Walker v. State, No. 64747

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtOVERTON; BOYD; SHAW, J., concurs in result only with an opinion with which ADKINS; SHAW; ADKINS
Citation462 So.2d 452,10 Fla. L. Weekly 35
Parties10 Fla. L. Weekly 35 Bennie Lee WALKER, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent.
Decision Date10 January 1985
Docket NumberNo. 64747

Page 452

462 So.2d 452
10 Fla. L. Weekly 35
Bennie Lee WALKER, Petitioner,
v.
STATE of Florida, Respondent.
No. 64747.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Jan. 10, 1985.

Michael E. Allen, Public Defender, and Glenna Joyce Reeves, Asst. Public Defender, Tallahassee, for petitioner.

Jim Smith, Atty. Gen., Gregory G. Costas and Andrew Thomas, Asst. Attys. Gen., Tallahassee, for respondent.

OVERTON, Justice.

This cause is before us on a petition to review a decision of the First District Court of Appeal reported as Walker v. State, 442 So.2d 977 (Fla. 1st DCA 1983), which directly conflicts with State v. Rhoden, 448 So.2d 1013 (Fla.1984), and Brown v. State, 435

Page 453

So.2d 940 (Fla. 3d DCA 1983). The issue presented concerns the failure of the trial court to make findings of fact in support of the imposition of an extended sentence as required by the habitual offender statute, section 775.084, Florida Statutes (1981). * We have jurisdiction, article V, section 3(b)(3), Florida Constitution, and we quash the decision of the district court.

The facts of the instant case are uncontroverted. Petitioner was convicted of trafficking in stolen property and was sentenced as a habitual offender under section 775.084. On appeal, petitioner alleged that the trial judge did not specifically state, as required by statute, the findings upon which he based his decision to extend petitioner's sentence. The district court affirmed, finding that petitioner's failure to raise this objection in the trial court precluded its consideration on direct appeal. The court dismissed the appeal without prejudice to petitioner's right to raise the issue in a motion for post-conviction relief. 442 So.2d at 978.

In Brown, the Third District Court of Appeal took a contrary view and, in reversing a habitual offender sentence, expressly held that the failure of a "trial court to make the requisite finding that such a sentence is necessary for the protection of the public from further criminal activity by the defendant" could be challenged on appeal notwithstanding the appellant's failure to preserve the issue. 435 So.2d at 940. The court concluded that such a failure required the remand of the cause so that the trial judge could make the necessary finding. Id. at 941. We agree with this holding and find it to be consistent with our recent decision in Rhoden, in which we dealt with a similar statute, section 39.111(6), Florida Statutes (1981). That statute places a statutory duty upon the trial

Page 454

judge to make specific findings of fact when sentencing a juvenile offender as an adult. We held that these types of requirements in sentencing statutes were clearly intended to be mandatory. Further, we explained why the contemporaneous objection rule did not apply to bar appellate review of the court's failure to follow the mandatory sentencing requirements. 448 So.2d at 1016-17.

We hold that the findings required by section 775.084 are critical to the statutory scheme and enable meaningful appellate review of these types of sentencing decisions. Without these findings, the review process would be difficult, if not impossible. It is clear that the legislature intended the trial court to make specific findings of fact when sentencing a defendant as a habitual offender. Given this mandatory statutory duty, the trial court's failure to make such findings is appealable regardless of whether such failure is objected to at trial. We note that the First District Court of Appeal, in its recent decision in Weston v. State, 452 So.2d 95 (Fla. 1st DCA 1984), recognized that Rhoden mandates a remand for findings of fact when the trial court fails to make such findings in sentencing a defendant under the...

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62 practice notes
  • Forehand v. State, No. BT-110
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 7, 1988
    ...reasons for retention of jurisdiction over one third of defendant's sentence was determinable from the record); Walker v. State, 462 So.2d 452 (Fla.1985) (trial court's failure to make findings of fact before sentencing defendant as a habitual offender was apparent from the record); Hembree......
  • Judge v. State, No. 91-02215
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 6, 1991
    ...sworn pleadings and the type of evidentiary hearing not contemplated by rule 3.800(a). Finally, we have not overlooked Walker v. State, 462 So.2d 452 (Fla.1985), in this analysis. In Walker, the supreme court held that the omission of the more extensive findings previously required for a ha......
  • Spriggs v. State, No. 91-1199
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 17, 1993
    ...the trial court to make specific factual findings in support of its determination to sentence a defendant as a HFO. Walker v. State, 462 So.2d 452 (Fla.1985). If the required findings are made on the record at a reported hearing, then they need not be reduced to writing. Parker v. State, 54......
  • Steiner v. State, No. 90-01378
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • December 27, 1991
    ...findings required by section 775.084(1)(a)1-4. A habitual offender sentence unsupported by those findings is illegal. Walker v. State, 462 So.2d 452, 454 (Fla.1985) (findings constitute "mandatory statutory duty"; trial court's failure to make them is appealable even absent objection in tri......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
62 cases
  • Forehand v. State, No. BT-110
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 7, 1988
    ...reasons for retention of jurisdiction over one third of defendant's sentence was determinable from the record); Walker v. State, 462 So.2d 452 (Fla.1985) (trial court's failure to make findings of fact before sentencing defendant as a habitual offender was apparent from the record); Hembree......
  • Judge v. State, No. 91-02215
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 6, 1991
    ...sworn pleadings and the type of evidentiary hearing not contemplated by rule 3.800(a). Finally, we have not overlooked Walker v. State, 462 So.2d 452 (Fla.1985), in this analysis. In Walker, the supreme court held that the omission of the more extensive findings previously required for a ha......
  • Spriggs v. State, No. 91-1199
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 17, 1993
    ...the trial court to make specific factual findings in support of its determination to sentence a defendant as a HFO. Walker v. State, 462 So.2d 452 (Fla.1985). If the required findings are made on the record at a reported hearing, then they need not be reduced to writing. Parker v. State, 54......
  • Steiner v. State, No. 90-01378
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • December 27, 1991
    ...findings required by section 775.084(1)(a)1-4. A habitual offender sentence unsupported by those findings is illegal. Walker v. State, 462 So.2d 452, 454 (Fla.1985) (findings constitute "mandatory statutory duty"; trial court's failure to make them is appealable even absent objection in tri......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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