BENJAMIN A. WOODSON, Petitioner,
LYNN GUYER, Respondent.
himself, Benjamin A. Woodson has filed a petition for a writ
of habeas corpus, indicating that he is due more credit for
time served and that the Department of Corrections (DOC)
should recalculate his sentences. The Attorney General's
Office for the State of Montana has filed a response and
explains that Woodson is entitled to more credit.
response, the State puts forth more detail concerning
Woodson's history. On June 7, 2017, Woodson was arrested
for felony assault with a weapon in Park County, Montana, and
later detained at the Park County Detention Center (PCDC).
Woodson was released on his own recognizance after his
initial appearance on July 10, 2017, in the Sixth Judicial
District Court, Park County. Woodson then appeared for a
change of plea hearing on January 16, 2018, and he pleaded
guilty to the amended offense of felony criminal
endangerment. Woodson did not cooperate with the preparation
of his presentence investigation report. The District Court
issued a bench warrant in March, which was served on Woodson
in May. On June 4, 2018, Woodson appeared and was released
again. A week later, on June 11, 2018, the District Court
imposed a four-year suspended sentence to the Montana
Department of Corrections (Park County case). The court awarded
Woodson forty-four days of credit for time served without
designating the corresponding dates.
was arrested eleven days later, on June 22, 2018, and charged
with driving under the influence (DUI) in Broadwater County.
Woodson was detained at the Broadwater County Detention
Center (BCDC) until his initial hearing on July 13, 2018. The
First Judicial District Court, Broadwater County, released
Woodson on his own recognizance on that day. Even though a
report of violation was filed in Woodson's Park County
case on June 25, 2018, a petition to revoke and subsequent
warrant were not filed until July 18, 2018.
23, 2018, Woodson appeared in the Park County District Court
for a bond hearing, and then he appeared on August 7, 2018,
for his revocation hearing in his Park County case. The Park
County District Court revoked Woodson's suspended
sentence after accepting his admissions of violating
probationary conditions. The District Court sentenced him to
the Montana State Prison for a four-year term (Park County
sentence upon revocation). The court did not award any credit
for time served.
August 9, 2018, Woodson was transported from PCDC to BCDC for
his DUI offense in Broadwater County District Court. Woodson
pleaded guilty to felony DUI eight days later. On September
21, 2018, the Broadwater County District Court sentenced him
to the DOC for thirteen months, followed by a three-year
suspended sentence, and the court ran the sentence
concurrently with his Park County sentence upon revocation.
The court awarded credit of sixty-six days without
designating the dates.
contends that he is due an additional ninety-five days of
credit in his Park County case. He has included
correspondence from PCDC and BCDC with the dates of his
arrests and confinement. Woodson's exhibits, while
sparse, reflect more time detained in each County's jail.
State responds that Woodson is entitled to more credit for
time served in his Park County case and for his Park County
sentence upon revocation. The State acknowledges that this
Court will entertain habeas corpus petitions that challenge
the proper amount of credit for time served. See
Sebastian v. Mahoney, 2001 MT 88, ¶ 8, 305 Mont.
158, 25 P.3d 163 ("It is beyond cavil that a person
restrained by the terms of a suspended sentence beyond its
lawful completion date is being unlawfully restrained of his
or her liberty."). Citing to § 46-18-403(1), MCA,
the State provides when and where Woodson was detained during
2017 and 2018.
with BCDC's records, the State calculates that Woodson
was detained for twenty-two days from June 22, 2018, the date
of the offense, until July 13, 2018, the date of his release.
The State provides that Woodson also accrued forty-four days
at BCDC from August 9, 2018 until sentencing on September 21,
2018. Therefore, the State points out that the Broadwater
County District Court correctly gave Woodson sixty-six (22
44) days of credit for time served.
to Woodson's Park County case, the State calculates that
Woodson is entitled to fifty-four, not forty-four, days as
awarded by the Park County District Court. The State
highlights that Woodson was in PCDC from June 7, 2017 to July
10, 2017, or thirty-four days and May 16, 2018 to June 4,
2018, or twenty days. The State also addresses Woodson's
detention for his Park County sentence upon revocation. The
State submits that a bench warrant for Woodson was issued on
July 18, 2018, after the filing of the petition to revoke in
his Park County case. According to PCDC's records, the
State notes that Woodson was detained at PCDC from July 17,
2018 through August 9, 2018, the date of the Park County
sentence upon revocation. The State concludes that Woodson is
entitled to twenty-four days of credit during his pending
the State explains that when Woodson was not detained in
either PCDC or BCDC, he would not receive any credit because
he has not requested credit for street time. The State also
points out that any credit for pre-sentencing detention in
one facility cannot be applied to another case for an offense
that is not directly related. State v. Graves, 2015
MT 262, ¶ 32, 381 Mont. 37, 355 P.3d 769. The State adds
here that when Woodson was detained and received the
corresponding credit, that credit may not cross over to
another pending matter. The State highlights that Woodson has
four days of unaccounted time when he was released on July
13, 2018, on his own recognizance from the Broadwater County
District Court until July 17, 2018, when he was again
detained at PCDC after self-reporting.
State concludes that while Woodson is not entitled to
release, he is entitled to this additional credit for time
served in his Park County case and for his Park County
sentence upon revocation. The State requests that this matter
be remanded to the Sixth Judicial District Court, Park
County, to enter an: (1) Amended Judgment and Order Imposing
Sentence and Determining Conditions in Cause No. DC 17-65,
granting Woodson fifty-four (54) days of credit from June 7,
2017 to July 10, 2017 and May 16, 2018 to June 4, 2018, and
(2) Amended Dispositional Order and Judgment in Cause No. DC
17-65, granting Woodson twenty-four (24) days of credit from
July 17, 2018 to August 9, 2018.
agree with the State. When a portion of a sentence is
illegal, it is better to remand the matter to the District
Court for correction and modification. Section 46-22-101(1),
MCA; State v. Heafner, 2010 MT 87, ¶ 11, 356
Mont. 128, 231 P.3d 1087. Remand is appropriate here to amend
Woodson's corresponding final judgments with the correct
credit for time served in his Park County case and his Park
County sentence upon revocation. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED
that Woodson's Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is
GRANTED in part, and this matter is REMANDED to the Sixth
Judicial District Court, Park County, under Cause No. DC
17-65, to amend Woodson's credit for time served as
Clerk of the Supreme Court is directed to provide a copy of
this Order to the Honorable Brenda R. Gilbert, Sixth Judicial
District Court, Park County; to June Little, Clerk of
District Court, Park County, under Cause No. DC ...