STATE OF MISSOURI ex rel. GARY D. SAMPSON, JR., Relator,
THE HONORABLE WILLIAM E. HICKLE, Respondent.
ORIGINAL PROCEEDING IN MANDAMUS
W. Draper III, Judge.
Sampson, Jr. (hereinafter, "Sampson") filed a
petition for a writ of mandamus, requesting his immediate
discharge from probation. Sampson argues the circuit court
erred in overruling his motion to be discharged from
probation and setting the matter for a probation violation
hearing because the circuit court lost
authority by placing him on a third term of
probation. Sampson asserts if his earned compliance credits
(hereinafter, "ECC") were applied properly, he
should have been discharged statutorily from probation and
the circuit court had no authority to conduct another
probation violation hearing because his term of probation had
Court holds the circuit court erred in placing Sampson on a
third term of probation. However, due to the fact Sampson
should have still been serving a valid second probationary
term, it is unclear whether the circuit court had authority
to conduct a probation violation hearing or whether
Sampson's probation expired statutorily. A permanent writ
of mandamus is directed to issue ordering the circuit court
to reinstate Sampson's previous probationary term.
and Procedural Background
November 2012, Sampson pleaded guilty to possession of a
controlled substance. Sampson was granted a suspended
imposition of sentence and placed on a five-year term of
probation was revoked in November 2013. Sampson was sentenced
to a six-year term of imprisonment, but the circuit court
suspended the execution of the sentence and placed Sampson on
a new five-year term of probation.
December 2014, Sampson admitted to violating his probation by
using controlled substances. The circuit court continued
Sampson's term of probation and imposed additional
probation was revoked again in July 2015, and the circuit
court ordered his sentence to be executed. Sampson was placed
into a 120-day institutional treatment program. Pursuant to
section 559.115, RSMo Supp. 2013,  the circuit court retained
jurisdiction for the 120-day period. Following the treatment
program, the circuit court granted Sampson probation,
effective November 2015, for a term of five years.
December 2017, the state filed a motion to revoke
Sampson's probation. Sampson filed a motion to be
discharged from probation in February 2018, claiming the
state's revocation motion was filed after his statutory
discharge date. The circuit court overruled Sampson's
then petitioned this Court for a writ of mandamus or, in the
alternative, prohibition, requesting this Court direct the
circuit court to discharge him from probation or,
alternatively, prohibit the circuit court from holding a
probation violation hearing. This Court issued a preliminary
writ of mandamus.
oral argument in this case, the Board of Probation and Parole
(hereinafter, "the Board") issued a letter to the
circuit court. The Board informed the circuit court that with
the application of ECC, Sampson was discharged statutorily
from probation effective August 1, 2018.
Court has jurisdiction to issue original remedial writs. Mo.
Const. art. V, sec. 4. A writ of mandamus may issue upon
proof of a "clear, unequivocal specific right to a thing
claimed." U.S. Dep't. of Veterans Affairs v.
Boresi, 396 S.W.3d 356, 359 (Mo. banc 2013) (quoting
Furlong Cos v. City of Kansas City, 189 S.W.3d 157,
165-66 (Mo. banc 2000). The denial of a petition for a writ
of mandamus is reviewed for an abuse of discretion.
Boresi, 396 S.W.3d at 359. "When a statutory
right is at issue, a court must analyze the statute or
statutes under which the relator claims the right."
State ex rel. Hodges v. Asel, 460 S.W.3d 926, 927
(Mo. banc 2015). An abuse of discretion occurs when the
circuit court misapplies an applicable statute. State ex
rel. Robison v. Lindley-Myers, 551 S.W.3d 468, 471 (Mo.
primary rule of statutory interpretation is to effectuate the
legislature's intent through reference to the plain and
ordinary meaning of the statutory language. State v.
Ajak, 543 S.W.3d 43, 52 (Mo. banc 2018). "This
Court considers the words used in their plain and ordinary