Petitioner Maxwell Lee Faulkner has filed a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus, claiming that his sentence violates
his right to be free from double jeopardy. He is currently
incarcerated in the Missoula County Detention Facility. We
amend the caption to include the Missoula County Sheriff.
Section 46-22-20l(1)(c), MCA.
explains that he was adjudicated a delinquent youth and
placed on probation until the age of 25. At that time, he was
given an "adult sentence"-a deferred sentence of
six years. Faulkner argues that he now has been given a
longer term of imprisonment and that his sentence is illegal.
He requests his immediate release or a reduction of his
sentence. Faulkner attaches an incomplete copy of a Fifth
Petition to Revoke in Missoula County District Court Cause
requested a copy of the District Court's case register or
docket. In December 2018, the County Attorney filed a Sixth
Petition to Revoke in Faulkner's underlying proceeding.
The twenty-five page petition and supporting documents
provide Faulkner's history, his prior sentences upon
revocation, and recent violations. The evidentiary hearing
was re-scheduled, and the court has not yet issued an order.
records show that in June 2011, Faulkner admitted that he had
violated the terms of his Extended Jurisdiction sentence and
the conditions of his deferred imposition of sentence for
theft (Count I), criminal mischief (Count II), and criminal
endangerment (Count III). Faulkner's sentence in the
underlying proceeding has been revoked several times. At
first, the sentence was revoked and re-imposed. In 2012, the
Missoula County District Court revoked his previous
sentences. The court sentenced Faulkner to Montana State
Prison for ten years on each count, suspending seven years of
the sentence imposed on Count II and the entirety of the
sentences imposed on Counts I and III. The court ordered
Count I to run consecutively to Count II, and Count III to
run consecutively to Count I. In 2014, the court revoked
Faulkner's previous sentence and imposed a suspended
ten-year prison sentence on Count I, a seven-year term with
two years suspended on Count II, and a suspended ten-year
prison term for Count III. All terms were to run
concurrently. In 2018, Faulkner's sentence was revoked
again. He received new suspended sentences of ten years on
Count I; two years on Count II; and three years on Count III.
All sentences were to run consecutively to each other and to
a sentence from Cascade County.
does not have an illegal sentence because a court's
revocation of a sentence does not violate double jeopardy.
This Court has stated as much before.
[R]evocation of a suspended sentence based upon violations of
probationary conditions and reinstatement of the original
sentence does not violate a person's constitutional
rights against double jeopardy, although a court is limited
to the parameters of the sentence imposed in the initial
sentence and credit must be allowed for time already served
in a detention center.
State v. Dewitt, 2006 MT 302, ¶ 10, 334 Mont.
474, 149 P.3d 549 (internal citations and statutory
references omitted). First, Faulkner's sentence upon
revocation is not based on the six-year term of his initial
deferred imposition of sentence. Section 46-18-203(7)(a),
MCA, specifies the court's options when an offender has
violated the conditions of a deferred sentence. Section
46-18-203(7)(a)(iv) allows the court, "if the sentence
was deferred, [to] impose any sentence that may have been
originally imposed." The maximum penalty for each of
Faulkner's crimes is a ten-year prison term and a fine of
$50, 000, or both. The 2012 sentence on revocation was within
the authority of this statute.
in 2014 and again in 2018, Faulkner was required to serve
only the remaining re-imposed terms after the District Court
found that he violated the terms of his probation. The court
imposed a sentence within its statutory authority.
once the District Court issues an Order on the pending
Petition to Revoke, Faulkner will have another sentence upon
revocation. Section 46-18-203(7)(b)(iii), MCA.
has not demonstrated a prima facie case for habeas corpus
relief. See Miller v. Eleventh Jud. Dist. Ct, 2007
MT 58, ¶ 14, 336 Mont. 207, 154 P.3d 1186. Faulkner is
not entitled either to immediate release or to a sentence
reduction. Moreover, although he retains a right of appeal,
Faulkner cannot seek habeas corpus relief from a sentence
upon revocation. Section 46-22-101(2), MCA, provides in part:
"The relief under this chapter is not available to
attack the legality of an order revoking a suspended or
THEREFORE ORDERED that Faulkner'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 the Honorable John Larson, Fourth Judicial
District Court, Missoula County; to Sheriff T.J. McDermott,
Missoula County Sheriffs Office; to Shirley E. Faust, Clerk
of District Court, Missoula County, under Cause ...