Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
BRUNSWICK L. ROBINSON
STATE OF TENNESSEE
Assigned on Briefs March 21, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Johnson County No. CC-16-CR-144
Stacy L. Street, Judge
pro se petitioner, Brunswick L. Robinson, appeals
the denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus by the
Johnson County Criminal Court, arguing the trial court erred
in summarily dismissing the petition as his sentence has
expired. After our review, we affirm the summary dismissal of
the petition pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Court of
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Brunswick L. Robinson, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Courtney N. Orr, Assistant Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.
Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
John Everett Williams and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
ROSS DYER, JUDGE
2005, the petitioner pled guilty to the attempted sale of a
Schedule II substance for which he received a five-year
suspended sentence, with one hundred and eighty days to
serve. According to the judgment form entered on February 14,
2006, and made a part of the appellate record, the petitioner
did not receive any pretrial jail credits and the five-year
sentence was to run consecutively to "all current
cases" of the petitioner. However, on November 13, 2014,
the Rutherford County Circuit Court revoked the
petitioner's probation and he was ordered to serve the
five-year sentence in confinement. According to the November
13, 2014, Violation of Probation Order, four hundred and
ninety-seven days of jail credits were to be applied to the
October 28, 2016, the petitioner filed a pro se
petition for writ of habeas corpus alleging the trial court
failed to apply the ordered jail credits to his sentence,
rendering it illegal and, furthermore, expired. The
petitioner also asserted that the October 28, 2016, petition
was his first application for the writ. The State filed a
motion to dismiss the October 28, 2016, petition arguing the
petitioner previously filed an application for the writ, and,
therefore, it failed to satisfy the procedural requirements
of Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-21-107. The State also
argued the trial court's alleged failure to apply jail
credits to the petitioner's sentence did not present a
colorable claim and the petitioner failed to show that his
sentence had expired. The court granted the State's
motion and summarily dismissed the petition. The petitioner
then filed a pro se appeal arguing the habeas court
erred by summarily dismissing the petition "due to his
sentence being expired."
well-settled that habeas corpus relief is limited in scope
and may only be invoked where the judgment is void or the
petitioner's term of imprisonment has expired.
Faulkner v. State, 226 S.W.3d 358, 361 (Tenn. 2007);
State v. Ritchie, 20 S.W.3d 624, 629 (Tenn. 2000);
State v. Davenport, 980 S.W.2d 407, 409 (Tenn. Crim.
App. 1998). A void, rather than a voidable, judgment is
"one that is facially invalid because the court did not
have the statutory authority to render such judgment."
Summers v. State, 212 S.W.3d 251, 256 (Tenn. 2007)
(citing Dykes v. Compton, 978 S.W.2d 528, 529 (Tenn.
petitioner must establish a void judgment or illegal
confinement by a preponderance of the evidence. Wyatt v.
State, 24 S.W.3d 319, 322 (Tenn. 2000). However, when a
"habeas corpus petition fails to establish that a
judgment is void, a trial court may dismiss the petition
without a hearing." Summers, 212 S.W.3d at 260
(citing Hogan v. Mills, 168 S.W.3d 753, 755 (Tenn.
2005)). Whether the petitioner is entitled to habeas corpus
relief is a question of law. Id. at 255; Hart v.
State, 21 S.W.3d 901, 903 (Tenn. 2000). As such, this
Court reviews the habeas court's findings de
novo with no presumption of correctness. Id.
appellate record makes clear the petitioner has failed to
satisfy both the procedural and substantive requirements
necessary for habeas corpus relief. The petitioner filed an
initial petition for writ of habeas corpus on October 12,
2016. The Rutherford County Circuit Court denied the petition
for lack of jurisdiction on October 17, 2016. The petitioner
then filed a second petition for writ of habeas corpus on
October 28, 2016, in Johnson County wherein he alleged
"[t]his is the first application for the writ."
Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-21-107,
"if a previous application has been made, a copy of the
petition and proceedings thereon shall be produced, or
satisfactory reasons be given for the failure so to do."
Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-21-107(b)(4). Here, the petitioner
failed to attach a copy of the October 12, 2016, petition or
the "proceedings thereon" to his second
application, and he provided no explanation for the same.
Id. We, therefore, conclude that the habeas
court's summary dismissal of the petition was proper and
the petitioner is not entitled to relief from this Court.
as noted by the State and found by the trial court, the
petitioner has failed to show by a preponderance of the
evidence that the judgment at issue was void or that his
sentence has expired. On appeal, the petitioner argues his
sentence is illegal based upon the trial court's failure
to apply jail credits to his sentence. However, this Court
has previously held that "[a] trial court's failure
to award pretrial or post-judgment jail credits does not
render a sentence illegal and is, therefore, insufficient to
establish a colorable claim for habeas corpus . . .
relief." Cory O'Brien Johnson v. State, No.