Representing herself, Sawntae Monique Hoffman petitions this
Court for habeas corpus relief, arguing that the Department
of Corrections (DOC) has calculated her sentence incorrectly
thereby illegally extending her parole eligibility and
discharge dates. Hoffman includes copies of final judgments
from the Thirteenth Judicial District Court, Yellowstone
County. She did not include a copy of any sentence
explains her criminal history, and we supplement it with
available electronic records. She pleaded guilty to felony
deceptive practices (common scheme) on February 13, 2014. The
District Court imposed a six-year suspended sentence to the
DOC and gave her credit for pre-trial detention from November
13, 2013 through January 27, 2014. The court also ordered
Hoffman to enroll in and complete successfully the
District's Drug Court. The court noted that if her
suspended sentence were revoked, then the maximum sentence
would be five years and two hundred eighty-six days, allowing
for her credit of pretrial detention.
states that this sentence was revoked. On April 17, 2017, the
District Court found that Hoffman had violated the terms and
conditions of her suspended sentence. The court imposed a
commitment to the DOC for five years and two hundred
eighty-six days with two years suspended (2017 sentence upon
revocation). The court awarded her credit for pretrial
detention from March 19, 2017 through April 17, 2017. Hoffman
further states that she re-offended in 2018. On October 4,
2018, Hoffman pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession of
dangerous drugs and received a three-year DOC sentence (2018
DOC sentence). On that same day, she entered a plea of guilty
to felony robbery and received a five-year DOC commitment
with two years suspended to run concurrently with her 2018
raises three issues in her petition. She first questions why
she was not given credit for the sixteen months of successful
completion of Drug Court in June 2015. She contends that the
DOC's sentence calculation sheet does not match her
calculations or how she understood her sentences in the three
criminal cases. She believes that all sentences were to run
concurrently. Lastly, she knew she would have her first
parole appearance before the Board of Pardons and Parole
after 120 days of clear conduct, but she claims a mistake
with the date of her appearance. She states that it should
have been November 2018 and not January 2019.
answers to many of Hoffman's questions are found in the
judgment for her 2017 sentence upon revocation. In its Order
of Revocation and Imposition of Sentence, the District Court
specifically denied credit for street time, the time she
spent on probation while attending Drug Court. The court
THE COURT FINDS the Defendant is not entitled to receive
credit for elapsed time while not incarcerated pursuant to
§ 46-18-203 (7)(b), MCA. Denial of credit for elapsed
time is based on Defendant's failure to comply with the
terms and conditions of the sentence while under supervision.
of Revocation and Imposition of Sentence, at 1 (Mont.
Thirteenth Judicial Dist. Ct. Apr. 20, 2017) (emphasis in
original). The court gave its reasons for why Hoffman is not
. entitled to this credit for sixteen months in Drug Court.
Section 46-18-203(7)(b), MCA.
2017 sentence upon revocation is the controlling sentence and
does not run concurrent to any other sentences.
'"Controlling sentence' means the sentence(s)
that, based on a district court judgment, requires the
longest period of time served to parole eligibility."
Admin. R. M. 20.25.202(3) (2016). The District Court in
Hoffman's original sentence and the 2017 sentence upon
revocation did not specifically whether the sentences would
run concurrently to or consecutive with other sentences. In
2014, Hoffman had only one sentence. However, by 2018, she
had three sentences, and only two were ordered to run
concurrently. Pursuant to § 46-18-401(1), MCA,
"[s]eparate sentences for two or more offenses must run
consecutively unless the court otherwise orders." Here,
the District Court did not specify the running of the 2017
sentence upon revocation; therefore, this sentence runs
consecutively to her other sentences. Any custodial time for
the 2017 sentence upon revocation must be completed prior to
being eligible for a parole appearance. This additional time
would explain the delay for her initial appearance before the
writ of habeas corpus allows inquiry "into the cause of
imprisonment or restraint and, if illegal, [delivery] from
the imprisonment or restraint." Section 46-22-101(1),
MCA. Hoffman, based upon the information presented, has
failed to meet her burden of persuading the Court that the
DOC illegally extended her parole eligibility or discharge
dates. Miller v. Eleventh Judicial Dist. Ct, 2007 MT
58, ¶ 14, 336 Mont. 207, 154 P.3d 1186. She is not
entitled to another sentence calculation by the DOC, nor is
she incarcerated unlawfully.
THEREFORE ORDERED that Hoffman's Petition for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus is DENIED.
Clerk of the Supreme Court is directed to provide a copy of
this Order to counsel of record and to ...