Longstreth v. Klingler
OPINION AND ORDER by District Judge James H. Payne : This court finds this action is moot and dismisses the same. (RE: 2 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, 10 Motion to Dismiss 11 Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings). (acg, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA
CHRISTOPHER E. LONGSTRETH, )
KEN KLINGLER, Warden,
Case No. CIV-16-420-JHP-KEW
OPINION AND ORDER
This matter comes before the court on a Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. # 10) petitioner’s
petition for writ of habeas corpus (Dkt. # 2) brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in which
petitioner seeks his immediate release from custody. Respondent seeks dismissal for two
reasons: (1) the petition is time barred and (2) failure to exhaust administrative remedies. On
December 6, 2016, petitioner discharged his sentence and he is no longer incarcerated by the
respondent. See, Dkt. #s 13 and 14.
Statement of the Facts
Petitioner was sentenced on May 5, 1987, in Tulsa County Case No. CF-1987-601,
to serve 45 years for Shooting with Intent to Kill, AFCF. Dkt. # 10-2. Petitioner began
serving this sentence on May 5, 1987 and completed it on July 22, 2012. On July 22, 2012,
Petitioner rebilled and begin serving a 5 year sentence for Burglary of an Automobile in
Tulsa County Case No. CRF-81-4094, concurrently with a 5 year sentence for Possession of
a Firearm, AFCF in Tulsa County Case No. CRF-87-602. Dkt. #s 10-3 and 10-4. These two
5 year concurrent sentences were completed on December 1, 2015. Dkt. # 10-5. On
December 1, 2015, Petitioner rebilled and began serving a 3 year sentence for possession of
marijuana in a penal institution, Cleveland County Case No. CF-93-1529. The judgment in
this case indicated that the sentence imposed was to “run consecutive to any term the
defendant is currently serving.” Dkt. # 10-6 at p. 2. Petitioner completely discharged this
sentence on December 6, 2016 and was released from prison with no supervision
requirements. Dkt. # 13-1.
Petitioner filed the instant petition on October 6, 2016 alleging that he should have
begun serving his Cleveland County case on July 22, 2012, which according to the petition
would have entitled him to release from prison on December 1, 2015. Petitioner’s challenge
to the Cleveland County sentence and how it was to be served apparently stem from his
belief that the CF-93-1529 was to run consecutive to CF-1987-601 and concurrent with CRF87-602. The judgment and sentence in CF-93-1529 are silent as to this sentence running
concurrent with any other sentences.
On August 7, 2015, petitioner filed an Application for Amended Judgment and
Sentence Nunc Pro Tunc in the Cleveland County District Court, State of Oklahoma. In his
application, Petitioner stated that the “negotiated plea included the term to be served
consecutive with CRF-87-601, but concurrent with CRF-87-602.” Dkt. # 3-3, at p. 1. On
August 20, 2015, the District Court denied relief finding “the application states no factual or
legal basis to demonstrate that Defendant is entitled to such relief.” Dkt. # 3-3, at p. 3.
Petitioner perfected an appeal to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and on January
26, 2016, in Case No. MA-2015-806, the Oklahoma appellate court found no support for
petitioner’s claim that the judgment and sentence incorrectly reflected how his sentence was
to be served.
Federal judicial power is limited by the Constitution to actual cases or controversies.
U.S. Const. art. III, § 2. A case becomes moot when a plaintiff no longer suffers “actual
injury that can be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.” Iron Arrow Honor Society v.
Heckler, 464 U.S. 67, 70, 104 S.Ct. 373, 375, 78 L.Ed.2d 58 (1983). Even though petitioner
is no longer in custody, the “in custody” requirement of § 2241 is satisfied because he filed
his habeas application while he was incarcerated. See Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7, 118
S.Ct. 978, 983, 140 L.Ed.2d 43 (1998). However, the more significant question is whether
petitioner’s subsequent release from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections moots his
petition since the court is no longer presented with a case or controversy under Article III of
the United States Constitution. Id.
The fact petitioner is no longer in custody does not automatically moot Petitioner’s
petition. Riley v. INS, 310 F.3d 1253 (10th Cir. 2002). This court’s inquiry must become
whether petitioner meets one of the exceptions to the mootness doctrine. The court should
not dismiss a petition as moot if “(1) secondary or ‘collateral’ injuries survive after resolution
of the primary injury; (2) the issue is deemed a wrong capable of repetition yet evading
review; (3) the defendant voluntarily ceases an allegedly illegal practice but is free to resume
it at any time; or (4) it is a properly certified class action suit.” Riley v. INS, 310 F.3d at 1257
(quoting Chong v. District Director, INS, 264 F.3d 378, 384 (3rd Cir. 2001). Where an
inmate’s sentence has expired, some concrete and continuing injury other than the now-ended
incarceration - some “collateral consequence” of the conviction - must exist if the suit is to
be maintained. Spencer, 523 U.S. at 7. In this case, petitioner is not challenging the
Rather, he solely challenges whether it should have been served
concurrently with two other convictions. To the extent that petitioner was already a threetime convicted felon prior to entering his plea in Cleveland County, this court finds no
collateral consequences exist which survive his release from prison. See, Dkt. # 13-1.
Accordingly, this court finds this action is moot and dismisses the same.
It is so ordered on this 6th day of September, 2017.
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