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Rayner v. Tennessee Department of Correction

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

July 13, 2017

FLOYD E. RAYNER, III
v.
TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ET AL.

          Assigned on Briefs June 1, 2017

         Appeal from the Chancery Court for Davidson County No. 16-508-IV Russell T. Perkins, Chancellor

         Appellant, an inmate in the custody of Appellee Tennessee Department of Correction, appeals the trial court's dismissal of his petition for declaratory judgment under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act. Specifically, Appellant challenges the Tennessee Department of Correction's calculation of his criminal sentence, and also challenges the constitutionality of the criminal statutes, under which he was convicted. We conclude that the calculation of Appellant's sentence comports with the judgments of the criminal court. Appellant's constitutional arguments challenge his criminal sentence. As such, he has no recourse under the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act. Affirmed and remanded.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery Court Affirmed and Remanded

          Floyd Earl Rayner, III, Mountain City, Tennessee, pro se.

          Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, Andrée Blumstein, Solicitor General, and Pamela S. Lorch, Senior Counsel, for the appellees, Tennessee Department of Correction and State Attorney General.

          Kenny Armstrong, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Charles D. Susano, Jr. and W. Neal McBrayer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          KENNY ARMSTRONG, JUDGE

         I. Background

         Floyd Earl Rayner, III ("Appellant") is an inmate in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction ("TDOC"). As set out in State of Tennessee v. Floyd Earl Rayner, III, No. M2001-00971-CCA-R3-CD, 2002 WL 1336654 (Tenn. Crim. App. June 19, 2002), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Dec. 9, 2002), Mr. Rayner was indicted on five counts of rape of a child and five counts of aggravated sexual battery of a child less than thirteen years of age. Id. at *1. In each count, the victim was Appellant's daughter. Id. Following trial, the jury convicted Appellant on each count, and the trial court imposed a 21-year sentence in each of the rape-of-a-child convictions and a nine-year sentence in each of the aggravated-sexual-battery convictions. Id. Two of the rape-of-a-child sentences and one of the aggravated-sexual-battery sentences were imposed to run consecutively, and all other sentences were to run concurrently, yielding an effective sentence of 51 years. Id. The sentencing court granted Appellant pretrial jail credit of 317 days, from April 10, 2000 to the sentence imposition date of February 21, 2001. Mr. Rayner's sentence is further explained by Candace Whisman, The TDOC Director of Sentence Management Services, in her affidavit, which was filed on September 16, 2016. In relevant part, Ms. Whisman explained:

9. The sentences received in count[s] one through five are for the offense of Rape of a Child and are to be served at 100% with no sentence reduction in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-523(b), (c), and (d), and Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-35-501(i)(3). The sentences received in counts six through ten are for the offense of Aggravated Sexual Battery and are to be served at 100% for a violent offense and can be reduced by up to 15% with sentence reduction credits earned in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-35-501(i)(1).
10. Mr. Rayner's overall sentence calculation of 51 years is based on the sentences received in counts one, two and six. The sentence effective date (sentence imposed date of February 21, 2001 minus pretrial jail credit) is April 10, 2001, and current expiration date is April 10, 2051. He will not be eligible to begin reducing the nine year sentence in count six until the first 42 years is served day for day. Calculation of the sentence expiration for the overall sentence of 51 years is listed below.
Sentence imposed date 1000A589 ct. 1 ...

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