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State v. Callahan

Court of Appeals of Maryland

January 23, 2015

STATE OF MARYLAND
v.
CHARLES WILLIAM CALLAHAN

Argued December 5, 2014,

Certiorari to the Court of Special Appeals (Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. Case No. 02-K-95-000205), Laura S. Kiessling JUDGE.

ARGUED BY Mary Ann Ince, Assistant Attorney General (Douglas F. Gansler, Attorney General of Maryland of Baltimore, MD) on brief FOR PETITIONER/CROSS-RESPONDENT.

ARGUED BY Rachel Simmonsen, Assistant Public Defender (Paul B. DeWolfe, Public Defender of Maryland of Baltimore. MD) on brief FOR RESPONDENT/CROSS-PETITIONER.

ARGUED BEFORE: Barbera, C.J., Harrell, Battaglia, Greene, Adkins, McDonald, Watts, JJ.

OPINION

Page 1144

[441 Md. 223] Watts, J.

We decide: (I) whether a probation agent's instruction to comply with a condition of mandatory supervision creates a condition of probation that is outside the ambit of the standard condition of probation to obey the probation agent's lawful instructions; and (II) whether such an instruction is inconsistent with the separation of powers doctrine.

We hold that: (I) a probation agent's instruction to comply with a condition of mandatory supervision does not create a condition of probation that is outside the ambit of the standard condition of probation to obey the probation agent's lawful instructions; and (II) such an instruction is not inconsistent with the separation of powers doctrine.

Page 1145

BACKGROUND

The State, Petitioner/Cross-Respondent, charged Charles William Callahan (" Callahan" ), Respondent/Cross-Petitioner, with first-degree rape and other crimes that arose out of the abduction of a three-year-old child. On August 7, 1995, Callahan pled guilty to kidnapping and third-degree sexual offense. On September 11, 1995, the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County (" the circuit court" ) sentenced Callahan to twenty-five years' imprisonment, with all but twenty years suspended, for kidnapping, and ten years' imprisonment concurrent for third-degree sexual offense, followed by five years of probation. On that date, Callahan signed an order of probation, in which he [441 Md. 224] agreed to, among other conditions: " 1. Report to [his] Probation Agent as directed and follow his/her lawful instructions[.]" [1]

On or about March 4, 2009, Callahan was released from imprisonment early under mandatory supervision.[2] On March 4, 2009, Callahan signed a " Mandatory Supervision Release Certificate," in which he agreed to, among other " special conditions" : " Comply as directed by [his] parole/probation agent with the Division of Parole and Probation's sexual offender management program, which may include . . . polygraph testing[.]"

On or about July 1, 2011, Agent Marsha Briley-Mays (" Agent Briley-Mays" ) of the State's Division of Parole and Probation in its Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services became both Callahan's probation agent and his mandatory supervision agent. On August 2, 2011, Agent Briley-Mays gave Callahan a letter that stated: " [Y]ou are scheduled for a polygraph examination on August 8, 2011 at 10 a[.]m. . . . . Please adjust your schedule to ensure your presence . . . . Failure to report may result in a Violation of Probation[.]" (Emphasis omitted). Callahan failed to report for the polygraph examination.[3]

Agent Briley-Mays requested a warrant and prepared a " Statement of Charges" in which she stated that Callahan violated the condition of probation: " 1. Report to your Probation Agent as directed and follow his/her lawful instructions." [441 Md. 225] On October 24, 2011, the circuit court conducted a hearing at which Agent Briley-Mays testified. The circuit court determined that Callahan violated the order of probation by violating the condition of probation: " 1. Report to your Probation Agent as directed and follow his/her lawful instructions." On December 5, 2011, the circuit court ordered that Callahan serve the balance of his sentence.

Callahan applied for leave to appeal, and the Court of Special Appeals granted the application and reversed, holding that the circuit court erred in determining that Callahan violated the order of probation. See Callahan v. State,215 Md.App. 146, 160, 79 A.3d 967, 976 (2013). Specifically, the Court of Special Appeals concluded that Agent Briley-Mays's instruction to ...


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