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Grooms v. McAlister

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

November 25, 2014

JEREMY SHANE GROOMS
v.
GERALD MCALISTER, WARDEN

Assigned on Briefs November 18, 2014

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Cocke County No. 5412 Rex Ogle, Judge

Jeffery S. Green, Newport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremy Shane Grooms.

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; James Dunn, District Attorney General; and W. Brownlow Marsh, Assistant District Attorney, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which John Everett Williams and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

OPINION

ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

I. Facts

The Petitioner's judgment of conviction, attached to his petition for habeas corpus relief, shows that he was convicted on May 28, 2009, for one count of theft of property valued over $1, 000 and one count of aggravated burglary. He was sentenced to concurrent eight-year sentences, with one year to be served in jail and the remaining seven years to be served on community corrections.

On December 14, 2009, a violation of community corrections affidavit and warrant were issued, alleging that the Petitioner had been arrested for DUI on November 20, 2009, in Knox County. The affidavit also alleged that the Petitioner had attempted to break into and enter a vehicle on June 3, 2009, in Henderson County, North Carolina, and that the Petitioner had not paid court costs and restitution. The warrant stated that the Petitioner had been sentenced to a term of twelve years for four convictions. Two of the four convictions were the theft and burglary mentioned above, and the two other convictions were listed as evading arrest and theft of property valued under $500. The record before us does not include the judgments of conviction for either the evading arrest conviction or the theft of property valued under $500 conviction.

The record does not contain a transcript from any hearing on the violation of community corrections warrant nor does it contain the disposition of any such hearing. It does show, however, that on March 13, 2014, the Petitioner filed a petition for habeas corpus relief. He alleged that he had pleaded guilty to theft of property valued over $1, 000 and to aggravated burglary in case number 0697 and was sentenced to serve "12 years; 1 year in the Cocke County Jail prior to community corrections for the remaining 7 years." In a footnote, he states that he also pled guilty to two counts of theft of property valued under $500 and evading arrest in case numbers 1013, 1423, and 1376.

In the habeas corpus petition, the Petitioner alleged that he had been "continuously incarcerated" since he had been arrested in Hendersonville, North Carolina on June 6, 2010. He was incarcerated in North Carolina from June 6, 2010, until he was transferred to jail in Tennessee on November 8, 2010. He stated that he had not been given jail credit for the time he served in jail in North Carolina or the time he served in Tennessee between November 8, 2010, and September 2011. The Petitioner estimated the time for which he had not been credited amounted to 308 days. He offered that, as a result of a clerical error, he had been deprived of 463 days of jail credits that the trial court should have awarded him. We are unable to discern from the record the discrepancy between the 308 days and the 463 days of credit to which the Petitioner says he is entitled.

The State responded to the petition for writ of habeas corpus by noting that a "clerical error" is not an "illegal sentence, " so did not entitle the Petitioner to habeas corpus relief. The State further averred that the habeas corpus court was without jurisdiction to hear the petition because the proper venue for the Petitioner to address his grievance was through the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act.

The habeas corpus court appointed counsel and set a hearing. The State filed a "Further Response to the Petition For Writ of Habeas Corpus." In it, the State offered more case law to support its assertion that the habeas corpus court was without jurisdiction to hear the petition. On April 21, 2014, the State moved to dismiss the Petitioner's petition for habeas corpus relief. The State noted that the Petitioner had failed to meet the qualifications for relief under the habeas corpus statute. The State asserted that the Petitioner had failed to attach copies of the judgments of conviction at issue, specifically the order revoking his community corrections sentence. The State further asserted that the Petitioner had failed to attach any part of the record to establish that he was entitled to pretrial jail credits and had not offered any reason for failing to do so. The State asked the trial court to dismiss the petition for habeas corpus relief based upon his failure to abide by all of the statutory procedural requirements. On May 2, 2014, the habeas corpus court granted the State's motion and dismissed the Petitioner's petition.

The Petitioner filed a "motion for new trial." In it, he noted that his petition included two of the judgments of conviction against him, the warrant alleging a community corrections violation, and the "eTomis print-out" that showed the days he was not credited as pretrial jail credits. He asserted that the convicting court possessed the relevant records and retained the authority to correct his illegal sentence at any time. On ...


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