Iverson v. Dooley
ORDER denying as moot 4 Motion in limine; adopting 7 Report and Recommendation; denying as moot 10 Motion to supplement; denying as moot 11 Motion to Amend. Signed by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken on 3/6/17. (SB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH DAKOTA
BRYAN IVERSON, a/k/a
Bryan J. Iverson,
BOB DOOLEY, Warden,
Petitioner Bryan J. Iverson is an inmate incarcerated pursuant to a 2012
South Dakota state court judgment. (Docket 7). He is housed at the Rapid
City Community Work Center. Id.
Mr. Iverson, appearing pro se, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Docket 1). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and
this court’s October 16, 2014, standing order, the petition was referred to United
States Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy. Magistrate Judge Duffy filed a
report and recommendation concluding the court should dismiss Mr. Iverson’s
petition because he did not exhaust his state court remedies. (Docket 7 at p. 4).
Mr. Iverson filed timely objections to Magistrate Judge Duffy’s report and
recommendation. (Docket 8).
Mr. Iverson bases his petition on a report finding him noncompliant with
his individual program directive, which he argues unconstitutionally extends his
period of incarceration. (Dockets 1 & 2-14). His petition provides four
grounds, one claiming an Eighth Amendment violation and three claiming Fifth
Amendment due process violations. (Docket 1 at pp. 6-8). Mr. Iverson filed a
document requesting the court strike his fourth ground in the petition and
construe his petition as a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Docket 9).
Since filing his petition, Mr. Iverson also filed a motion in limine, a motion
to supplement, and a motion to amend. (Dockets 4, 10 & 11). His motion to
supplement the petition states that on December 15, 2016, the South Dakota
Board of Pardons and Paroles found Mr. Iverson noncompliant, consistent with
the prior report. (Dockets 10-1 & 10-3).
The report forming the basis of the petition occurred on May 23, 2016.
(Docket 2-14). The report states Mr. Iverson failed “to abide by rules or
regulations governing special programs including work release, community
service, [furloughs] or private employment inside an institution.” Id.
Consequently, Mr. Iverson was found noncompliant with his individual program
directive1 and his parole date was moved to a later time. (Docket 10-3 at
pp. 1-3). Mr. Iverson requested an administrative remedy and was denied on
July 26, 2016, because the request “exceeded the allotted time period for
requesting an Administrative Remedy.” (Docket 2-15).
June 13, 2012, Mr. Iverson signed an individual program directive,
which set out the terms of his parole status. (Docket 10-3). “A required
element of Iverson’s [individual program directive] was to work diligently and to
the best of his ability at any job to which he was assigned.” Id.
On December 15, 2016, the Board of Pardons and Paroles (“the Board”)
held a hearing to review whether Mr. Iverson complied with his individual
program directive. (Docket 10-3). The Board found Mr. Iverson noncompliant.
Id. at p. 2. On February 3, 2017, Mr. Iverson filed a supplement in this court
explaining he appealed the Board’s findings to the state circuit court as of
December 27, 2016. (Docket 12).
The court reviews de novo those portions of the report and
recommendation which are the subject of objections. Thompson v. Nix, 897
F.2d 356, 357-58 (8th Cir. 1990); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court may then
“accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations
made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Mr. Iverson’s objections
are overruled and the report and recommendation is adopted in full.
Magistrate Judge Duffy recognized Mr. Iverson improperly sought habeas
relief under § 2241 because that avenue for relief is available to federal prisoners
and Mr. Iverson is a state prisoner. (Docket 7 at p. 1). State prisoners must
seek habeas relief via § 2254. Id. at p. 2 (citing Singleton v. Norris, 319 F.3d
1018, 1022-23 (8th Cir. 2003)). Acknowledging the court may construe Mr.
Iverson’s case as a § 2254 petition, Magistrate Judge Duffy reasoned doing so
would not alter her ultimate finding. Id. The court adopts this approach and
rules on the petition as if brought under § 2254.
Magistrate Judge Duffy found petitioner failed to meet “the exhaustion
requirement of § 2254.” (Docket 7). Petitioner objects to that conclusion.
Under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, federal habeas
review of state court convictions is limited to claims the petitioner previously
presented to the state courts for consideration:
(b)(1) An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person
in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not
be granted unless it appears that—
(A) the applicant has exhausted the remedies available in the
courts of the state; or
(B)(i) there is an absence of available State corrective process;
(ii) circumstances exist that render such process ineffective
to protect the rights of the applicant. . . .
(c) An applicant shall not be deemed to have exhausted the remedies
available in the courts of the State, within the meaning of this
section, if he has the right under the law of the State to raise, by any
available procedure, the question presented.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(b) and (c).
“The foundation for the exhaustion rule is that the states retain primary
responsibility under the United States Constitution for the legality of their
exercise of police power.” Hawkins v. Higgins, 898 F.2d 1365, 1367 (8th Cir.
1990). “Accordingly, state courts have the first opportunity and responsibility
to determine whether a particular exercise of police power is constitutional or
“[T]he state prisoner must give the state courts an opportunity to act on his
claims before he presents those claims to a federal court in a habeas petition.”
O’Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842 (1999). This requires Mr. Iverson to
file a habeas petition with the state circuit court and then also afford the South
Dakota Supreme Court an opportunity to rule on the merits of the circuit court’s
decision by timely seeking review before that court. Id., 526 U.S. at 845; see
also SDCL § 21-27-18.1.
When a South Dakota inmate is found noncompliant with an individual
program directive, SDCL § 24-15A-39 sets forth the procedure the state must
carry out. The statute also describes the process the inmate must follow to
appeal the finding of noncompliance and exhaust state remedies. SDCL
§ 24-15A-39 provides:
Any inmate whom the warden reports has not substantively
complied with the individual program directive or for whom there is
insufficient information for the warden to determine substantive
compliance or noncompliance shall have a hearing with the board to
determine the inmate’s compliance with the individual program
directive. However, if the inmate wishes to admit to noncompliance
with the individual program directive, the inmate may waive an
appearance at this hearing.
The board may determine the inmate has substantively complied
with the individual program directive and release the inmate at the
inmate’s initial parole date or as soon as reasonably possible
following the initial parole date and hearing. The board may also
determine the inmate has not substantively met the requirements of
the individual program directive, deny release at the initial parole
date and set the time for a subsequent discretionary parole hearing.
If an inmate does not have an individual program directive, the
board shall utilize the standards contained in § 24-15A-42 in
making its determination. Any inmate appeal of a finding of
noncompliance by the board shall be filed pursuant to chapter 1-26
in the county in which the inmate is confined or in Minnehaha
County if the inmate is housed outside the State of South Dakota.
Any inmate not released at the time of the inmate’s initial parole date
shall have a discretionary parole hearing at least every two years.
SDCL § 24-15A-39. Mr. Iverson started on this statutory path, but he has not
SDCL § 24-15A-39 directs Mr. Iverson to appeal the Board’s finding
pursuant to Chapter 1-26 of South Dakota’s codified law. “An appeal from the
Board is governed by SDCL 1-26-37.”2 Santema v. S.D. Bd. of Pardons &
Paroles, 735 N.W.2d 904, 905 (S.D. 2007) (citation omitted). Under SDCL
§ 1-26-37, Mr. Iverson must seek review of the Board’s decision in the state
circuit court and then the South Dakota Supreme Court. Mr. Iverson states he
appealed the Board’s noncompliance finding to the state circuit court but not the
South Dakota Supreme Court. (Docket 12). The court finds Mr. Iverson fails to
meet § 2254’s exhaustion requirement because he did not complete the appeal
process as detailed in South Dakota law.
In Mr. Iverson’s objections he argues his case falls under a South Dakota
statute different than those cited above. (Docket 8 at p. 2). Mr. Iverson
believes the applicable statute is SDCL § 21-27-1.1. (Docket 8 at p. 2). SDCL
§ 21-27-1.1 provides:
§ 1–26–37 provides: “An aggrieved party or the agency may obtain a
review of any final judgment of the circuit court under this chapter by appeal to
the Supreme Court. The appeal shall be taken as in other civil cases. The
Supreme Court shall give the same deference to the findings of fact, conclusions
of law, and final judgment of the circuit court as it does to other appeals from the
circuit court. Such appeal may not be considered de novo.”
A writ of habeas corpus is not a remedy available to an applicant
who is incarcerated or detained under a lawful order, or judgment
and sentence to seek relief from sanctions imposed upon an
applicant or administrative decisions made with regard to such
application arising out of disciplinary or administrative actions of
the penal institution where the applicant is being confined.
SDCL § 21-27-1.1. Mr. Iverson argues that finding him noncompliant with his
individual program directive is the type of “disciplinary or administrative
action” identified in SDCL § 21-27-1.1. The statute deprives state circuit
courts of jurisdiction over habeas claims flowing from these disciplinary or
administrative actions. As a result, Mr. Iverson claims he need not file in a state
circuit court because there is no state remedy he can exhaust. (Docket 8).
Mr. Iverson’s argument is comparable to the position of the petitioner in
Harris v. Duckworth, 909 F.2d 1057 (7th Cir. 1990). The petitioner in Harris
sought review of the Indiana State Prison Conduct Adjustment Board’s
determination she violated prison disciplinary rules. Id. at 1058. Ms. Harris
filed a § 2254 petition claiming constitutional violations—without exhausting in
state court. Id. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
held Ms. Harris could bypass state remedies and file in federal court because the
Indiana Supreme Court previously ruled no Indiana courts will review habeas
petitions challenging prison disciplinary decisions. Id. at 1058-59. There was
nothing for Ms. Harris to exhaust.
In the vein of Harris, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth
Circuit “recognize[s] the futility of requiring a habeas petitioner to exhaust state
remedies when the state court has recently decided the same legal question
adversely to the petitioner under nearly identical facts.” Padavich v. Thalacker,
162 F.3d 521, 522 (8th Cir. 1998) (citation omitted). “If there is no state
remedy, a prisoner may go directly to federal court for protection of his
constitutional rights.” Exhaustion of State Remedies—The Background—What
Exhaustion Requires, 17B Fed. Prac. & Proc. Juris. § 4264.1 (3d ed).
Even if Mr. Iverson is right that SDCL § 21-27-1.1 applies to his case,3 he
may not bypass state courts. The South Dakota Supreme Court expounded on
SDCL § 21-27-1.1 in Tibbetts v. State, 336 N.W.2d 658 (S.D. 1983). In Tibbetts,
the petitioner was an inmate who lost good time credit after pleading “guilty to [a]
rule infraction before the disciplinary board . . . .” Id. at 659. Mr. Tibbetts filed
a habeas petition in the state circuit court, and the court found it had
jurisdiction despite SDCL § 21-27-1.1. Id. at 660. On appeal, the state argued
the lower court lacked jurisdiction and “penitentiary inmates who seek a redress
of grievances relating to penitentiary disciplinary procedures should be relegated
to the federal courts under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 or under the federal habeas corpus
statute, 28 U.S.C. § 2254.” Id. at 661-62.
The South Dakota Supreme Court agreed with the state on the lower
court’s lack of jurisdiction, but it expressly rejected the state’s position on
habeas petitions. Id. at 662. “Given the current workload of the federal courts,
to adopt the State’s position on this matter would constitute an abdication by the
State of its responsibilities.” Id. (citation omitted). The South Dakota Supreme
stated earlier, the court finds SDCL § 24-15A-39 applies to Mr.
Iverson’s case—not SDCL § 21-27-1.1.
Court held petitioners in Mr. Tibbett’s position could seek “judicial review of
penitentiary disciplinary actions pursuant to the Administrative Procedures
Act” and they “ha[ve] available . . . the remedies of the writs of prohibition and
mandamus . . . .” Id.
Under Tibbetts, Mr. Iverson has those same remedies available in state
court. Mr. Iverson could challenge the administrative procedures governing the
Board finding noncompliance with an individual program directive. See ARSD
17:60:08:01-06. He could also file writs of prohibition and mandamus. See
Tibbetts, 336 N.W.2d at 662. Even if Mr. Iverson was correct about the
applicable statute, his objections to Magistrate Judge Duffy’s conclusion do not
Based on the above analysis, it is
ORDERED that Mr. Iverson’s objections (Docket 8) to Magistrate Judge
Duffy’s report and recommendation are overruled.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Magistrate Judge Duffy’s report and
recommendation (Docket 7) is adopted in full.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Mr. Iverson’s remaining motions (Dockets
4, 10 & 11) are denied as moot.
Dated March 6, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
/s/ Jeffrey L. Viken
JEFFREY L. VIKEN
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?