State of Minnesota, ex rel. Steven Leino, petitioner, Appellant,
Tom Roy, Commissioner of Corrections, Respondent.
County District Court File No. 02-CV-16-3150
Cathryn Middlebrook, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Amy
Lawler, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for
Swanson, Attorney General, Rachel Bell, Assistant Attorney
General, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Bratvold, Presiding Judge; Larkin,
Judge; and Florey, Judge.
Minnesota Department of Corrections' use of review
hearings in administering re-incarceration of offenders for
violations of conditional release is lawful.
challenges the district court's denial of his petition
for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing, in part, that
respondent Minnesota Commissioner of Corrections
(commissioner) exceeded his authority by using review
hearings as a decision-making tool when determining whether
to release appellant following his re-incarceration for
violating his conditional release. We affirm.
2007, appellant Steven Leino was convicted of fourth-degree
criminal sexual conduct. The district court stayed imposition
of sentence and placed him on probation. In 2009, Leino was
convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The
district court revoked Leino's probation on his
fourth-degree criminal-sexual-conduct conviction and imposed
a 21-month prison term and a ten-year conditional-release
term. The district court sentenced Leino to a concurrent
51-month prison term and a lifetime conditional-release term
on his third-degree criminal-sexual-conduct conviction.
2011, Leino began the supervised-release portion of his
sentence. In February 2012, Leino was arrested for failing to
cooperate with sex-offender treatment, which violated a
condition of his release. The Minnesota Department of
Corrections' (DOC) Hearings and Release Unit (HRU)
revoked Leino's supervised release, and Leino returned to
prison. In August 2012, the commissioner released Leino from
prison to an approved residence in Wright County. In December
2012, Leino completed the supervised-release portion of his
sentence and began serving his lifetime conditional- release
term. He was required to successfully complete sex-offender
programming as a condition of release.
January 2013, the HRU revoked Leino's conditional release
for one year and ordered him to complete sex-offender
programming while in prison because he had not cooperated
with sex-offender treatment in the community. On December 16,
2013 and December 8, 2014, the HRU held review hearings and
extended Leino's incarceration for one year and for 240
days, respectively, to give him more time to complete
sex-offender treatment. On July 19, 2015, Leino completed
sex-offender treatment in prison.
August 10, 2015, the HRU held a review hearing and extended
Leino's term of incarceration for up to 90 days, to give
him time to find suitable housing. Leino's supervision
was assigned to an intensive supervised release (ISR) team in
St. Cloud. On November 9, 2015, the HRU held a review hearing
and again extended Leino's term of incarceration for 90
days unless his ISR team could find him suitable housing
before then. On December 8, 2015, Leino appealed his
continued incarceration to the HRU's executive officer of
hearings and release. His appeal was denied.
February 8, 2016, the HRU held another review hearing and
extended Leino's term of incarceration for 30 days unless
his ISR team could find him suitable housing before then. On
March 14, 2016, the HRU again held a review hearing and
extended Leino's term of incarceration for 150 days
unless his ISR team could find him suitable housing before
23, 2016, Leino petitioned the district court for a writ of
habeas corpus, arguing that he was unlawfully detained by the
commissioner, the commissioner was not authorized to hold
review hearings, and the commissioner impermissibly deferred
to counties in determining whether he could release predatory
offenders into those counties. On July 6, 2016, the
commissioner released Leino to three-quarters housing at the
Wright County Detention Center.
March 28, 2017, the district court held a hearing regarding
Leino's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The
district court heard legal arguments, but it did not hold an
evidentiary hearing. On June 16, 2017, the district court
issued an order denying Leino's requests for habeas
relief and dismissing his petition, reasoning that Leino
could only obtain habeas relief if he was restrained because
of a ...