Vanderblomen v. State, No. 97-2557

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation709 So.2d 144
Parties23 Fla. L. Weekly D795 Stuart Michael VANDERBLOMEN, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 97-2557
Decision Date24 March 1998

Page 144

709 So.2d 144
23 Fla. L. Weekly D795
Stuart Michael VANDERBLOMEN, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
No. 97-2557.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
First District.
March 24, 1998.

Stuart Michael Vanderblomen, pro se.

No appearance for the State.

Page 145

PER CURIAM.

Vanderblomen challenges the summary denial of his sworn motion for postconviction relief, filed pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a), in which he claimed that his sentences were illegal because he only received credit for presentencing county jail time served on one of his four concurrent sentences. We conclude that Vanderblomen's jail credit claim should not have been raised in a 3.800(a) motion and therefore affirm the trial court's denial of relief under that rule; however, we remand for reconsideration of Vanderblomen's motion as a motion filed pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 because his motion was sworn and filed within two years of the finality of his conviction and sentence. Because there is currently some confusion among the several district courts of appeal on the appropriate postconviction vehicle for raising claims for additional jail or prison credit, we also certify two questions regarding whether such claims should be raised in motions filed pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a) or 3.850.

In January 1996, Vanderblomen had been sentenced on four second degree felonies to four concurrent terms of four years' imprisonment. He alleged in his 3.800(a) motion, and the record reflects, that the trial court only credited one of his four concurrent sentences with 163 days of presentencing county jail time served on these counts. The trial court denied Vanderblomen's postconviction claim for additional presentencing county jail time credit against his three uncredited sentences.

In Daniels v. State, 491 So.2d 543, 545 (Fla.1986), the Florida Supreme Court held that a defendant must be given credit against each of several concurrent sentences for all presentencing county jail time served on those counts. See also Franklin v. State, 515 So.2d 400, 401 (Fla. 1st DCA 1987). Thus, it appears that Vanderblomen may be entitled to the claimed credit.

History of Jail/Prison Credit Claims Under Rule 3.800(a)

Since 1961, a trial court has clearly had the authority to "at any time correct an illegal sentence imposed by it in a criminal case." § 921.24, Fla. Stat. (1961)(subsequently repealed); In Re Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, 196 So.2d 124, 171 (Fla.1967)(adopting precursor to current Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a)). Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a) currently embodies this principle in the provision that states that "[a] court may at any time correct an illegal sentence imposed by it."

It once was well-established that postconviction claims for additional presentencing jail or prison credit could be raised in motions filed pursuant to rule 3.800(a) if the claim could be resolved without an evidentiary hearing through a review of the trial court's records. See, e.g., Jones v. State, 635 So.2d 41, 42-43 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994); Carver v. State, 653 So.2d 510 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995); Stevens v. State, 651 So.2d 1298, 1299-1300 (Fla. 5th DCA 1995); Rouse v. State, 643 So.2d 1159, 1160 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994); Handford v. State, 637 So.2d 958 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994); Thomas v. State, 634 So.2d 175, 177 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994); Thomas v. State, 611 So.2d 600, 601 (Fla. 2d DCA 1993). While recognizing, as Judge Altenbernd had pointed out in his en banc opinion in Judge v. State, 596 So.2d 73, 77 (Fla. 2d DCA)(en banc ), review denied, 613 So.2d 5 (Fla.1992), that "[r]ule 3.800(a) is reserved for a narrow class of cases in which the sentence imposed can be described as truly 'illegal' as a matter of law, for example, where the sentence imposed exceeds the statutory maximum sentence for the crime charged," Nowlin v. State, 639 So.2d 1050, 1052 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994); Rouse v. State, 601 So.2d 281, 282 (Fla. 1st DCA), review denied, 604 So.2d 487 (Fla.1992), this court nevertheless took the position that claims for additional presentencing jail or prison credit were exempt from this analysis and specifically held that "a sentence which does not allow for proper credit is an illegal sentence" as defined by the rule. See Jones, 635 So.2d at 42; Rouse, 643 So.2d at 1160; Moorer v. State, 556 So.2d 778, 779 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990); see also Sanders v. State, 579 So.2d 326, 326 (Fla. 5th DCA 1991)(noting that "a claim by a defendant that he did not receive all of his jail time credit attacks the sentence as being illegal

Page 146

and ... can be raised at any time"); Martin v. State, 525 So.2d 901, 902 (Fla. 5th DCA 1987)(opinion on rehearing)(reading the Florida Supreme Court's opinion in Daniels to mean that "a sentence is illegal if it fails to allow a defendant credit on all concurrent sentences for all of the time spent in the county jail before sentencing"). 1 Until July 1995, this remained the state of the law on postconviction claims for additional presentencing jail or prison credit raised in 3.800(a) motions.

History of Jail/Prison Credit Claims Under 3.850

From its inception in 1963, Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 also provided a mechanism whereby defendants could collaterally attack sentences "in excess of the maximum authorized by law." See In Re Criminal Procedure Rule No. 1, 151 So.2d 634, 634 (Fla.1963)(adopting precursor to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850). At the time the rule was promulgated by the Florida Supreme Court, it specifically provided that all motions filed pursuant to the rule "may be made at any time." Id.

It soon became well-established that postconviction claims for additional presentencing jail or prison credit also could be raised in motions filed pursuant to rule 3.850. See, e.g., Roesch v. State, 446 So.2d 269 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984); Woullard v. State, 420 So.2d 917 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982); Mendenhall v. State, 419 So.2d 1174 (Fla. 2d DCA 1982); Wargo v. State, 393 So.2d 3 (Fla. 1st DCA 1980); Cooper v. State, 379 So.2d 199 (Fla. 5th DCA 1980); Wright v. State, 355 So.2d 870 (Fla. 2d DCA 1978); Giles v. State, 350 So.2d 35 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977). In fact, at one point this court had to clarify that while such jail or prison credit claims were authorized in motions filed pursuant to rule 3.850, they could nevertheless still be raised on direct appeal. See Polk v. State, 418 So.2d 388, 389 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982).

In November 1984, a two-year limitations period was added to rule 3.850, running from the date of finality of a criminal judgment and sentence. See The Florida Bar Re: Amendment to Rules of Criminal Procedure (Rule 3.850), 460 So.2d 907, 907 (Fla.1984). Certain limited exceptions to this new two-year rule, however, also were added to the rule. See id. Among those limited exceptions was the provision that "[a] motion to vacate a sentence which exceeds the limits provided by law may be filed at any time." See id.; see also Fla. R.Crim. P. 3.850(b)(1997).

At the same time, the Court also added another provision to rule 3.850 which had the effect of curtailing the breadth of claims that could be raised in motions filed pursuant to the rule; this other new provision specifically stated that the rule "does not authorize relief based upon grounds which could have or should have been raised at trial and, if properly preserved, on direct appeal of the judgment and sentence." See Amendment to Rule 3.850, 460 So.2d at 908; see also Fla. R.Crim. P. 3.850(c)(1997). At the time this language was added to the rule, the Florida Supreme Court had recently held that sentencing errors, apparent from the face of the record, could be raised on direct appeal in the absence of a contemporaneous objection. See State v. Rhoden, 448 So.2d 1013, 1016 (Fla.1984). 2

Despite the new procedural bar for claims which could or should have been raised at trial or on direct appeal, the courts of this state continued to issue opinions reaching the merits of postconviction claims for additional presentencing jail or prison credit raised in

Page 147

3.850 motions without specifically discussing, particularly in light of Rhoden, whether the alleged denials of credit could have been raised on direct appeal. See, e.g., Wright v. State, 589 So.2d 382 (Fla. 4th DCA 1991); Griffin v. State, 573 So.2d 979 (Fla. 5th DCA 1991); Richards v. State, 521 So.2d 292 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988); Kelly v. State, 515 So.2d 308 (Fla. 3d DCA 1987); Wilson v. State, 514 So.2d 1156 (Fla. 2d DCA 1987). 3 Consistent with then existing 3.800(a) case law, this court reasoned at the time that claims for additional presentencing jail or prison credit could not be procedurally barred if raised in 3.850 motions because the denial of the claimed credit resulted in an "illegal sentence" which could be...

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2 practice notes
  • State v. Mancino, No. 90516
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • June 11, 1998
    ...on postconviction claims for additional presentencing jail or prison credit raised in 3.800(a) motions. Page 431 Vanderblomen v. State, 709 So.2d 144, 145 (Fla. 1st DCA 1998) (footnote omitted). The issue has also been brought into focus by Judge Altenbernd at the Second From reviewing many......
  • Travis v. State, No. 97-604.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • November 17, 1998
    ...a sentence 724 So.2d 121 which exceeds the statutory maximum were not cognizable under Rule 3.800(a), see, e.g., Vanderblomen v. State, 709 So.2d 144, 23 Fla. L. Weekly D795 (Fla. 1st DCA March 24, 1998). As noted, that holding was recently rejected by the Florida Supreme Court. Whenever th......
2 cases
  • State v. Mancino, No. 90516
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • June 11, 1998
    ...on postconviction claims for additional presentencing jail or prison credit raised in 3.800(a) motions. Page 431 Vanderblomen v. State, 709 So.2d 144, 145 (Fla. 1st DCA 1998) (footnote omitted). The issue has also been brought into focus by Judge Altenbernd at the Second From reviewing many......
  • Travis v. State, No. 97-604.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • November 17, 1998
    ...a sentence 724 So.2d 121 which exceeds the statutory maximum were not cognizable under Rule 3.800(a), see, e.g., Vanderblomen v. State, 709 So.2d 144, 23 Fla. L. Weekly D795 (Fla. 1st DCA March 24, 1998). As noted, that holding was recently rejected by the Florida Supreme Court. Whenever th......

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