Petition for Writ of Mandamus Challenging Forfeiture of Gain Time

In Schmidt v. Crusoe, 878 So. 2d 361 (Fla. 2003), the Court considered whether an inmate's petition for writ of mandamus challenging forfeiture of gain time is essentially a collateral criminal proceeding or whether it is a civil proceeding subject to the payment and lien provisions of the Prisoner Indigency Statute. The court concluded that a gain time challenge was analogous to a collateral criminal proceeding for the purposes of section 57.085(10) and was therefore exempt from the fee and lien provisions of section 57.085. In so holding, the Court recognized that section 57.085 was enacted as part of a Legislative effort intended to reduce unnecessary or frivolous prisoner filings. Id. at 363; See also Geffken v. Strickler, 778 So. 2d 975, 977 (Fla. 2001) ("The legislative history of these amendments makes clear that the intent of all the amendments was to reduce the filing of frivolous lawsuits and reduce the amount of funds unnecessarily expended on such lawsuits in the courts."). Because gain time challenges, if successful, affect the amount of time a prisoner must spend in prison, the court concluded in Schmidt that such challenges were analogous to collateral criminal proceedings.