State of Minnesota, ex rel. Matthew Mitchell Huseby, petitioner, Appellant,
Tom Roy, Commissioner of Corrections, Respondent.
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)
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.
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).
CLEARY, CHIEF JUDGE
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.
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.
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). Appellant was committed to the custody of
the commissioner of corrections and was first confined at the
Minnesota Correctional Facility at St. Cloud.
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.
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. §§ 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 ...