CRIMINAL – Sentence credit, parolee: Hill v. Thompson (COA 10/23/2009)

Hill v. Thompson
2009-CA-000015 10/23/09 2009 WL 3400680
Opinion by Judge Caperton; Judges Clayton and Dixon concurred.

The Court affirmed an order of the circuit court denying appellant’s petitions for declaration of rights under House Bill 406 and the rules of policy and procedure of the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC). The Court first held that a literal interpretation of KRS 439.344, as it pertains to credit toward a criminal sentence for time spent on parole by a parolee, was against the clear intent of the legislature and would yield different, if not conflicting, results. Thus, the trial court properly concluded that appellant was not entitled to credit against his sentence for time spent while on parole when he was returned to prison for absconding from parole supervision and not for a new felony conviction for which he was convicted after he had already returned to prison for the parole violation. The Court next held that the DOC did not abuse its discretion in declining to award good time credit to appellant under KRS 197.045(3), particularly in light of appellant’s successful escape during the time he was being considered for a good time award. Further, the one-year statue of limitations set forth in KRS 413.140 barred appellant’s action for declaration of rights brought 13 years later.

Criminal Law – determining if getting proper psychiatric treatment following guilty plea but mentally ill, mandamus: Breeden v. Commonwealth (COA 7/17/2009)

Breeden v. Commonwealth
2008-CA-000243 07/17/2009 2009 WL 2059424

Opinion by Judge Stumbo; Judges Keller and VanMeter concurred.

The Court affirmed an order of the circuit court denying appellant’s motion for a hearing to determine if he was receiving proper psychiatric treatment in accordance with his plea of guilty but mentally ill. The Court held that while KRS 504.150 required appellant to be provided with necessary psychiatric treatment, his motion for post-conviction relief was not proper. Rather, the appropriate remedy was a complaint for a writ of mandamus to the Department of Corrections to enforce the statute.

Criminal – sex offender registration: Hamilton-Smith v. Commonwealth (COA 4/03/2009)

Hamilton-Smith v. Commonwealth
2007-CA-002110 04/03/2009 2009 WL 874780 Released for publication

Opinion by Judge Clayton; Judges Acree and Keller concurred. The Court affirmed an order of the circuit court requiring appellant to register as a sex offender for a period of twenty years after he pled guilty to one count of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor, in violation of KRS 531.335. The Court held that because appellant committed a criminal offense against a victim who was a minor, which included any offense involving a minor or depiction s of a minor as set forth in KRS Chapter 531, he was required to register pursuant to KRS 17.510.

Corrections – fiscal court responsibility for medical expenses: Hospital of Louisa v. Johnson County Fiscal Court (COA 4/10/2009)

Hospital of Louisa v. Johnson County Fiscal Court

2009 WL 961145
Opinion by Judge Caperton; Judge Thompson concurred; Judge Wine concurred by separate opinion.

The Court affirmed a summary judgment of the circuit court on the appellant hospital’s claim for payment from the county fiscal court for medical treatment given to a prisoner who had been released from jail on bail with the condition that he receive medical treatment and report back to the jail immediately upon completion of treatment. The Court held that because the prisoner was not in custody as defined by KRS 520.010(2), the county was not responsible pursuant to KRS 441.045(3) to pay for the medical treatment.