Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
from the Circuit Court for Maury County No. 18968 Stella
Hargrove, Judge No. M2017-00598-CCA-R3-CD
Appellant, Ricardo Davidson, is appealing the trial
court's denial of his motion to correct an illegal
sentence. The State has filed a motion asking this Court to
affirm pursuant to Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20. Said
motion is hereby granted.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Order of the Trial Court
Affirmed Pursuant to Court of Criminal
Appeals Rule 20
Ricardo Davidson, pro se.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert
W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General, for the Appellee,
State of Tennessee.
T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in
which Robert W. Wedemeyer and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
T. WOODALL, PRESISING JUDGE
2010, the Appellant was convicted of several drug-related
offenses and he received an effective fifteen-year sentence.
His convictions were affirmed on appeal. State v. Ricardo
Davidson, No. M2010-02002-CCA-R3-CD, 2012 WL 1795147
(Tenn. Crim. App. May 17, 2012), perm. to app.
denied (Tenn. Aug. 16, 2012). The Appellant was
unsuccessful in his subsequent pursuit of post-conviction and
habeas corpus relief. Ricardo Davidson v. State, No.
M2013-01645-CCA-R3-PC, 2014 WL 3765710 (Tenn. Crim. App. July
31, 2014), perm to app. denied (Tenn. Nov. 20,
2014); Ricardo Davidson v. Avril Chapman, Warden,
No. M2014-00565-CCA-R3-HC, 2014 WL 7011499 (Tenn. Crim. App.,
Dec. 12, 2014). In February 2017, the Appellant filed a
motion to correct an alleged illegal sentence. See
Tenn. R. Crim. P. 36.1. The trial court summarily denied the
motion. The Appellant timely filed notice of appeal.
Following the filing of the record on appeal and the
Appellant's brief, the State filed a motion to affirm the
ruling of the trial court pursuant to Rule 20. For the
reasons stated below, said motion is hereby granted.
motion he filed in the trial court, the Appellant argued his
fifteen-year sentence is illegal because the prosecutor
failed to file notice of intent to seek enhanced punishment.
Rule 36.1 permits a defendant to seek correction of an
unexpired illegal sentence at any time. See State v.
Brown, 479 S.W.3d 200, 211 (Tenn. 2015). "[A]n
illegal sentence is one that is not authorized by the
applicable statutes or that directly contravenes an
applicable statute." Tenn. R. Crim. P. 36.1(a). Our
supreme court recently interpreted the meaning of
"illegal sentence" as defined in Rule 36.1 and
concluded that the definition "is coextensive, and not
broader than, the definition of the term in the habeas corpus
context." State v. Wooden, 478 S.W.3d 585,
594-95 (Tenn. 2015). The court then reviewed the three
categories of sentencing errors: clerical errors (those
arising from a clerical mistake in the judgment sheet),
appealable errors (those for which the Sentencing Act
specifically provides a right of direct appeal) and fatal
errors (those so profound as to render a sentence illegal and
void). Id. Commenting on appealable errors, the
court stated that those "generally involve attacks on
the correctness of the methodology by which a trial court
imposed sentence." Id. In contrast, fatal
errors include "sentences imposed pursuant to an
inapplicable statutory scheme, sentences designating release
eligibility dates where early release is statutorily
prohibited, sentences that are ordered to be served
concurrently where statutorily required to be served
consecutively, and sentences not authorized by any statute
for the offenses." Id. The court held that only
fatal errors render sentences illegal. Id. A trial
court may summarily dismiss a Rule 36.1 motion if it does not
state a colorable claim for relief. Tenn. R. Crim. P.
trial court did not err in summarily dismissing the
Appellant's motion. The State's failure to file a
notice to seek enhanced punishment does not render an
otherwise valid sentence authorized by statute illegal under
the meaning of Rule 36.1. See, e.g., State v. Atlanta
Pearl Hardy, No. M2017-00537-CCA-R3-CD, 2017 WL 3492060
at *2 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 15, 2017), perm. to app.
denied (Tenn. Nov. 16, 2017) (issue regarding lack of
notice of enhancement is appealable error that should have
been raised on direct appeal).
Appellant also raises two issues for the first time in his
brief on appeal without any supporting argument: whether he
was properly arraigned and "[w]hether there was an issue
for n [sic] trial if the appellant was not allowed to
plea." As the State aptly notes, issues raised for the
first time on appeal are ...