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State ex rel. Huseby v. Roy

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

October 9, 2017

State of Minnesota, ex rel. Matthew Mitchell Huseby, petitioner, Appellant,
v.
Tom Roy, Commissioner of Corrections, Respondent.

         Lake County District Court File No. 38-CV-17-141

          Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Jennifer Lauermann, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Bradley D. Simon, Assistant Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent)

          Considered and decided by Cleary, Chief Judge; Bjorkman, Judge; and Hooten, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         An inmate who is transferred to a work release program, authorized by Minn. Stat. § 241.26 (2016), has not been "released from prison" so as to begin the five-year conditional release term required by Minn. Stat. § 169A.276, subd. 1(d) (2016).

          OPINION

          CLEARY, CHIEF JUDGE

         Appellant Matthew Mitchell Huseby seeks review of the district court's June 28, 2017 order denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The court rejected appellant's claim that his five-year conditional release term should be modified because he was "released from prison" when he was transferred to a work release program outside the correctional facility. Because the district court did not err in interpreting the plain and unambiguous language of the relevant statutes, we affirm.

         FACTS

         Appellant was charged with first-degree driving while impaired (DWI) and driving after cancellation for an offense committed in November 2009. Appellant, who had four prior DWI convictions, pleaded guilty to first-degree DWI.

         On June 21, 2010, he was sentenced to 48 months in prison. The district court also imposed a five-year conditional release term, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 169A.276, subd. 1(d).[1] Appellant was committed to the custody of the commissioner of corrections and was first confined at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at St. Cloud.

         On March 13, 2012, the department of corrections (DOC) transferred him to the Bethel Work Release Center in Duluth. Bethel is a DOC funded residential program authorized by Minn. Stat. § 241.26. He remained on work release status from March 13, 2012, until October 15, 2012, when the DOC transitioned him to supervised release and allowed him to move to his mother's residence. The DOC determined that appellant's five-year conditional release term began on October 15, 2012, when he was placed on supervised release. It will expire on October 15, 2017.

         On March 20, 2017, appellant filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus requesting that the district court issue an order directing the DOC to correct his conditional release start date to March 13, 2012, the date he was transferred to the Bethel work release program, and to immediately discharge him from his conditional release term. In denying appellant's petition, the district court concluded that if appellant had been "released from prison" upon his transfer to Bethel, he would not have served his minimum term of imprisonment equal to two-thirds of his executed sentence. See Minn. Stat. ยงยง 244.05, .101 (2016). Based upon its determination that the legislature did not intend participation in a work release program to constitute "release from prison" so as to start ...


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