Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mosley v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

February 6, 2015

Quinton Devon Mosley
v.
State of Alabama

         Released for Publication April 28, 2016.

Page 1195

          Appeal from Montgomery Circuit Court. (CC-07-1468.60). Tracy S. McCooey, Trial Judge.

         For Appellant: Charlotte Morrison, Montgomery.

         For Appellee: Luther Strange, atty. gen., and William D. Little, asst. atty. gen.

         JOINER, Judge. Windom, P.J., and Welch, Kellum, and Burke, JJ., concur.

          OPINION

Page 1196

          JOINER, Judge.

         Quinton Devon Mosley appeals the circuit court's summary dismissal of his Rule 32, Ala. R. Crim. P., petition for postconviction relief. We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         Mosley, pursuant to a negotiated agreement, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree sodomy, see § 13A-6-64(a)(1), Ala. Code 1975. On May 15, 2008, the circuit court sentenced Mosley, under the voluntary sentencing guidelines (" the guidelines" ), to two concurrent sentences of 20 years' imprisonment; the circuit court suspended those sentences and ordered Mosley to serve 5 years' supervised probation.

         On June 12, 2008, however, the circuit court revoked Mosley's probation. On that same date, Mosley filed a " Motion to Withdraw his Guilty Plea," arguing that the circuit court failed to follow the terms of the plea agreement; the circuit court denied the motion. Mosley appealed the circuit court's decision to revoke his probation and separately appealed the circuit court's decision to deny his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. This Court affirmed, by unpublished memorandum, the circuit court's decision to revoke Mosley's probation, see Mosley v. State (No. CR-07-1828, June 19, 2009), 51 So.3d 406 (Ala.Crim.App. 2009) (table), and also affirmed, by unpublished memorandum, the circuit court's decision to deny Mosley's motion to withdraw his guilty plea, see Mosley v. State (No. CR-07-1808, June 19, 2009) 51 So.3d 406 (Ala.Crim.App. 2009) (table).[1]

         On December 18, 2012, Mosley filed a " motion to correct his sentence," arguing that the circuit court " was without jurisdiction to impose a twenty-year sentence because the maximum sentence authorized by [§ ] 15-22-50[, Ala. Code 1975,] is fifteen years." (C. 11.) The circuit court denied Mosley's motion. Mosley then filed, in this Court, a petition for a writ of mandamus challenging the circuit court's decision to deny his motion, arguing that his sentence was illegal and that the circuit court erred when it failed to correct his illegal sentence. In an unpublished order, this Court denied Mosley's mandamus petition. We found that " 'Mosley's non-prison sentences of twenty years were authorized by statute and thus complied with the Sentencing Guidelines,'" and recognized that " Mosley may file a postconviction petition attacking the legality of his sentence[s]." We concluded that " Mosley cannot establish a clear legal right to the relief sought." See Ex parte Mosley (No. CR-12-0810, July 16, 2013), __ So.3d __(Ala.Crim.App. 2013) (table).

         On December 6, 2013, Mosley filed the instant Rule 32 petition--his first. Although

Page 1197

he did not file the standard Rule 32 form found in the appendix to Rule 32, Mosley, through his counsel, filed a document entitled " Petition for Relief From Judgment Pursuant to Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure." (C. 10-14.) In his petition, Mosley, relying on this Court's decision in Little v. State, 129 So.3d 312 (Ala.Crim.App. 2012), alleged that his 20-year sentences were " unconstitutional, not authorized by law, and exceed[] the Court's jurisdiction" because, he said, under § 15-22-50, Ala. Code 1975, the circuit court could not suspend his 20-year sentences.

         On December 26, 2013, the State filed a motion to dismiss Mosley's Rule 32 petition, arguing that Mosley's claim is time-barred under Rule 32.2(c), Ala. R. Crim. P., and that Mosley's claim is without merit.

         On January 2, 2014, the circuit court issued a written order summarily dismissing Mosley's Rule 32 petition pursuant to Rule 32.7(d), Ala. R. Crim. P. Mosley then filed a timely notice of appeal.

         Standard of Review

          " This Court will not reverse the circuit court's order denying a Rule 32 petition absent an abuse of discretion. Grady v. State, 831 So.2d 646, 648 (Ala.Crim.App. 2001). If the circuit court's decision is correct for any reason, it will be affirmed. Id." Hawk v. State, [Ms. CR-13-0253, May 2, 2014] 171 So.3d 96, (Ala.Crim.App. 2014).

         Discussion

         On appeal, Mosley contends that the circuit court erred when it summarily dismissed his petition because, he says, his suspended 20-year sentences are illegal. Specifically, Mosley argues that, although it complied with the guidelines to the extent that it ordered " non-prison" sentences, the circuit court erred when it imposed on Mosley sentence lengths of 20 years' imprisonment because, he says, the circuit court's " power to suspend a sentence is not derived from [the guidelines,] but rather from the Constitution and § 15-22-50[, Ala. Code 1975.]" (Mosley's brief, p. 7.) Section 15-22-50 provides that circuit courts may not " suspend the execution of a sentence imposed upon any person who has been found guilty and whose punishment is fixed at death or imprisonment in the penitentiary for more than 15 years." [2] § 15-22-50, Ala. Code 1975.

         Initially, we note that the allegation raised in Mosley's Rule 32 petition--that his sentences are illegal because, he said, the circuit court could not suspend his 20-year sentences--is jurisdictional. See Scott v. State, 148 So.3d 458, 462 (Ala.Crim.App. 2013) (" '" Matters concerning unauthorized sentences are jurisdictional." Hunt v. State, 659 So.2d 998, 999 (Ala.Crim.App. 1994). ...'" (quoting Moore v. State, 40 So.3d 750, 753 (Ala.Crim.App. 2009))). This issue, however, was previously addressed by this Court in Mosley's appeal from the circuit court's denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

         In that appeal, Mosley argued that the circuit court erred when it denied his motion to withdraw his guilty plea because, he said, the circuit court failed to follow the negotiated plea agreement. Specifically, Mosley contended that " he agreed with the State that he would be sentenced pursuant to the [guidelines], and the circuit court violated that agreement when it sentenced him to two suspended terms of twenty years which were, according to Mosley, above the sentences recommended

Page 1198

by the guidelines." (Emphasis added). The resolution of Mosley's argument in that appeal required this Court to determine whether, under the guidelines, the circuit court had the authority to suspend Mosley's 20-year sentences; this Court answered that question in the affirmative. Consequently, Mosley's claim is precluded under Rule 32.2(a)(4), Ala. R. Crim. P.

         Although we recognize that the State in its motion to dismiss Mosley's Rule 32 petition did not specifically assert Rule 32.2(a)(4), Ala. R. Crim. P., as a basis for summarily dismissing Mosley's Rule 32 petition and that the circuit court did not specifically cite Rule 32.2(a)(4), Ala. R. Crim. P., as its basis for summarily dismissing Mosley's Rule 32 petition, under the circumstances of this case, this Court is not prevented from applying Rule 32.2(a)(4) as a basis for affirming the circuit court's decision. Cf. Ex parte Clemons, 55 So.3d 348 (Ala. 2007) (holding that the preclusion grounds in Rule 32.2(a), Ala. R. Crim. P., can be waived by the State and that, only in extraordinary circumstances, can an appellate court sua sponte apply a preclusion ground that has been waived). This Court has recognized that " [t]he opinion in Ex parte Clemons appears to be grounded in due-process principles," which " requires that a petitioner be given notice of that preclusion ground." A.G. v. State, 989 So.2d 1167, 1179 (Ala.Crim.App. 2007) (emphasis added). Here, Mosley was, in fact, given notice that this claim had been previously addressed by this Court.

         Specifically, the State in its motion to dismiss Mosley's Rule 32 petition alleged, in part:

" At the same time [Mosley] was revoked from his probation in June 2008, he filed a 'Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea.' The Court denied that motion and [Mosley] appealed to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. In affirming this Court's judgment, the Court of Criminal Appeals said in its memorandum, 'when a suspended sentence is imposed in accordance with the first worksheet, the length of the suspended sentence conforms to the sentencing guidelines if it is authorized by law, i.e., authorized by statute or the second sentencing guideline worksheet.' As the Court of Criminal Appeals concluded[, Mosley] was sentenced pursuant to the sentencing guidelines worksheets and not the Split Sentencing Act. Since [Mosley] was convicted of class B felonies with a statutory range of [2] to [20] years, his non prison sentence complied with the statute and the guidelines. Based upon the fact that [Mosley] was sentenced pursuant to the sentencing guidelines and not the Suspended Sentence Act, his sentence was legal and his claim is due to be denied.
" If [Mosley's] sentence was an illegal one, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals would certainly have remanded the case for resentencing when it addressed Petitioner's 2008 appeal."

(C. 33-34; internal citations omitted; emphasis added.) Thus, although not expressly citing Rule 32.2(a)(4), the State clearly argued that Mosley's claim had been previously addressed in Mosley's appeal from the denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

         Additionally, although it did not expressly cite Rule 32.2(a)(4) in its order summarily dismissing Mosley's petition, the circuit court clearly relied on this Court's decision in Mosley's appeal from the denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea as a basis for dismissing Mosley's Rule 32 petition. Specifically, as set out above, the circuit court found:

" In June of 2009, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed this

Page 1199

Court's ruling and [Mosley's] sentence in [an unpublished] ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.