Attorney(s) appearing for the Case
Harold B. Monroe, in proper person.
Pamela Jo Bondi , Attorney General, for appellee.
Before SUAREZ, C.J., and ROTHENBERG and EMAS, JJ.
Defendant Harold B. Monroe appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to correct illegal sentence, filed pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a). Mr. Monroe asserts that the imposition of a habitual offender sentence was illegal because the trial court improperly relied upon photographic evidence and prison records (rather than fingerprint comparison) in establishing Mr. Monroe had the requisite prior convictions to qualify him for sentencing as a habitual felony offender.1
We affirm the trial court's order because a defendant cannot properly seek such relief under rule 3.800(a) where he fails to affirmatively allege that the predicate prior convictions do not exist as a matter of law. See Bover v. State, 797 So.2d 1246 (Fla.2001); Macaluso v. State, 912 So.2d 694 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005). Absent an affirmative allegation of the non-existence of these prior convictions, a defendant's claim that the State failed to lay a sufficient foundation for admission of these predicate prior convictions is simply an evidentiary issue that could and should have been raised on direct appeal.2 Such a claim is not cognizable in a motion to correct illegal sentence under rule 3.800(a). Rule 3.800(a) "is not a vehicle designed to re-examine whether the procedure employed to impose the punishment comported with statutory law and due process." Bover, 797 So.2d at 1249 (quoting with approval Judge v. State, 596 So.2d 73, 77 (Fla. 2d DCA 1992)(en banc)).