. 1, 939 A.2d 158 (2008). The Court pointed out that the issue presented by Stachowski in his supplemental petition, which the Court had determined warr......
  • State v. Stachowski
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 20 Noviembre 2014
    ...cases to consider the same questions that are before this Court now. We dismissed, however, the writ. Stachowski v. State, 403 Md. 1, 939 A.2d 158 (2008) (Stachowski I ). We held that we could not consider the lawfulness of the Circuit Court's order for restitution to the home improvement v......
  • Stachowski v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 27 Agosto 2013
    ...was imposed in the “fourth, unrelated, theft case,” which was not before the Court in that proceeding. Stachowski v. State, 403 Md. 1, 9–10, 939 A.2d 158 (2008) (“Stachowski I ”). On January 11, 2008, Stachowski filed a supplement to his motion for reconsideration, which was still pending i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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