Assigned on Briefs October 4, 2016
from the Circuit Court for Madison County Nos. 07-666, 03-709
Roy B. Morgan, Jr., Judge
Justin T. Knox, appeals the trial court's dismissal of
his "Motion to Correct Sentence Calculation." The
trial court found both sentences had expired and thus the
motion was moot. Upon our review of the record, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
T. Howell, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Justin
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry
Woodall, District Attorney General; and Al Earls, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Alan E. Glenn and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.
TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE
what can be gathered from a very sparse record, it appears
that in 2004, Petitioner was convicted in case number 03-709
of a drug offense involving a schedule II drug and received a
sentence of eight years. In 2008, Petitioner was convicted in
case number 07-666 of another drug offense involving cocaine
and received a sentence of two years' probation to be
served consecutively to his sentence in case number 03-709.
Petitioner is currently serving a sentence of six years for
an unrelated aggravated statutory rape in case number 14-164.
February 22, 2016, Petitioner filed a pleading styled
"Motion to Correct Sentence Calculation." According
to the petition, Petitioner was informed by the trial court
when he entered his plea in case number 07-666 that he would
begin serving that sentence when he was released from jail on
case number 03-709. In March 2010, Petitioner was released on
parole in case number 03-709. Petitioner asserted that his
probationary sentence in case number 07-666 should have begun
in March 2010 and expired in March 2012. Petitioner received
a probation violation in case number 07-666 on June 6, 2013
and his probation was revoked in August 2013. Petitioner
argued that he was illegally under the supervision of the
Board of Probation and Parole from March 2012 until August
2013 and, therefore, he should receive jail credits from
March 2012 through June 16, 2014, on his six-year sentence
for aggravated statutory rape.
State filed a response, arguing that the motion was moot
because the sentence in case number 07-666 was expired.
Additionally, the State noted that Petitioner's sentence
in 03-709 did not expire until July 2012, making his sentence
in 07-666 effective until July 2014. Therefore, Petitioner
was still lawfully on probation at the time his probation was
revoked in August 2013. The State argued that
Petitioner's complaint that his probation was improperly
violated should have been addressed either on direct appeal
from the probation revocation or in a petition for habeas
corpus filed in the county in which he was
incarcerated. The State further argued that the motion
could not be considered a motion to correct an illegal
sentence under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36.1
because the sentence complained of was expired, nor could it
be considered a motion to correct a clerical error under
Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 36 because Petitioner
did not allege any error on the original judgment form.
Finally, the State argued that the pleading could not be
considered as a motion to correct an illegal sentence in case
number 14-164 because it was not filed under that case number
and because the sentencing credits Petitioner was seeking
included time before the offense in that case even occurred.
trial court summarily denied the motion without the
appointment of counsel or an evidentiary hearing. Petitioner
filed a timely notice of appeal, and the trial court
appointed appellate counsel.
appeal, Petitioner argued that the trial court erred in
dismissing his "Motion to Correct Sentence Calculation,
which he now submits should be construed as a Motion to
Correct a Clerical Error pursuant to Rule 36.1 of the
Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure." The State
responds that the trial court properly dismissed the motion
because Petitioner failed to show any clerical error or
illegal sentence in need of remedy.
is well settled that a trial court is not bound by the title
of the pleading, but has the discretion to treat the pleading
according to the relief sought." Norton v.
Everhart, 895 S.W.2d 317, 319 (Tenn. 1995). However, in
this case, it is not clear exactly on what legal basis relief
is being sought. Petitioner did not allege any clerical
errors in the judgments for either case number 03-709 or
07-666, so the motion cannot be considered as a motion to
correct a clerical error under Tennessee Rule of Criminal
Procedure 36. If we are to treat the motion as a motion to
correct an illegal sentence, Petitioner fares no better. The
sentences in both cases have expired, precluding relief under
Rule 36.1. See State v. Brown, 479 S.W.3d 200, 211
(Tenn. 2015) (holding that Rule 36.1 "does not authorize
the correction of expired illegal sentences"). Moreover,
the misapplication of sentencing credits does ...