RICHARD F. STOKES, Judge.
RE: Millard E. Price v. Robert Coupe, C.A. No.: S17M-01-001 RFS.
Before the Court is Respondent Robert Coupe, Commissioner Department of Correction's ("Respondent") Motion to Dismiss. This Motion seeks to Dismiss Petitioner Millard E. Price's ("Petitioner") application for a writ of mandamus to be issued to the Department of Correction ("DOC") regarding his meritorious credit time. Before the Court is also Petitioner's Motion for Discovery and Inspection. Respondent's Motion to Dismiss is
Petitioner alleges that DOC has failed to grant all of the meritorious credit time he is due. Therefore, Petitioner filed an application for a writ of mandamus to order DOC to correct this error and adjust his release date accordingly. He alleges he worked at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center ("JTVCC") from June 2008 to March 2010 while he was on pretrial detention; a period of 21 months. 11 Del. C. § 4381(d) allows for an award of up to five days of credit time per month for time worked.
After reviewing the Petitioner's application for a writ of mandamus, this Court, hoping for an early and easy resolution of the meritorious credit time issue, sent Respondent a letter requiring DOC to submit an affidavit from the appropriate person addressing whether Petitioner has received meritorious credit time for work performed from June 2008 to March 2010; if not, why not; and if so, what amount he has received and why.
Linda Martin ("Martin"), an Information Resource Manager of Central Offender Records, filed an affidavit. Therein, she stated:
The affidavit did not provide any support for the calculations.
Respondent now has filed a Motion to Dismiss Petitioner's application for a writ of mandamus. Respondent's Motion states the following:
The Motion also explains that DOC reached out to JTVCC's Business Office to obtain any documentation of Petitioner's work as an inmate. The Business Office supplied his inmate statements, which showed when Petitioner had worked. According to DOC, "Central Offender Records then posted those credits earned, August 2008 through February 2010 based on the information supplied to JTVCC."
In total, according to Respondent's Motion, Petitioner has been awarded 402 days of meritorious credit time, which Respondent believes is the maximum that is statutorily permitted. In sum, Respondent argues that it has taken the necessary action to ensure Petitioner has been awarded all due meritorious credit time. Further, Respondent takes issue with Petitioner's failure to submit any documentation to support his contention.
In response to the Motion to Dismiss, Petitioner submitted an affidavit. The affidavit stated that Petitioner possessed account statements provided by the JTVCC Business Office for June 2008 to January 2011. These statements show 1099 payments for employment during the said timeframe, which demonstrate a 21 month period of continued employment. Further, the affidavit stated that in December 2016 Counselor Kemp, a counselor at the prison, discussed with Petitioner that DOC records were not showing meritorious credit time that had been awarded from June 2008 to February 2010. Rather, the earliest credits shown were given in March 2010. Finally, Petitioner asserted in his affidavit that he was a hostage in the recent hostage episode at JTVCC, and that, due to his involvement in the incident, his paperwork supporting his contentions has been destroyed. Thus, Petitioner argues that the only way to verify his employment and meritorious credit time is through DOC records.
Additionally, Petitioner filed a Motion for Discovery and Inspection. He seeks:
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Here, the Motion to Dismiss must be treated as a motion for summary judgment. The Court in Mell v. New Castle County explained:
The Court may grant summary judgment if "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law."
First, it is important to note that case law establishes Petitioner's right to the meritorious credit time he is due. In Owens v. State the Superior Court explained:
In accordance with Owens, Respondent must award Petitioner all meritorious credit time he is due. Therefore, information regarding the time that Petitioner has worked while in custody must be produced. This has not yet been done. The Court holds that it is desirable to inquire more thoroughly into the facts in order to clarify the application of the law to the facts.
From a previous case, the Court is aware that DOC possesses detailed information on inmates' credit time from August 2006 to the present and a report, called a DACS Report, can be generated reflecting this information.
The Court now requests that Petitioner's full DACS Report be provided. The DACS Report must reflect the dates on which Petitioner earned meritorious credits, the amounts of and bases for the credits earned on those dates, the amount of credits eligible for deduction from Petitioner's release date, and Petitioner's adjusted release date.
Moreover, Petitioner has cast doubt upon whether DOC possesses sufficient information on Petitioner's work history. Petitioner has alleged under oath that Counselor Kemp informed him that DACS previously failed to incorporate information on Petitioner's work while he was at pretrial detention. If Counselor Kemp is still working at JTVCC, DOC is required to consult with this person to obtain pertinent information.
Finally, Respondent is in possession of all documents that could provide the information necessary to resolve this matter; therefore, DOC must produce to Petitioner all documents pertaining to Petitioner's work history.
Considering the foregoing, Respondent's Motion to Dismiss is