Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri The Honorable
Daniel R. Green, Judge
Edward R. Ardini, Jr., Presiding Judge, Alok Ahuja, Judge and
Gary D. Witt, Judge
D. WITT, JUDGE
Mosby ("Mosby") appeals from the judgment of the
Cole County Circuit Court granting Director
Precythe's Motion to Dismiss, dismissing Mosby's
Petition for Declaratory Judgment under section
558.031 requesting jail-time credit. Mosby was
convicted of three offenses and is in the Missouri Department
of Corrections ("MDOC") serving three consecutive
sentences. Mosby argues that the trial court erred in
granting the MDOC's motion to dismiss because his time
served between July 23, 2015 and July 14, 2016 was
"related to" time that he is currently serving in
custody, and therefore, he should receive credit. We affirm.
and Procedural History
is in the MDOC serving three separate sentences. In case one,
Mosby was convicted of possession of a controlled substance
for which the court sentenced him on September 27, 2013 to
serve seven years in the MDOC ("Case One"). The
court granted him 350 days of jail time credit. In case two,
Mosby was convicted of distribution of a controlled substance
for which the court sentenced him to a consecutive term of
thirteen years in the MDOC ("Case Two"). On this
case he was originally given a suspended execution of the
sentence and placed on probation after serving 120 days in a
MDOC treatment program. That probation was later revoked and
his sentence was imposed. He was given 143 days of jail time
credit against this sentence. In case three, Mosby was
convicted of possession of a controlled substance for which
he received a consecutive sentence of three years in the MDOC
("Case Three"). Mosby has a total of twenty-three
years to serve in MDOC for these three cases.
filed a petition for Declaratory Judgment on March 8, 2018
under section 558.031 requesting credit for jail time served.
Mosby alleged that he should receive credit for the time he
spent in the county jail between his July 23, 2015, date of
arrest, and July 14, 2016, the date he was received by the
MDOC to serve the Case Three sentence. Mosby alleged that the
offense in Case Three occurred on July 23, 2015, and he was
arrested that day. Mosby alleged that he remained on parole
for Case One for this period. Mosby also acknowledges that
this period was included in the jail time credit he received
for his Case One sentence.
MDOC filed a Motion to Dismiss on July 6, 2018. The trial
court entered judgment granting the MDOC's Motion to
Dismiss on August 27, 2018.
review the grant of a motion to dismiss de novo and
will affirm the dismissal on any meritorious ground stated in
the motion." Gerke v. City of Kan. City, 493
S.W.3d 433, 436 (Mo. App. W.D. 2016) (citing Vogt v.
Emmons, 158 S.W.3d 243, 247 (Mo. App. E.D. 2005)).
"If the petition sets forth any set of facts that, if
proven, would entitle the plaintiffs to relief, then the
petition states a claim.'" Lynch v. Lynch,
360 S.W.3d 834, 836 (Mo. banc 2008).
raises one point on appeal. In his sole point on appeal Mosby
argues that the trial court erred in granting the MDOC's
Motion to Dismiss because he should have received jail-time
credit for the period between July 23, 2015, and July 14,
2016, against his Case Three sentence.
we note that the procedural basis upon which the trial court
rested its judgment, dismissal of the petition for failure to
state a claim upon which relief could be granted, was
improper. "The sufficiency of the petition for
declaratory judgment is based upon 'whether the petition
entitles the plaintiff to a declaration of rights or status
on facts pleaded.'" Russell v. Healthmont of
Mo., LLC, 348 S.W.3d 784, 786 (Mo. App. W.D. 2011)
(State ex rel. Chastain v. City of Kansas City, 289
S.W.3d 759, 763 (Mo. App. W.D. 2009)). "In deciding
whether to dismiss a petition for declaratory judgment for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,
the trial court is not to address the merits of the
claim." Leuchtmann v. Missouri Dep't of
Corrections, 86 S.W.3d 475, 478 (Mo. App. W.D. 2002).
Mosby's petition clearly stated a claim for declaratory
relief. His petition called for declaration of whether or not
he was entitled to jail-time credit for the period between
July 23, 2015, and July 14, 2016, against his Case Three
Sentence. By engaging in the determination of the merits, the
trial court implicitly acknowledged that Mosby had stated a
claim for declaratory relief. Russell, 348 S.W.3d at
786; State ex rel. American Eagle Waste Indus. v. St.
Louis Cnty., 272 S.W.3d 336, 340 (Mo. App. E.D. 2008).
on the judgment, the trial court in fact entered judgment on
the pleadings in favor of MDOC rather than finding that Mosby
failed to state a claim for relief. In the interest of
judicial economy, we will consider whether the trial court