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Ankeney v. Raemisch

Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc

March 16, 2015

Randal Ankeney, Petitioner-Appellee
v.
Rick Raemisch, Executive Director of Colorado Department of Corrections, and Rae Timme, Warden of the Fremont Correctional Facility, Respondents-Appellants

Appeal from the District Court Fremont County District Court Case No. 12CV22. Honorable David M. Thorson, Judge.

SYLLABUS

The Department of Corrections appealed directly to this court from an order of the district court granting Ankeney habeas corpus relief. Complying with a remand order of the court of appeals from an earlier appeal, the district court interpreted various statutory provisions regarding good time and earned time credit to require Ankeney's release from prison, almost three years before the date calculated by the department. Crediting the time during which Ankeney remained unlawfully incarcerated, according to this interpretation, against his subsequent, statutorily mandated period of parole, the district court also found him to have completed his parole term, and it therefore ordered his immediate release from parole supervision.

The supreme court reversed the judgment of the district court. It held that the lower courts erroneously concluded that for inmates convicted of crimes committed after July 1, 1993, good time credits awardable by section 17-22.5-301, C.R.S. (2014), are to be applied against an inmate's mandatory release date rather than merely to determine his parole eligibility; and that a proper application of the statutory deductions from his sentence to which Ankeney is entitled demonstrates that he has not completed service of his required term of parole.

Attorneys for Petitioner-Appellee: Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP, David A. Lane, Danielle C. Jefferis, Denver, Colorado.

Attorneys for Respondents-Appellants: Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, James X. Quinn, First Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado.

OPINION

COATS, JUSTICE.

[¶1] The Department of Corrections appealed directly to this court from an order of the district court granting Ankeney habeas corpus relief. Complying with a remand order of the court of appeals from an earlier appeal, the district court interpreted various

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statutory provisions regarding good time and earned time credit to require Ankeney's release from prison, almost three years before the date calculated by the department. Crediting the time during which Ankeney remained unlawfully incarcerated, according to this interpretation, against his subsequent, statutorily mandated period of parole, the district court also found him to have completed his parole term, and it therefore ordered his immediate release from parole supervision.

[¶2] Because the lower courts erroneously concluded that for inmates convicted of crimes committed after July 1, 1993, good time credits awardable by section 17-22.5-301, C.R.S. (2014), are to be applied against an inmate's mandatory release date rather than merely to determine his parole eligibility; and because a proper application of the statutory deductions from his sentence to which Ankeney is entitled demonstrates that he has not completed service of his required term of parole, the judgment of the district court is reversed.

I.

[¶3] Randal Ankeney was convicted of, among other things, class four felony child abuse, for which he was sentenced on January 4, 2008 to a prison term of eight years plus three years of statutorily mandated parole.[1] Accounting for his presentence confinement, the Department of Corrections set his mandatory release date at October 19, 2015. Although he became eligible for parole according to the department's calculations in 2010, he was denied parole by the State Board of Parole.

[¶4] On January 27, 2012, almost four years before the date upon which the department initially calculated his release from prison to be required, Ankeney filed a pleading in the district court combining a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and a complaint for relief in the nature of mandamus. His pleading sought an order compelling the recalculation of his mandatory release date and, based on that recalculation, his immediate release from the custody of the department. In this pleading Ankeney asserted that he was statutorily entitled to good time and earned time credits beyond the credits allowed by the department and, importantly, that all of the good time and earned time credits to which he claimed entitlement should have been applied not only to determine the date on which he would become eligible to be considered for parole, but also to the calculation of his mandatory release from prison. According to his own calculations, his release from prison to begin ...


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