State v. Callaway, No. 84525

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtGRIMES; SHAW
Parties20 Fla. L. Weekly S358 STATE of Florida, Petitioner, v. Albert CALLAWAY, Jr., Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 84525
Decision Date20 July 1995

Page 983

658 So.2d 983
20 Fla. L. Weekly S358
STATE of Florida, Petitioner,
v.
Albert CALLAWAY, Jr., Respondent.
No. 84525.
Supreme Court of Florida.
July 20, 1995.

Page 984

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen.; Dale E. Tarpley, Sr. Asst. Atty. Gen. and Robert J. Krauss, Sr. Asst. Atty. Gen., Chief of Crim. Law, Tampa, for petitioner.

Albert Callaway, Jr., Avon Park, pro se.

GRIMES, Chief Justice.

We have for review Callaway v. State, 642 So.2d 636 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994), in which the district court of appeal certified the following as questions of great public importance:

1. WHETHER A SENTENCE THAT ALLEGEDLY VIOLATES THE RULE ANNOUNCED IN HALE MAY BE CORRECTED UNDER RULE 3.850 WHEN THE SENTENCE HAS BEEN FINAL FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS.

2. IF NOT, WHETHER AN UNSWORN MOTION UNDER RULE 3.800 THAT ALLEGES A HALE SENTENCING ERROR AND REQUESTS A FACTUAL DETERMINATION OF THE NUMBER OF CRIMINAL EPISODES ALLEGES AN "ILLEGAL" SENTENCE

Page 985

THAT MAY BE RESOLVED AT ANY TIME.

Id. at 642. We have jurisdiction under article V, section 3(b)(4) of the Florida Constitution.

Albert Callaway was convicted of burglary of a structure and grand theft. On July 5, 1990, he was sentenced as a habitual felony offender to two consecutive ten-year sentences. In June 1991, the district court of appeal affirmed those sentences. On January 27, 1994, Callaway filed a motion under rule 3.800(a), Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, alleging that the imposition of consecutive habitual felony offender sentences constituted an "illegal" sentence under this Court's reasoning in Hale v. State, 630 So.2d 521 (Fla.1993), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 115 S.Ct. 278, 130 L.Ed.2d 195 (1994). 1

In Hale, this Court found that there is no statutory authority that allows trial courts to impose consecutive habitual felony offender sentences for multiple offenses arising out of the same criminal episode. Id. at 524. This Court reasoned:

We find nothing in the language of the habitual offender statute which suggests that the legislature also intended that, once the sentences from multiple crimes committed during a single criminal episode have been enhanced through the habitual offender statutes, the total penalty should then be further increased by ordering that the sentences run consecutively.

Id.

In the instant case, the trial court determined that because resolution of the issue would require a factual determination of whether Callaway's sentences arose out of a single criminal episode, the issue could not properly be addressed under rule 3.800(a) and should have been raised in a sworn motion under rule 3.850, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. 2 The trial court regarded Callaway's motion as if it had been properly filed under rule 3.850 and summarily denied the motion as successive because Callaway had filed an earlier rule 3.850 motion that had been denied.

Callaway appealed the summary denial of his motion to the Second District Court of Appeal. Callaway, 642 So.2d at 638. The district court of appeal agreed with the trial court that Callaway should have filed the motion under rule 3.850 because resolution of the issue required a factual determination. Id. at 640. The court recognized, however, that Callaway's sentence had been final for more than two years and the two-year time limitation of rule 3.850 would bar the motion unless Hale could be applied retroactively.

The district court of appeal then considered whether there should be a two-year window following this Court's decision in Hale in which criminal defendants such as Mr. Callaway, who were sentenced prior to Hale, could challenge their sentences under rule 3.850. 3 In considering this question, the court recognized that a change of law will not be retroactively applied to provide postconviction relief under rule 3.850 unless it satisfies the three-prong test set forth in Witt v. State, 387 So.2d 922 (Fla.), cert. denied, 449 U.S. 1067, 101 S.Ct. 796, 66 L.Ed.2d 612 (1980). Callaway, 642 So.2d at 640. The court concluded that the rule announced in Hale satisfied the Witt standards for retroactive application and a two-year window following Hale should be available to those whose sentences became final prior to Hale. Id. at 641. Accordingly, the court reversed the trial court's order denying Callaway's motion, remanded the case, and certified the above questions to be of great public importance. Id. at 642.

Page 986

At the outset, we note that the district court of appeal expressed some concern over whether this Court's decision in Bass v. State, 530 So.2d 282 (Fla.1988), established a different standard than that expressed in Witt for determining whether a change of law should be applied retroactively to provide postconviction relief. In Bass, we found that it would be "manifestly unfair" not to retroactively apply the decision in Palmer v. State, 438 So.2d 1 (Fla.1983) (finding that the imposition of consecutive minimum mandatory sentences was not authorized by statute). The Bass opinion, however, did not address the principles of Witt, and this caused some confusion among the courts regarding the proper standard for determining whether a change in law should be retroactively applied. We addressed this confusion in both McCuiston v. State, 534 So.2d 1144 (Fla.1988), and State v. Glenn, 558 So.2d 4 (Fla.1990), and stated that Witt is "the controlling case by which to determine whether a change in decisional law should be applied retroactively." Glenn, 558 So.2d at 7. We reaffirm our decisions in McCuiston and Glenn and again recognize that Witt provides the proper standard for determining whether a change in the law should be retroactively applied to provide postconviction relief under rule 3.850. We now address the certified questions.

WHETHER A SENTENCE THAT ALLEGEDLY...

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215 practice notes
  • State v. Moore, No. 2014–0120.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • 22 Diciembre 2016
    ...habeas petition based on Graham claims because there was a sufficient showing that Graham applies retroactively); State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983, 987 (Fla.1995) ( "The concern for fairness and uniformity in individual cases outweighs any adverse impact that retroactive application of the ......
  • Windom v. State, No. SC01-2706
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 6 Mayo 2004
    ...(noting that "[i]nroads on the concept of finality tend to undermine confidence in the integrity of our procedures"); State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983, 986 (Fla.1995) (noting that "the fundamental consideration is the balancing of the need for decisional finality against the concern for fai......
  • State v. Barnum, No. SC03-1315.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 22 Septiembre 2005
    ...not constitutional in nature. Id. at 931. The Sweeney court's holding was correct with regard to the Witt analysis. In State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983 (Fla. 1995), receded from on other grounds by Dixon v. State, 730 So.2d 265 (Fla.1999), this Court held that the decision in Hale v. State,......
  • Chandler v. Crosby, No. SC04-518.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 9 Diciembre 2005
    ...weighs against retroactive application. The rule in Roberts was relied on by trial courts for over twenty years. Cf. State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983, 987 (Fla.1995) (fact that old rule existed for short time weighed in favor of retroactive application). The Roberts reliability factors were......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
215 cases
  • State v. Moore, No. 2014–0120.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • 22 Diciembre 2016
    ...habeas petition based on Graham claims because there was a sufficient showing that Graham applies retroactively); State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983, 987 (Fla.1995) ( "The concern for fairness and uniformity in individual cases outweighs any adverse impact that retroactive application of the ......
  • Windom v. State, No. SC01-2706
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 6 Mayo 2004
    ...(noting that "[i]nroads on the concept of finality tend to undermine confidence in the integrity of our procedures"); State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983, 986 (Fla.1995) (noting that "the fundamental consideration is the balancing of the need for decisional finality against the concern for fai......
  • State v. Barnum, No. SC03-1315.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 22 Septiembre 2005
    ...not constitutional in nature. Id. at 931. The Sweeney court's holding was correct with regard to the Witt analysis. In State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983 (Fla. 1995), receded from on other grounds by Dixon v. State, 730 So.2d 265 (Fla.1999), this Court held that the decision in Hale v. State,......
  • Chandler v. Crosby, No. SC04-518.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 9 Diciembre 2005
    ...weighs against retroactive application. The rule in Roberts was relied on by trial courts for over twenty years. Cf. State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983, 987 (Fla.1995) (fact that old rule existed for short time weighed in favor of retroactive application). The Roberts reliability factors were......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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