ANTONIO D. TAYLOR, Appellant,
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.
FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
from the Circuit Court for Polk County; Wayne M. Durden,
L. Dimmig, II, Public Defender, and Jean Marie Henne, Special
Assistant Public Defender, Bartow, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Chelsea S.
Alper, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.
Taylor appeals his life sentence as a prison releasee
reoffender for armed burglary of a dwelling. His sentence is
reversed based on this court's opinion in Lewars v.
State, 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1098 (Fla. 2d DCA May 12, 2017),
pending review, No. SC17-1002, 2017 WL 4022360 (Fla.
Sept. 13, 2017). Given the Florida Supreme Court's order
staying the mandate and further proceedings in
Lewars, the mandate in this case is likewise stayed
pending disposition of the Lewars petition. See
State v. Lewars, No. SC17-1002 (Fla. May 30, 2017)
(order staying proceedings).
SILBERMAN and SALARIO, JJ., Concur.
J, Concurs with opinion.
Lewars is the controlling precedent in this
district, I concur in the reversal of Taylor's sentence
and designation as a prison releasee reoffender. Both
Lewars and this case present the issue of
interpreting section 775.082(9)(a)(1), Florida Statutes, part
of the Prison Releasee Reoffender Punishment Act (the Act). I
write to express my agreement that resolution of the issue
rests on a plain language analysis and my concerns with how
this statute has been interpreted in view of that analysis.
like Lewars, has asked this court to interpret the following
language: " 'Prison releasee reoffender' means
any defendant who commits, or attempts to commit [an
enumerated offense] within 3 years after being released from
a state correctional facility operated by the Department of
Corrections or a private vendor . . . ." §
775.082(9)(a)(1). Taylor contends that he does not qualify as
a prison releasee reoffender (PRR) because he was sentenced
to one year and one day in prison on his prior conviction and
was given credit for time served, resulting not in a transfer
to a Department of Corrections (DOC) prison where he might
otherwise have served his prison sentence but in his physical
release from the county jail. At the time Taylor was sentenced,
the First, Fourth, and Fifth Districts had addressed the
issue. See State v. Wright, 180 So.3d 1043 (Fla. 1st
DCA 2015); Taylor v. State, 114 So.3d 355 (Fla. 4th
DCA 2013); Louzon v. State, 78 So.3d 678 (Fla. 5th
DCA 2012). The defendants in Wright and
Louzon were similarly situated to Taylor: they had
each been convicted of a felony, sentenced to a prison term,
committed to the custody of the DOC, and ordered to be
delivered to the DOC, but released from DOC custody by
directive of the DOC and physically released from a county
jail by directive of the DOC because of jail credit
accumulated during the pendency of their respective
cases. Wright, 180 So.3d at 1045-46;
Louzon, 78 So.3d at 680. The defendant in
Taylor had been convicted of a federal crime and
sentenced to a term of imprisonment in a federal correctional
facility but was released from federal custody while housed
at the county jail. Taylor, 114 So.3d at 355-56. In
all three cases, the courts determined that the defendants
qualified as PRRs. Relying on those cases, the trial court in
our case sentenced Taylor as a PRR on the armed burglary of a
dwelling conviction. The legality of his sentence as a PRR is
the only issue Taylor has raised in this appeal.
a defendant qualifies as a PRR under the language of the Act
is a question of statutory interpretation. Lewars,
42 Fla.L.Weekly at D1099. When considering an unambiguous
statute, courts are not permitted to construe the statutory
language "in a way which would extend, modify, or
limit, its express terms or its reasonable and
obvious implications. To do so would be an abrogation of
legislative power." Holly v. Auld, 450 So.2d
217, 219 (Fla. 1984) (quoting Am. Bankers Life Assurance
Co. of Fla. v. Williams, 212 So.2d 777, 778 (Fla. 1st
DCA 1968)). This principle "reflects the
constitutional obligation of the judiciary to respect the
separate powers of the legislature." State v.
Brigham, 694 So.2d 793, 797 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997).
a term is undefined by statute, '[o]ne of the most
fundamental tenets of statutory construction' requires
that we give a statutory term 'its plain and ordinary
meaning.' " Rollins v. Pizzarelli, 761
So.2d 294, 298 (Fla. 2000) (alteration in original) (quoting
Green v. State, 604 So.2d 471, 473 (Fla. 1992)).
However, "in considering the meaning of particular words
and phrases, courts must also distinguish between terms of
art that may have specialized meanings and other words that
are ordinarily given a dictionary definition."
OB/GYN Specialists of Palm Beaches, P.A. v. Mejia,
134 So.3d 1084, 1088 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014); see also Crews
v. Fla. Pub. Emp'rs Council 79, AFSCME, 113 So.3d
1063, 1069 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013) ("[C]ourts should give
words in a statute their ordinary and everyday meaning unless
the context reveals that a technical meaning applies."
(citing State v. Brown, 412 So.2d 426, 428 (Fla. 4th
DCA 1982))). Here, related statutory provisions define the
relevant terms. See, e.g., Hopkins v.
State, 105 So.3d 470, 472-73 (Fla. 2012) (applying
definitions from chapter 985 when interpreting section
784.082, Florida Statutes (2007), to determine whether a
"detention facility" as used in section 784.082
included juvenile detention centers).
requires that a defendant previously have been "released
from a state correctional facility operated by the
[DOC]." § 775.082(9)(a)(1). Thus, the phrase
"state correctional facility" is of primary
importance to the question presented by this case and by
Lewars. And although Lewars focuses on the
definition of "facility, " the statute is specific
to a "state correctional facility, " making the
entire phrase the plain language which we must apply.
"State correctional facility" is a term of art not
defined within the Act; however, the definitions section of
the State Correctional System chapter defines "state
correctional institution" as "any prison,
road camp, prison industry, prison forestry camp, or any
prison camp or prison farm or other correctional
facility, temporary or permanent, in which
prisoners are housed, worked, or maintained,
under the custody and jurisdiction of the
[DOC]." § 944.02(8), Fla. Stat. (2016) (emphasis
added). "State prison" is defined by section
944.08(1) "as a place of confinement or punishment for a
crime" to "be construed to mean and refer to the
custody of the Department of Corrections within the
state correctional system." (Emphasis added.) A state
correctional facility, as used in the Act, would then be a
state correctional institution under the applicable
definition; the words are interchangeable for definitional
purposes here. See also § 775.082(9)(a)(2)
(including releasees from "correctional institution[s]
of . . . the United States" and further establishing
that facility and institution are interchangeable for
definitional purposes); § 944.09(1)(e) ("The [DOC]
has authority to adopt rules . . . relating to . . . the
operation and management of the correctional institution
or facility and its personnel and functions."
(emphasis added)). Thus, in pertinent part, a "state
correctional facility operated by the [DOC]" means a
prison or "other correctional facility" in which
"prisoners are housed . . . under the custody and
jurisdiction of the department." See
§§ 775.082(9)(a)(1), 944.02(8).
turn, "prisoner" is defined to include "any
person committed to or detained in any municipal or
county jail or state prison, prison farm, or
penitentiary, or to the custody of the [DOC]
pursuant to lawful authority." § 944.02(6)
(emphasis added); see also § 944.17(1)
("Each prisoner sentenced to the state penitentiary
shall be committed by the court to the custody of the
[DOC]."); § 945.42(7), Fla. Stat. (2016) ("
'Inmate' means any person committed to the custody of
the [DOC]"). Thus, it is a person's status of being
under the jurisdiction and custody of the DOC that defines
prisoner. "State correctional facility" must then
include both prison buildings as well as other correctional
facilities housing prisoners under the custody and control of
the DOC. Cf. Garner v. State, 839 So.2d 924, 925-26
(Fla. 4th DCA 2003) (concluding that legislative intent and
statutory terms did not equate Jimmy Ryce facilities with
correctional facilities for purposes of PRR