Does a Court Possess Jurisdiction to Grant Motion for Enlargement of Time on a Timely Filed 3.800 Motion ?
In Timmer v. State, 840 So. 2d 1160, 1161 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003), the defendant filed a motion to modify his sentence in advance of the expiration of the sixty-day window.
However, he was unable to obtain a hearing on his motion within the sixty days. Id.
The trial court denied the motion for lack of jurisdiction. Id.
After reviewing this Court's opinion in Abreu v. State, 660 So. 2d 703 (Fla. 1995), the Fifth District held this ruling was in error because a trial court possesses jurisdiction to grant a petitioner's motion for enlargement of time or to sua sponte enlarge the time for ruling on a timely filed 3.800 motion.
No formal rule 3.050 motion for enlargement of time needs to be filed in order for a petitioner to be entitled to receive an enlargement of time, where the scheduling of the hearing beyond the 60-day period is beyond the petitioner's control. Id. at 1161-62.
In Wills v. State, 963 So. 2d 356, 356 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007), the defendant timely filed her motion but the "sixty-day time limit contained within the rule elapsed before the trial court could address its merits."
The Fifth District held that the "State properly concede[d] that the trial court should have sua sponte enlarged the time within which to have a hearing on the motion." Id.;
See also Graham v. State, 24 So. 3d 781, 782-83 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009) (holding that a trial court maintains jurisdiction to hear a timely filed motion to mitigate under rule 3.800(c), even when the motion is filed so late that the trial court is not afforded a reasonable opportunity to rule upon the motion within the sixty-day time frame set forth in the rule).