LAWRENCE D. GRIMM, Defendant Below, Appellant,
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee.
Submitted: March 20, 2018
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID Nos.
1608020713 & 1701007271 (K)
STRINE, Chief Justice; VALIHURA and VAUGHN, Justices.
L. Valihura, Justice
13th day of April 2018, upon consideration of the
appellant's opening brief, the appellee's motion to
affirm, and the record below, it appears to the Court that:
appellant, Lawrence D. Grimm, filed this appeal from the
Superior Court's January 2, 2018 order sentencing him for
a violation of probation ("VOP"). The State of
Delaware has moved to affirm the Superior Court's
judgment on the ground that it is manifest on the face of
Grimm's opening brief that the appeal is without merit.
We agree and affirm.
record reflects that, in March 2017, Grimm resolved two
different criminal cases by pleading guilty to Operating a
Clandestine Laboratory and Theft Over $1, 500. Grimm was
sentenced as follows: (i) for Operating a Clandestine
Laboratory, effective January 13, 2017, eight years of Level
V incarceration suspended after six months for one year of
Level III probation; and (ii) for Theft Over $1, 500, two
years of Level V incarceration, suspended for one year of
Level III probation. Grimm did not appeal the Superior
July 18, 2017, a capias was issued for Grimm's VOP. The
VOP report alleged that Grimm had violated his probation by
failing to report to Maryland to resolve an outstanding
capias as directed by his probation officer and failing to
report to his probation officer on a weekly basis. After a
hearing on January 2, 2018, the Superior Court found that
Grimm had violated his probation. The Superior Court
sentenced Grimm for his VOP as follows: (i) for Operating a
Clandestine Laboratory, effective November 29, 2017, seven
years and six months of Level V incarceration, suspended
after six months for one year of Level III probation; and
(ii) for Theft Over $1, 500, two years of Level V
incarceration, suspended for one year of Level III probation.
This appeal followed.
his opening brief on appeal, Grimm argues that: (i) the Level
V time imposed for his VOP exceeded the guidelines
established by the Sentencing Accountability Commission
("SENTAC"); (ii) the Superior Court judge was
vindictive and close-minded in sentencing him for his VOP;
(iii) his probation officer engaged in misconduct at the VOP
hearing; and (iv) incarceration and probation do not help his
phobias regarding detention and strangers intruding in his
space. Grimm does not dispute that he violated his probation.
None of Grimm's claims have merit. First, it is
well-settled that the SENTAC guidelines are voluntary and do
not provide a basis for appeal of a sentence that is within
the authorized statutory limits. Second, the Court has no
adequate basis to review Grimm's claims that the Superior
Court judge was biased or that his probation officer engaged
in misconduct at the VOP hearing. As the appealing party,
Grimm was required to-but did not-request a transcript of the
January 2, 2018 VOP hearing for this appeal. In the absence of
the transcript, the Court cannot review Grimm's claims
regarding the Superior Court judge's alleged bias or the
alleged misconduct of the probation officer at the VOP
Finally, this Court's appellate review of a sentence is
extremely limited and generally ends upon a determination
that the sentence is within statutory limits.Once Grimm
committed a VOP, the Superior Court could impose any period
of incarceration up to and including the balance of the Level
V time remaining on Grimm's sentences. The Level V
sentence imposed by the Superior Court after Grimm's VOP
did not exceed the Level V time previously suspended and was
within statutory limits.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the motion to affirm is GRANTED
and the judgment of the Superior Court is AFFIRMED.