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State v. Jones

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

November 8, 2017

STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellant,
v.
FRANKLIN JONES, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Matthew I. Destry, Judge; L.T. Case No. 16-9577 CF10A.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Melanie Dale Surber, Senior Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellant.

          Carey Haughwout, Public Defender, and J. Woodson Isom, Assistant Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellee.

          Ciklin, J.

         After an inmate at a correctional facility was disciplined for violating the inmate code of conduct by attacking a corrections officer, the state charged him with battery on a law enforcement officer. The inmate moved to dismiss the information, arguing that the criminal charge was precluded by double jeopardy principles. The trial court granted the motion and the state appeals. Because we find that the Double Jeopardy Clause was never meant to impinge on remedial institutional discipline, we reverse the trial court's order of dismissal.

         In his motion to dismiss, the appellant, Franklin Jones, argued that the prosecution was barred because the Broward Sheriff's Office imposed what amounted to a criminal sanction for his bad behavior. During the hearing, he introduced into evidence the Broward Sheriff's Office Department of Detention and Community Control Inmate Handbook ("the handbook"), which contains a code of conduct for inmates. The code of conduct provides that the commission of specified Category A offenses could result in "thirty . . . days of disciplinary segregation, up to thirty . . . days of room restriction, and/or loss of partial or all earned gain time . . . ." Jones also introduced a "Disciplinary Committee Action Sheet" ("the disciplinary report"), which reflects that Jones was found guilty of assault, fighting, and disruptive conduct, all Category A infractions. The disciplinary report also reflects that Jones received thirty days of "Disciplinary Detention, " but that he did not lose any gain time.

         Jones argued that the potential sanctions provided for in the code of conduct amounted to criminal penalties. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss based on a finding that the potential of revocation of gain time had no purpose other than punishment and was thus a criminal penalty and a violation of double jeopardy.

         The parties do not dispute the facts underlying this purely legal issue. Thus, our review is de novo. Binns v. State, 979 So.2d 439, 441 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008). "The federal and Florida constitutions prohibit being twice placed in jeopardy for the same offense." Hall v. State, 823 So.2d 757, 761 (Fla. 2002), abrogation on other grounds recognized in State v. Johnson, 122 So.3d 856, 862 (Fla. 2013); see also Amend. V, U.S. Const.; Art. I, § 9, Fla. Const. This constitutional protection encompasses "multiple punishments for the same offense." U.S. v. Mayes, 158 F.3d 1215, 1219 (11th Cir. 1998) (citation omitted). "The scope of the Double Jeopardy Clause is the same in both the federal constitution and the Florida Constitution." Hall, 823 So.2d at 761.

         The United States Supreme Court has elaborated on the process of determining whether double jeopardy is implicated by the imposition of both judicial and administrative penalties:

We have long recognized that the Double Jeopardy Clause does not prohibit the imposition of all additional sanctions that could, '"in common parlance, '" be described as punishment. United States ex rel. Marcus v. Hess, 317 U.S. 537, 549, 63 S.Ct. 379, 387, 87 L.Ed. 443 (1943) (quoting Moore v. Illinois, 14 How. 13, 19, 14 L.Ed. 306 (1852)). The Clause protects only against the imposition of multiple criminal punishments for the same offense, Helvering v. Mitchell, 303 U.S. 391, 399, 58 S.Ct. 630, 633, 82 L.Ed. 917 (1938); see also Hess, supra, at 548-549, 63 S.Ct., at 386-387 ("Only" "criminal punishment" "subject[s] the defendant to 'jeopardy' within the constitutional mean-ing"); Breed v. Jones, 421 U.S. 519, 528, 95 S.Ct. 1779, 1785, 44 L.Ed.2d 346 (1975) ("In the constitutional sense, jeopardy describes the risk that is traditionally associated with a criminal prosecution"), and then only when such occurs in successive proceedings, see Missouri v. Hunter, 459 U.S. 359, 366, 103 S.Ct. 673, 678, 74 L.Ed.2d 535 (1983).
Whether a particular punishment is criminal or civil is, at least initially, a matter of statutory construction. Helvering, supra, at 399, 58 S.Ct., at 633. A court must first ask whether the legislature, "in establishing the penalizing mechanism, indicated either expressly or impliedly a preference for one label or the other." Ward, 448 U.S., at 248, 100 S.Ct., at 2641. Even in those cases where the legislature "has indicated an intention to establish a civil penalty, we have inquired further whether the statutory scheme was so punitive either in purpose or effect, " id., at 248-249, 100 S.Ct., at 2641, as to "transfor[m] what was clearly intended as a civil remedy into a criminal penalty, " Rex Trailer Co. v. United States, 350 U.S. 148, 154, 76 S.Ct. 219, 222, 100 L.Ed. 149 (1956).
In making this latter determination, the factors listed in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144, 168-169, 83 S.Ct. 554, 567-568, 9 L.Ed.2d 644 (1963), provide useful guideposts, including: (1) "[w]hether the sanction involves an affirmative disability or restraint"; (2) "whether it has historically been regarded as a punishment"; (3) "whether it comes into play only on a finding of scienter"; (4) "whether its operation will promote the traditional aims of punishment-retribution and deterrence"; (5) "whether the behavior to which it applies is already a crime"; (6) "whether an alternative purpose to which it may rationally be connected is assignable for it"; and (7) "whether it appears excessive in relation to the alternative purpose assigned." It is important to note, however, that "these factors must be considered in relation to the statute on its face, " id., at 169, 83 S.Ct., at 568, and "only the clearest proof" will suffice to override legislative ...

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