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Anthony Williams v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

May 24, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dan Pellegrini, President Judge

Submitted: May 4, 2012



Anthony Williams (Williams) has filed a pro se Application for Summary Relief requesting this Court to order the Department of Corrections (Department) to properly compute his sentence and give him credit for all time served. The Department has filed a Cross-Application for Summary Relief. For the reasons that follow, Williams' Application is granted and the Department's Application is denied.

Williams is currently an inmate incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Mercer (SCI Mercer). On April 28, 2009, at case number CR790-2009, he pled guilty to driving under the influence before the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas (trial court) and was sentenced to serve 90 days to two years imprisonment in a county facility.*fn1 According to a "tracking card" from the Lehigh County Prison (LCP) dated September 17, 2010, Williams was credited with serving the following time: October 14, 2008, through June 29, 2009 (237 days) and October 31, 2009, through September 9, 2010 (313 days) for a total of 550 days from previous commitments. For his guilty plea at CR790-2009, Williams' maximum release date was October 14, 2010. The trial court granted his release and paroled him on June 8, 2009.

On September 9, 2010, at case number CR3970-2004, Williams had two charges against him: the first was making terroristic threats and the second was simple assault. His minimum release date was August 30, 2007, and his maximum release date was August 17, 2009. According to his LCP "ledger card" dated September 9, 2010, his sentence was "balance" and showed two release dates: "05-Sept-2010" and "08-Sep-2010." It also showed a credit of 309 days. Under the remarks were the words "released maxed-court."

On October 31, 2009, Williams was arrested and had two charges filed against him: one for driving under the influence and another for fleeing from police. At case number CR4647-2009, he received a sentence of "3 months 60 days to 6 months 60 days" for both charges followed by 30 months probation. (Williams' Application for Summary Relief, Exhibit C at 3.) His minimum release date was April 1, 2010, and his maximum release date was July 1, 2010. According to Williams' LCP "ledger card" dated August 24, 2010, the remarks stated "released maxed-court." It showed a credit of 241 days.

Apparently, while out on parole, Williams violated the terms of his parole relative to case number CR790-2009 because on September 9, 2010, the trial court issued an order which stated that upon consideration of the petition of the Commonwealth for his parole violation, and after hearing held on that same date at which Williams conceded that he violated the conditions of his parole, his parole was revoked and he was to serve the balance of his sentence in a State Correctional Institution. The order further stated that credit was to be given to him "for all time spent in custody as a result of these criminal charges for which sentence is being imposed. This sentence shall run consecutive to the sentence imposed in Lehigh County case numbers CR-3970-2004; CR-4647-2009." (Exhibit A of Williams' Petition for Review.) Upon Williams' incarceration at SCI Mercer, the Department recalculated his maximum release date as February 14, 2013.

Williams filed a pro se petition for review with this Court in our original jurisdiction alleging that the Department incorrectly calculated his maximum release date as of February 14, 2013, rather than March 8, 2011. He explained that prior to being ordered to serve the balance of his sentence, he had served a total of 550 days, and although the trial court's order stated that he was to serve the balance of his sentence for case number CR790-2009 consecutive to the sentences in case numbers CR3970-2004 and CR4647-2009, that statement was "mere surplusage because the unrelated sentences expired/maxed out on September 5, 2010 and June 29, 2010, respectively." (Williams' Petition for Review at 2.) He claims that with credit for the time served of 550 days applied from case number CR790-2009, the balance of his two-year maximum sentence would be no more than 180 days and, therefore, his maximum expiration date of his sentence should have been March 8, 2011. Williams claims that he has no other adequate remedy at law, and an action for mandamus remains the only viable remedy to get the Department to properly compute his sentence imposed at case number CR790-2009 and to pay the costs of these proceedings, if any.

In response to Williams' petition for review, the Department filed an answer and new matter in which it denied the material allegations and alleged the following under new matter:

15. In accordance with the DC-16E attached hereto As Exhibit "A," Petitioner's sentence structure is:

a. August 24, 2010: CP4647, Count 3: 3 months -- 6 months. CP4647: 60 days consecutive to Count 3.

b. September 8, 2010: CP3970, Counts 1 and 2: 18 days to 2 years less 1 day. These are both county backtime sentences that run concurrent to each other and concurrent to any other sentence. Credit on this sentence is 9/14/2004 and 11/27/2006 to 12/13/2006. The credit was applied to the minimum date and the maximum date. Also, Petitioner received credit for 10/31/2009 to 6/28/2010, but this was applied to the maximum only because the minimum was expired.

c. September 9, 2010: CP790, Count 1: 90 days to 2 years. This is a county backtime sentence running consecutive to any other sentence that Petitioner was serving, which would be aggregated to the CP4647 sentence, with a separate computation aggregating this sentence to CP3970. The credit that was applied to this sentence was 10/14/2008 to 6/8/2009, as well as 6/29/2009 ...

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