State ex rel. Valentine v. Orr, No. SC 92434.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Missouri
Writing for the CourtGEORGE W. DRAPER III
Citation366 S.W.3d 534
PartiesSTATE ex rel. Zane VALENTINE, Relator, v. The Honorable Mark ORR, Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. SC 92434.
Decision Date12 June 2012

366 S.W.3d 534

STATE ex rel. Zane VALENTINE, Relator,
v.
The Honorable Mark ORR, Respondent.

No. SC 92434.

Supreme Court of Missouri,
En Banc.

June 12, 2012.


[366 S.W.3d 536]


James C. Egan, Public Defender's Office, Springfield, for Valentine.

Anthony M. Brown, Jeffrey M. Merrell, Taney County Prosecutor's Office, for State.


GEORGE W. DRAPER III, Judge.

This appeal presents the question of whether Zane Valentine's (hereinafter, “Valentine”) placement in the Sex Offender Assessment Unit (hereinafter, “the SOAU”) constitutes participation in a 120–day program for purposes of section 559.115.3, RSMo Supp.2010.1 This Court holds the SOAU is a 120–day program that provides a treatment component during the assessment process for offenders.

[366 S.W.3d 537]

Therefore, the Honorable Mark Orr (hereinafter, “the circuit court”) abused his discretion by entering an order denying Valentine's release on probation when the order was entered beyond the statutory time limits set forth in section 559.115.3. The preliminary writ of mandamus is made permanent.

Factual and Procedural History

The facts are undisputed. On June 9, 2011, Valentine pleaded guilty to one count of child molestation in the first degree, section 566.067, and three counts of statutory sodomy in the second degree, section 566.064. The plea agreement provided Valentine would be placed in the SOAU in the Department of Corrections (hereinafter, “the DOC”). At the plea hearing, the circuit court explained to Valentine that it would retain jurisdiction over him for 120 days while he was assessed. The court further stated it would retain “complete discretion” to determine whether Valentine should be granted probation and that a favorable assessment did not guarantee probation. Valentine indicated he understood the terms of the plea agreement and the circuit court's retention of jurisdiction. The circuit court ordered the Board of Probation and Parole (hereinafter, “the Board”) to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and sentencing assessment report.

On August 25, 2011, the circuit court sentenced Valentine to 15 years' imprisonment on the child molestation count and 5 years' imprisonment on each statutory sodomy count. The statutory sodomy sentences were ordered to run concurrently to one another and consecutively to the child molestation sentence, for a total of 20 years' imprisonment. Pursuant to the plea agreement and the Board's pre-sentence investigation and sentencing assessment, the circuit court retained jurisdiction over Valentine pursuant to section 559.115. The court requested that Valentine be placed in the SOAU, and reiterated that Valentine's successful participation in the SOAU did not guarantee he would be placed on probation at the end of 120 days.

On December 13, 2011, the SOAU issued its assessment report, concluding Valentine seemed amenable to treatment within his community and recommending the circuit court grant him probation. On January 19, 2012, the circuit court held a hearing to determine whether it would be an abuse of discretion to release Valentine on probation. The State opposed Valentine's release. Defense counsel argued it was atypical for the SOAU to recommend probation and the recommendation that Valentine be granted probation should be considered carefully. After reviewing all of the evidence and arguments, the circuit court found it would be an abuse of discretion to release Valentine and ordered his sentences be executed.

Valentine filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing the court failed to hold a hearing within 90 or 120 days after he was sentenced and, therefore, the court lacked authority to hold the hearing on January 19th and could not deny him probation. After a hearing, the court issued an order stating:

The Court believes it has lost jurisdiction in this case in that more than 120 days have passed since [Valentine's] delivery to the [DOC]. The Court has reviewed [Valentine's] Motion to Reconsider and finds that [Valentine] has not completed a “Program” as defined in [section] 559.115 and that the case cited by [Valentine] is inapplicable in this instance and the Motion to Reconsider would be denied.

Valentine filed a second motion for reconsideration, again arguing the court lacked authority to deny him probation and challenging the court's finding that the SOAU

[366 S.W.3d 538]

was not a “program” for purposes of section 559.115. The circuit court overruled Valentine's second motion.


Valentine filed a petition for writ of mandamus in the court of appeals, that was denied. On April 25, 2012, this Court granted Valentine's petition for a preliminary writ of mandamus.

Standard of Review

This Court has jurisdiction to issue original remedial writs. Mo. Const. art. V, sec. 4. This Court reviews a writ of mandamus for an abuse of discretion. State ex rel. City of Jennings v. Riley, 236 S.W.3d 630, 631 (Mo. banc 2007). A litigant seeking mandamus must “allege and prove that he [or she] has a clear, unequivocal, specific right to a thing claimed.” State ex rel. Young v. Wood, 254 S.W.3d 871, 872 (Mo. banc 2008) (quoting Furlong Cos., Inc. v. City of Kansas City, 189 S.W.3d 157, 166 (Mo. banc 2006)). “Ordinarily, mandamus is the proper remedy to compel the discharge of ministerial functions, but not to control the exercise of discretionary powers.” State ex rel. Mertens v. Brown, 198 S.W.3d 616, 618 (Mo. banc 2006). However, if the respondent's actions are wrong as a matter of law, then he or she has abused any discretion he or she may have had, and mandamus is appropriate. Id.

When a case is submitted on stipulated facts, the question this Court must resolve is whether the circuit court drew the proper legal conclusions from the facts stipulated. Missouri Prosecuting Attorneys v. Barton County, 311 S.W.3d 737, 740 (Mo. banc 2010). The circuit court's decision to deny probation was based upon its interpretation and application of section 559.115 to the stipulated facts; therefore, this Court's review is de novo. Id.

Analysis

Valentine raises one point on appeal, arguing the circuit court misapplied section 559.115 when denying him probation after his successful participation in the SOAU. Valentine avers the court lacked the authority to deny him probation because section 559.115.3 applied in that the SOAU is a 120–day program that he successfully completed. As such, Valentine asserts the court could not deny him probation without holding a hearing within 90 to 120 days of his sentence. Because the circuit court failed to hold this hearing, Valentine...

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12 practice notes
  • Young v. Boone Elec. Coop., WD 76567
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • April 14, 2015
    ...of a statute are clear, “there is nothing to construe beyond applying the plain meaning of the law.” State ex rel. Valentine v. Orr, 366 S.W.3d 534, 540 (Mo. banc 2012) (citation omitted). We “ ‘will look beyond the plain meaning of the statute only when the language is ambiguous or would l......
  • Roesing v. Dir. Revenue, No. SC 97165
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 30, 2019
    ...the plain meaning of the law.’ " Bateman v. Rinehart , 391 S.W.3d 441, 446 (Mo. banc 2013) (quoting State ex rel. Valentine v. Orr , 366 S.W.3d 534, 540 (Mo. banc 2012) ). Indeed, this Court must "refrain from applying rules of construction unless there is some ambiguity" in ......
  • State v. Norfolk, No. SC 92252.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 12, 2012
    ...162 S.W.3d at 472. In determining whether the seizure and search were unreasonable, a court must determine “whether the officer's action [366 S.W.3d 534]was justified at its inception, and whether it was reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in th......
  • State ex rel. Jones v. Prokes, WD 84255
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • April 27, 2021
    ...State ex rel. Lovelace v. Mennemeyer , 421 S.W.3d 555, 556 (Mo. App. E.D. 2014) (citing and quoting State ex rel. Valentine v. Orr , 366 S.W.3d 534, 538 (Mo. 2012) ; other citation omitted). "A litigant asking relief by mandamus must allege and prove that she has a clear, unequivocal, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Young v. Boone Elec. Coop., WD 76567
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • April 14, 2015
    ...of a statute are clear, “there is nothing to construe beyond applying the plain meaning of the law.” State ex rel. Valentine v. Orr, 366 S.W.3d 534, 540 (Mo. banc 2012) (citation omitted). We “ ‘will look beyond the plain meaning of the statute only when the language is ambiguous or would l......
  • Roesing v. Dir. Revenue, No. SC 97165
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 30, 2019
    ...the plain meaning of the law.’ " Bateman v. Rinehart , 391 S.W.3d 441, 446 (Mo. banc 2013) (quoting State ex rel. Valentine v. Orr , 366 S.W.3d 534, 540 (Mo. banc 2012) ). Indeed, this Court must "refrain from applying rules of construction unless there is some ambiguity" in ......
  • State v. Norfolk, No. SC 92252.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • June 12, 2012
    ...162 S.W.3d at 472. In determining whether the seizure and search were unreasonable, a court must determine “whether the officer's action [366 S.W.3d 534]was justified at its inception, and whether it was reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in th......
  • State ex rel. Jones v. Prokes, WD 84255
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • April 27, 2021
    ...State ex rel. Lovelace v. Mennemeyer , 421 S.W.3d 555, 556 (Mo. App. E.D. 2014) (citing and quoting State ex rel. Valentine v. Orr , 366 S.W.3d 534, 538 (Mo. 2012) ; other citation omitted). "A litigant asking relief by mandamus must allege and prove that she has a clear, unequivocal, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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