Submitted: March 21, 2017
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR A
CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY TO FILE UNDER 11 DEL. C. §
4214(F) AND DEL. SUPER. CT. SPEC. R. 2017-L(D)
Abigail M LeGrow, Judge.
21st day of June, 2017, upon consideration of the Request for
Certification of Eligibility filed on behalf of Charlese A.
Smith,  the Attorney General's response
thereto,  and the record in this matter, it appears
to the Court that:
April 22, 2003, following a two-day trial, a Superior Court
jury convicted Smith of two counts of Burglary Second Degree,
two counts of Forgery Second Degree, and one count of
Theft-Misdemeanor. Smith's sentencing occurred on May 29,
2003, after a pre-sentence investigative report was prepared
and the State had filed a habitual criminal
petition. Smith was sentenced to the minimum
required: a term of natural life imprisonment for the
triggering offense of second degree burglary (IN02-05-0351),
for which the State sought habitual criminal sentencing under
the then-extant Habitual Criminal Act. Smith received
suspended or probated terms for the other burglary count, the
forgeries, and the misdemeanor theft
conviction. The sentencing order notes that
Smith's habitual criminal sentence was effective on
December 31, 2002.
Smith requests a certificate of eligibility to file a
petition seeking exercise of the Court's jurisdiction to
modify the sentence under recently enacted 11 Del.
C. § 4214(f). The Attorney General responded,
joining Smith's request and asking the Court to grant
Smith a certificate of eligibility.
Court may consider such a request "without presentation,
hearing, or argument unless otherwise ordered by the
court." The Court will decide this request on
the papers filed.
Smith meets the type-of-sentence and time-served eligibility
requirements set forth in 11 Del. C. §
4214(f). The Attorney General has not
demonstrated "by specific averment" that
"there is a good faith basis to believe that ... a
petition [by Smith] . . . may not be heard because the felony
establishing [Smith] as a habitual offender is one for which
review is [not now]-permitted as provided for in 11 Del.
C. § 4214(f) and [Del. Super. Ct. Spec. R.
2017-l](d)(l l)." The Attorney General instead has
moved the Court to grant Smith a certificate of
eligibility. It does, however, appear from a review
of the Court's docket that there are current
"petitions filed pursuant to [11 Del. C. §
4214(f)] where the felony establishing an inmate as a
habitual offender was a Title 16 offense, " and those
petitions must be "heard first, " i.e.,
before Smith's, under the applicable statutes and this
FOREGOING REASONS, IT IS ORDERED that Smith's Request for
a Certificate of Eligibility is GRANTED and Smith may file a
petition seeking exercise of this Court's jurisdiction to
modify the sentence under 11 Del. C. § 4214(f)
and Del. Super. Ct. Spec. R. 2017-1(d). Any such petition
SHALL be addressed to the undersigned judge. Upon a
determination that all petitions which must be "heard
first, " have been,  the Court will schedule
further proceedings in this matter. This grant of a
certificate of eligibility to seek relief is not a ruling on
whether Smith's sentence will be modified. That judgment
will be left to the sole discretion of the
Court. Furthermore, nothing in amended Section
4214 or the Court's rules shall require the Court to
grant Smith a sentence modification.
FURTHER ORDERED that the Department of Correction and the
Department of Justice SHALL, consistent with a memorandum of
understanding entered (or other protocols devised) for the
express purpose of facilitating the lawful and efficient
transfer of materials and information required for
consideration of a petition under 11 Del. C.§ 4214(f)
and Del. Super. Ct. Spec. R. 2017-1(d), provide to
Smith's attorney of record, or her designee, access to
such materials and information without undue
Defendant's name was changed from
Charles Clement Smith to Charlese Anne Smith by order of the
Court of Common Pleas dated June 20, 2016. See In re
Charles Clement Smith, C.A. No. CPU4-16-001121 (Del.
Com. PI. June 20, 2016) (ORDER).
11 Del. C. § 825 (2001)
(burglary second degree); id. § 861 (forgery
second degree); id. ...