OF JUDGMENT: 04/03/2018
HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT TRIAL
JUDGE: HON. LAWRENCE PAUL BOURGEOIS JR.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: FREDERICK EARL BUCKHALTER (PRO SE)
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
LISA L. BLOUNT
BARNES, C.J., McCARTY AND C. WILSON, JJ.
Frederick Earl Buckhalter filed a motion for post-conviction
relief (PCR) in the Harrison County Circuit Court, First
Judicial District. The circuit court dismissed the motion for
lack of jurisdiction due to Buckhalter's failure to
exhaust all administrative remedies. Upon review, we find the
circuit court had jurisdiction, so we reverse and remand.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On August 2, 2010, Buckhalter pled guilty to unlawful
possession of a firearm by a felon. The circuit court
sentenced Buckhalter to serve five years in the custody of
the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with all
five years suspended, and placed Buckhalter on five
years' post-release supervision (PRS), with two years
reporting and three years non-reporting.
On July 17, 2012, a field officer filed a petition to revoke
Buckhalter's PRS, alleging that Buckhalter had violated
certain PRS terms. The circuit court held a hearing on the
petition but decided not to revoke Buckhalter's PRS.
Instead, the court entered an order "extending"
Buckhalter's PRS for an additional three
A little over a year later, on August 27, 2013, another field
officer filed a second petition to revoke Buckhalter's
PRS, again alleging that Buckhalter had violated certain PRS
terms. The circuit court held a hearing on the second
petition and entered an order revoking Buckhalter's PRS.
In its order, the circuit court reinstated Buckhalter's
original five-year sentence, which had previously been
suspended. The court then suspended the reinstated sentence
with time served as the period of incarceration. The court
also placed Buckhalter back on reporting PRS for the
remainder of the previously ordered five-year term.
On June 29, 2015, while still on reporting PRS, Buckhalter
was arrested for possession of a controlled substance with
intent to transfer or distribute. This arrest resulted in the
filing of a third petition to revoke Buckhalter's PRS. On
November 16, 2015, the circuit court held a hearing on the
third petition. Following the hearing, the court entered an
order revoking Buckhalter's PRS and requiring him to
serve his original five-year sentence incarcerated in
MDOC's custody. Buckhalter received credit for time
served for his original 2010 sentence for unlawful possession
of a firearm by a felon.
On November 4, 2016, Buckhalter filed a PCR motion titled
"Motion for Double Jeopardy." In his motion,
Buckhalter alleged that he had been sentenced twice for the
same offense, i.e., unlawful possession of a firearm by a
felon. On April 3, 2018, the circuit court entered an order
dismissing Buckhalter's "Motion for Double
Jeopardy." In its order, the circuit court stated that
it would treat Buckhalter's motion as a PCR motion but
then stated that it lacked jurisdiction to address the PCR
motion because Buckhalter failed to exhaust all
administrative remedies. According to the circuit court,
Buckhalter had to exhaust all administrative remedies before
filing this motion with the court because he was
"challeng[ing] the calculation of time served by him,
which is a decision or policy of the [MDOC]." In other
words, the circuit court found that ...