Donald G. Heilman, Appellant,
Patrick C. Courtney, as Program Manager for Minnesota Department of Corrections, Respondent.
County District Court File No. 62-CV-16-4240
Brown, Capitol City Law Group, LLC, St. Paul, Minnesota (for
Swanson, Attorney General, Eric V. Brown, Assistant Attorney
General, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Connolly, Presiding Judge; Jesson,
Judge; and Florey, Judge.
inmate who enters phase II of the Challenge Incarceration
Program (CIP) has not been "released from prison"
for the purpose of commencing a conditional-release term
imposed under Minn. Stat. § 169A.276, subd. 1(d) (2016).
a former inmate with the Minnesota Department of Corrections
(DOC), filed a civil suit against respondent, a DOC employee.
Appellant alleged that he was incarcerated beyond his lawful
sentence because his conditional-release term was
miscalculated. The district court granted judgment on the
pleadings and dismissed all three of appellant's claims.
Appellant challenges the dismissal of two of those claims.
Because those claims are premised on the erroneous contention
that appellant's conditional-release term commenced when
he entered phase II of the CIP, and because appellant was not
incarcerated beyond his conditional-release term, we affirm.
2016, appellant Donald G. Heilman filed a complaint against
respondent Patrick C. Courtney, a program manager with the
DOC, alleging false imprisonment, negligence, and the right
to redress of injuries as provided by the Minnesota
Constitution. According to the complaint, appellant was
convicted in June 2007 of first-degree test refusal; he
received a 51-month sentence with a five-year
conditional-release term; he was released from prison in July
2008 to the CIP, triggering the start of his five-year
conditional-release term; and his conditional-release term
expired in July 2013.
alleged that respondent was responsible for calculating his
release date. If a person challenged a release date,
respondent and those under his charge were responsible for
investigating and making necessary corrections. Appellant
allegedly informed various prison officials that his
scheduled release date was wrong because his
conditional-release term "should have expired in July
2013." According to the complaint, appellant "was
imprisoned until May 2014-nearly a year beyond his lawful
sentence, " because of a miscalculation and failure to
conduct an audit of his conditional-release term.
moved for judgment on the pleadings. The parties stipulated
to the following timeline of events: on September 13, 2004,
appellant was convicted of first-degree DWI and received a
stayed sentence; on May 22, 2007, the district court ordered
that appellant's stayed sentence be executed; on December
5, 2007, appellant was accepted into the CIP; in July 2008,
appellant completed phase I of the CIP and entered phase II,
which allowed him to reside at home; in September 2009,
appellant's CIP status was revoked, and he was returned
to incarceration; on December 27, 2010, appellant was
released from incarceration and began supervised release; on
March 25, 2014, appellant was reincarcerated by the DOC
Hearings and Release Unit (HRU); and on May 14, 2014,
appellant was released from custody.
also filed an affidavit with a number of attachments,
including appellant's warrant of commitment, conditions
of release, CIP records, and HRU decisions. The district
court granted respondent's motion for judgment on the