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Sandknop v. Goldman

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Writ Seventh Division

December 9, 2014

CHRISTOPHER SANDKNOP, Relator,
v.
HONORABLE STEVEN H. GOLDMAN, CIRCUIT COURT OF ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI and DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondents

Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County. Honorable Steven H. Goldman.

FOR RELATOR: Samuel Buffaloe, Columbia, Missouri.

FOR RESPONDENT: Stephen D. Hawke, Assistant Attorney General, Jefferson City, Missouri.

Philip M. Hess, Presiding Judge. Patricia L. Cohen, J., and Lisa S. Van Amburg, J., concur.

OPINION

Philip M. Hess, Presiding Judge

Page 500

Introduction

Christopher Sandknop (Relator) filed a petition seeking a writ of mandamus compelling the Honorable Steven Goldman (Respondent) to immediately release Relator on probation pursuant to § 217.362 RSMo Supp. 2004. Because § 217.362 requires a circuit court, upon a chronic offender's successful completion of a long-term treatment program, to either immediately release the offender on probation or alternatively execute the offender's sentence, and Respondent did neither in his Amended Order, we make the Preliminary Order in Mandamus permanent and we reverse Respondent's Amended Order and remand with directions for Respondent to comply with the requirements of § 217.362.

Factual Background

In July 2013, Relator pleaded guilty as a chronic offender to one count of driving while intoxicated. On the same day, the circuit court entered its Judgment and Sentence, which found beyond a reasonable doubt tat Defendant is a chronic offender under § 577.023 RSMo Supp. 2013 and sentenced Defendant to 10 years' imprisonment in the Department of Corrections (DOC). The Judgment and Sentence ordered that the 10-year sentence be

Page 501

served pursuant to § 217.362, which allows for a sentence of long-term treatment for chronic nonviolent offenders with serious substance abuse addictions, and concurrent with sentences in four other cases, also to run concurrent with the period of long-term treatment.

On May 1, 2014, Defendant successfully completed treatment pursuant to § 217.362. Defendant was not released on probation at that time, nor was his sentence executed. Instead, Defendant remained in the custody of the DOC. Several months later, in July 2014, the circuit court, on its own motion, entered an " Amended Order of Probation Pursuant to Section 559.115 RSMO." The Amended Order provided:

[I]t is hereby ordered, adjudged and decreed that the remainder of the sentence imposed upon the defendant by this Court be suspended and the defendant be place[d] on probation for a period of five (5) year(s) under the supervision of the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole under conditions of probation as set by the Board and this Court, and that the defendant be released from the Department of Corrections to begin ...

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