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IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF
FIRST DISTRICT, STATE OF
MONICA DAVID, Chairman,
Florida Parole Commission,
NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO
FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
CASE NO. 1D03-4479
HERSHEL B. MEADOWS,
a/k/a HECTOR BIGE MEADOWS,
a/k/a JASSON LLOYD CORDEY,
a/k/a DAVID ADAMS,
Opinion filed August 18, 2004.
Certiorari - Original Jurisdiction.
Bradley R. Bischoff, Assistant General Counsel, Florida Parole Commission,
Tallahassee, for Petitioner.
Bernard F. Daley, Jr., Law Office of Bernard F. Daley, Jr., Tallahassee, for
Petitioner Monica David, Chairman of the Florida Parole Commission, seeks
review of the trial court's order granting Respondent Hershel Meadows' petition for
writ of prohibition. The trial court's order states:
On August 27, 1999, [Meadows] reached the Tentative Release
Date on his criminal sentences for two counts of Attempted Sexual
Battery and pursuant to Section 947.1405, Florida Statutes, was placed
on Conditional Release1 supervision by the Florida Parole Commission.
[Meadows] however was not released from confinement and into the
community but instead was detained pursuant to the civil commitment
procedures in the Jimmy Ryce Act and held within a secure Florida
Department of Children and Families facility.2 See Sections 394.91 to
394.931, Florida Statutes.
On April 10, 2003, the Florida Parole Commission issued the
Warrant for Retaking Conditional Releasee, which charged [Meadows]
with violating his Conditional Release supervision by not participating in
a sex offender treatment program.
The instant dispute revolves around the intent of the Florida
Legislature in their adoption of Fla. Stat. § 947.1405 ("Conditional
Release Program Act") and whether in the adoption of this Conditional
Release supervision scheme there was an intent on the part of the Florida
Legislature to allow the Respondent to subject offenders who are civilly
committed to the conditions included within the Conditional Release
Program Act (CRPA). As is pointed out by Respondents in their
response; "No provision is made in the Conditional Release statute or in
the Commission's rules for instances where the releasee may be detained
either pursuant to a detainer from another jurisdiction or as in this case
a civil commitment." This undisputed fact as well as Petitioner's
arguments which cast substantial doubt on the actual intent of the Florida
1See generally Mayes v. Moore, 827 So. 2d 967 (Fla. 2002) (discussing the
Conditional Release program and holding that the program does not violate various
constitutional challenges); Duncan v. Moore, 754 So. 2d 708 (Fla. 2000) (same).
2On November 26, 2003, a jury in Palm Beach County determined that
Meadows should not be committed to the custody of DCF under the Jimmy Ryce Act
and he was discharged from custody.
Legislature in regards to their drafting of the CRPA leads to this Court's
determination that good cause exists to issue the present order
prohibiting the Respondent from subjecting the Petitioner to the
requirements of Fla. Stat. § 947.1405 while he is civilly committed
within the custody of the Florida Department of Children and
Families. Nothing within this order however prevents the Respondent
from tolling the Petitioner's statutorily required term of Conditional
Release supervision until such time that Petitioner is actually released into
Emphasis and footnotes added.
In short, the trial court ruled as a matter of law that offenders cannot
simultaneously be on conditional release and civilly committed under the Jimmy Ryce
Act and that the terms of conditional release may be tolled during the period of civil
commitment. We disagree.
The trial court ruled that offenders cannot be on conditional release while
committed under the Jimmy Ryce Act because the applicable statutes do not permit
it. This ruling was in error because there are no restrictions found in the Conditional
Release Program Act and the Jimmy Ryce Act that prohibit simultaneous compliance.
In Bolden v. Florida Department of Corrections, 865 So. 2d 1 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003)
(granting petition for writ of certiorari to review an order denying a petition for
mandamus), this court held that Bolden's conditional release supervision should not
be tolled even though he was continuing to serve the incarcerative sentences for other
convictions. The court in Bolden stated that tolling was not appropriate because
"there is no windfall to Bolden in that he was not given the benefit of freedom, albeit
subject to supervision, as a result of the additional gain time earned on the shotgun
offense, because he remained incarcerated on the related assault and battery offenses."
Id. at 4. The same rationale applies to Meadows because he was not given the benefit
of freedom, subject to supervision. If a defendant may complete his conditional
release supervision while in prison, he should be permitted to complete it while civilly
committed. Cf. State v. Harris, 29 Fla. L. Weekly S230, S231, S232 n.4 (Fla. May 13,
2004) (accepting the State's representation that the defendant was serving the
probationary portion of his sentence while civilly committed under the Jimmy Ryce
Act; "involuntary civil commitments are civil in nature, not criminal"). See also Mayes
v. Moore, 827 So. 2d 967, 972 (Fla. 2002) (the Parole Commission has broad
authority to establish the terms and conditions of conditional release under the
applicable statutes and the Florida Constitution, art. IV, § 8(c), Fla. Const.).
Meadows asserts that he was prohibited from complying with the terms of his
release program because of his Jimmy Ryce Act confinement. The Commission
argues that Meadows refused to comply with the terms of the program and should
therefore be found in violation of his conditional release supervision. These disputed
contentions are factual determinations that must be sorted out by the trial court on
remand. In the event that Meadows is found unable to comply with his release
program because of his civil confinement, he should not be found in violation and
should receive credit for the time during commitment. See Copeland v. State, 864 So.
2d 1197, 1199 (Fla. 1st DCA 2004) (reversing probation revocation because the State
did not sufficiently prove that the violations of probation were willful); Meade v. State,
799 So. 2d 430, 432 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001) (stating that "illness can render technical
violations of probation not substantial or willful because a mental or physical illness
can be debilitating to the point that a probationer cannot comply with the terms of
probation"); Tal-Mason v. State, 515 So. 2d 738 (Fla. 1987) (holding that defendant
was entitled to credit for detention in a mental institution for incompetence to stand
trial); Haveard v. State, 520 So. 2d 636 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988) (holding that the defendant
was entitled to credit for the period of involuntary hospitalization). If, on the other
hand, Meadows is found in violation of the terms and conditions of release, the
Commission has broad authority to either grant or deny him credit for time spent on
conditional release when that release is revoked. See Rivera v. Singletary, 707 So. 2d
326 (Fla. 1998).
Therefore, we grant the petition for writ of certiorari, quash the trial court's
order, and remand for further proceedings with instructions.
WEBSTER and VAN NORTWICK, JJ., CONCUR.
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