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State v. Crawford
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MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT				                                    Reporter of Decisions
Decision:	2002 ME 113
Docket:	   Pen-01-579
on Briefs:	April 18, 2002
Decided:	July 22, 2002

             LEVY, JJ.

                                                                   STATE OF MAINE


                                                             KENNETH CRAWFORD


	[¶1]  Kenneth Crawford appeals from the order of the Superior Court
(Penobscot County, Mills, C.J.) denying Crawford's motion to enforce credit for
time served.  Crawford contends that he is entitled to credit for time served
between the date he was arrested and the date of sentencing.  Because we conclude
that the Superior Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the complaint, we vacate
the judgment and remand for the entry of a dismissal. 

                                         I.  BACKGROUND

	[¶2]  On June 5, 2000, Crawford was indicted for arson, 17-A M.R.S.A.
§ 802(1)(B)(1) (1983 & Supp. 2001).  He was arraigned and released on bail.  On
July 12, Crawford was arrested and later indicted on charges of assault, aggravated
assault, and violating a bail condition.  His bail on the arson charge was revoked
after a hearing on July 14.  On the assault charge, Crawford was held on bail. 

	[¶3]  A jury found Crawford guilty of arson on September 21, and the court
continued the matter for sentencing.  On March 7, 2001, a bench trial was held
and Crawford was found guilty of assault and of violating a condition of release. 
Crawford was immediately sentenced to eleven months at the Penobscot County
Jail on the assault charge and to a concurrent six-month sentence for violating a
condition of release.  Crawford received credit for 238 days of presentence

	[¶4]  Crawford was later sentenced on the arson conviction to eight years
and six months at the Department of Corrections with all but sixteen months
suspended, and to six years of probation.  The sentence was to be served
consecutively to the sentences for assault and violation of a condition of release. 
Crawford subsequently filed a motion to enforce credit for time served, seeking
duplicate credit for the time he spent in prison between July 12, 2000, and
March 7, 2001, on the arson charge or, in the alternative, seeking to have the
choice of applying the credit to the later imposed sentence.  The Superior Court
denied the motion and Crawford filed a notice of appeal pursuant to 15 M.R.S.A.
§ 2115 (Supp. 2001) and M.R. App. P. 2.

                                                       II.  DISCUSSION

	[¶5]  Both parties agree that the proper procedure for challenging a
presentence detention credit is through a post-conviction action pursuant to
15 M.R.S.A. §§ 2121-2132 (Supp. 2001).  See State v. Philippo, 654 A.2d 432,
433 (Me. 1995); State v. Brooks, 589 A.2d 444, 446-47 (Me. 1991).  Nonetheless,
Crawford filed a motion for enforcement of credit for time served rather than
initiating a post-conviction proceeding, arguing that a post-conviction proceeding
would have been impractical because he would have been forced to hurriedly
evaluate all potential grounds for challenging the conviction,{1} waive any challenge
to the underlying judgment, or wait to challenge the presentence detention credit
until he was ready to challenge the criminal judgment.

	[¶6]  In the interest of judicial economy, we previously have addressed the
merits of motions challenging the calculation of presentence detention credit even
though the proper procedures were not followed.  Philippo, 654 A.2d at 433
(defendant was pro se); Brooks, 589 A.2d at 447-48 (indicating that "the record
would not likely be enhanced by a post-conviction hearing").  In Philippo,
however, we emphasized that courts should not entertain a motion for presentence
detention credit unless it is presented as part of a post-conviction proceeding. 
Unless an informal correction can be made, "the court should dismiss the motion
without a hearing as beyond the scope of M.R. Crim. P. 35.  Formal proceedings
to challenge the computation of presentence detention credits must be initiated by
a post-conviction action pursuant to 15 M.R.S.A. §§ 2121-2132."  Philippo, 654
A.2d at 433 (emphasis added).  Indeed, the purpose of the statute authorizing
post-conviction review is to provide "a comprehensive and, except for direct
appeals from a criminal judgment, the exclusive method of review of those
criminal judgments and of post-sentencing proceedings occurring during the
course of sentences."  15 M.R.S.A. § 2122.  

	[¶7]  Adhering to the unambiguous statutory language and to our previous
rulings that a post-conviction review action is the proper vehicle for challenging
the award of presentence detention credit, we will no longer address the merits of
motions to enforce presentence detention credit brought outside the post-
conviction review proceedings authorized by 15 M.R.S.A. §§ 2121-2132.  We,
therefore, do not reach the merits of Crawford's argument.

	The entry is:

Judgment vacated. Case remanded to Superior
Court to dismiss Crawford's motion to enforce
credit for time served.


Attorneys for State:

R. Christopher Almy, District Attorney 
C. Daniel Wood, Asst. Dist. Atty.
97 Hammond Street
Bangor, ME 04401

Attorney for defendant:

Jeffrey M. Silverstein, Esq.
Billings & Silverstein
P O Box 1445
Bangor, ME 04402-1445

FOOTNOTES******************************** {1} . All grounds for relief must be brought in a single post-conviction proceeding. 15 M.R.S.A. § 2128(3).