Is Rule 3.850 a Procedural Vehicle for Collateral Remedy Otherwise Available by Writ of Habeas Corpus ?
In State v. Bolyea, 520 So. 2d 562 (Fla. 1988), the Court addressed the issue of "whether court-ordered probation in and of itself constitutes 'custody under sentence' for purposes of Rule 3.850." Id. at 562.
In that case, the defendant had completed a jail term that was a condition of probation and filed a rule 3.850 motion while still on probation yet free of incarceration. See id.
The State moved to strike the defendant's motion since he was no longer "in custody." Id. at 562-63.
The trial court granted the State's motion but the district court reversed.
On review here, this Court held that a defendant on probation has standing to file a rule 3.850 motion. See id. at 563.
The Court explained that:
We note initially that the state concedes that respondent is entitled to seek habeas relief under Ex parte Bosso, 41 So. 2d 322 (Fla. 1949).
Because Rule 3.850 is a procedural vehicle for the collateral remedy otherwise available by writ of habeas corpus, we find that respondent plainly has standing to seek the relief requested.
As the court stated in Roy v. Wainwright, 151 So. 2d 825, 828 (Fla. 1963),the rule is intended to provide a complete and efficacious post-conviction remedy to correct convictions on any grounds which subject them to collateral attack.
Indeed, the rule was designed to simplify the process of collateral review and prescribe both a fact-finding function in the lower courts and a uniform method of appellate review, State v. Wooden, 246 So. 2d 755, 756 (Fla. 1971), not to modify the remedy available at common law. Id.
The Court also expressly found nothing in the relevant Florida authorities to support the State's claim that a probationer was barred from relying on rule 3.850 and noted that federal courts agreed that a probationer was entitled to seek relief under the federal counterpart to rule 3.850. See id.
The Court also explained that the inclusion of probationers under rule 3.850 was in line with Florida's policy that "habeas relief shall freely be grantable of right to those unlawfully deprived of their liberty in any degree." 520 So. 2d at 564 (emphasis added); see art. I, 13, Fla. Const.