DANIEL ISRAEL SINGLETON A/K/A DANIEL I. SINGLETON A/K/A DANNY SINGLETON A/K/A DANNY SINGLETON, JR. APPELLANT
SUPERINTENDENT JACQUELYN BANKS, STATE OF MISSISSIPPI AND JACQUELYN BANKS APPELLEES
OF JUDGMENT: 06/28/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. ROBERT P. KREBS JUDGE.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: DANIEL ISRAEL SINGLETON (PRO SE)
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: ANTHONY LOUIS SCHMIDT JR. DARRELL
IRVING, P.J., BARNES AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.
In May 1984, Daniel Singleton was convicted by a Harrison
County Circuit Court jury of attempted armed robbery and
sentenced to thirty-five years in the custody of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). He is currently
incarcerated at the South Mississippi Correctional
Institution (SMCI) in Greene County.
On December 7, 2015, Singleton filed a request through the
MDOC's Administrative Remedy Program (ARP), alleging he
was entitled to 206 days (later amended to 157 days) of
pretrial credit for time served in a Louisiana jail.
Singleton claimed that after he was arrested in Mississippi
for attempted armed robbery, he was transported to Louisiana,
waiving extradition. The MDOC rejected Singleton's
request as untimely, noting the "[i]ncident happened in
1984 and was received in this office on 2/11/2016."
Singleton filed a "petition seeking writ of habeas
corpus" with the Harrison County Circuit Court on March
10, 2016, appealing the denial of his complaint by the
MDOC. See Miss. Code Ann. §
47-5-807 (Rev. 2015) (providing an offender aggrieved by an
adverse ARP decision has thirty days to seek judicial
review). The petition was transferred to Greene County
Circuit Court, the county where Singleton is
incarcerated. The circuit court affirmed the MDOC's
decision on July 5, 2016, finding that Singleton's
grievance was untimely, as he "waited over thirty-two
(32) years before filing[.]"
Although we find the circuit court erred in affirming the
MDOC's decision that Singleton's claim was untimely,
we affirm the court's dismissal of the petition as the
claim is without merit. "It is well[ ]established that
this Court will affirm the action of the trial court when the
right result is reached, even if for an incorrect
reason." Stanley v. Turner, 846 So.2d 279, 282
(¶12) (Miss. Ct. App. 2003).
The record shows that on October 28, 1983, Harrison County
issued an arrest warrant for Singleton for attempted armed
robbery. On November 23, 1983, the Acadia Parish
Sheriff's Department in Louisiana informed the Harrison
County Sheriff's Department that it had Singleton in
custody on a charge of being a convicted felon with a firearm
and he would, therefore, be unable to attend his court date.
Singleton claims that he should be awarded pretrial credit
for the 157 days he spent in jail in Louisiana.
The MDOC determined that Singleton's claim was untimely,
and the circuit court affirmed the decision. MDOC Grievance
Procedures state that an ARP "first step" letter
"will be written to the ARP Director within 30 days of
an alleged event." The ARP Director does have
discretion, however, to waive this requirement "if
circumstances warrant." Were Singleton disputing the
accrual of his trusty time or an MDOC disciplinary action, we
would agree with the MDOC's determination. However,
Singleton's claim addresses the computation of his
sentence, which if meritorious, could result in his being
held in unlawful custody after his sentence has
expired. In the similar context of a
post-conviction-relief case, a movant's claim
"[t]hat his sentence has expired; his probation, parole
or conditional release [was] unlawfully revoked; or he is
otherwise unlawfully held in custody" is an exception to
the procedural time-bar. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-39-5(1)(h)
(Rev. 2015). There is no reason why Singleton's claim
should be summarily dismissed as time-barred, particularly
when the MDOC's procedural thirty-day requirement is
discretionary in nature.
Regardless, we find no merit to Singleton's argument.
Mississippi Code Annotated section 99-19-23 (Rev. 2015)
The number of days spent by a prisoner in incarceration in
any municipal or county jail while awaiting trial on a
criminal charge, or awaiting an appeal to a higher court upon
conviction, shall be applied on any sentence rendered by a
court of law or on any ...