United States District Court, D. Minnesota
James P. Shannon, Petitioner,
Minnesota Department of Corrections, et al., Respondents.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Leo I. Brisbois United States Magistrate Judge
matter comes before the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge pursuant to a general referral in accordance with the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.1, as
well as, upon Petitioner James P. Shannon's Amended
Petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254, [Docket No. 6], and Respondent's Motion to
Dismiss. [Docket No. 14].
March 10, 1989, a jury convicted Petitioner of First Degree
Criminal Sexual Conduct for the rape of an adult female, and
he was sentence to a ninety (90) month term of imprisonment.
(May 15, 2006, Finding of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order
of Commitment [Docket No. 16], at 10]). On September 23,
1996, Petitioner plead guilty to the May 24, 1996, rape of an
adult female while he was on supervised release from his
previous conviction, and on December 5, 1996, Petitioner was
sentenced to a 153-month term of imprisonment. (Id.
at 12-13). On April 1, 1997, after the entry of a guilty plea
in Federal Court for being in possession of a stolen firearm
during the 1996 rape, Petitioner was sentenced to a term of
imprisonment of 120-months. (Id. at 13).
September 19, 2005, before Petitioner was set to be paroled
from state prison, a petition was filed seeking to commit
Shannon as a “sexual psychopathic personality”
and a “sexual dangerous person.” (Id. at
3). Shannon was subsequently released from state prison to
the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to serve the
remaining two-months of his federal sentence before the
beginning of his supervised release. (Id. at 4).
December 16, 2005, Petitioner was ordered to be held at the
Minnesota Sex Offender Program (hereinafter
“MSOP”) facility at St. Peter, Minnesota pending
the issuance of the state court “order committing or
releasing Shannon after” his civil commitment hearing.
(Id. at 4). However, on January 3, 2006, Petitioner
was arrested at the MSOP for an incident occurring at the
MSOP, and based on that incident, the Minnesota Department of
Corrections instituted proceedings to revoke Petitioner's
supervised release. (Id. at 4). On January 19, 2006,
the Minnesota Department of Corrections revoked
Petitioner's “supervise release and ordered that he
be returned to prison.” (Id. at 4).
15, 2006, Petitioner was committed to the Minnesota Sex
Offender Program as a Sexually Dangerous Person on an
intermittent basis. (Id. at 38). The commitment
order specifically noted that Shannon would remain in the
custody of the Minnesota Department of Corrections until
released by that agency and that the commitment would not
become final until after a statutory review hearing which
would not be held until after Shannon was released from
prison to be returned to the MSOP.
was released from custody of the Minnesota Department of
Corrections and returned to the MSOP on July 9, 2008. (Order
for Indeterminate Commitment as a Sexually Dangerous Person,
[Docket No. 16], at 39). A hearing regarding Shannon's
civil commitment was held on October 28, 2008, at which he
appeared and testified. (Id. at 40).
November 18, 2008, the state court issued an order committing
Shannon “to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program as a
Sexually Dangerous Person for an indeterminate period of
time.” (Id. at 45). Shannon appealed that
November 18, 2008, civil commitment Order to the Minnesota
Court of Appeals.
was represented by counsel in his appeal of the November 18,
2018, civil commitment Order. In his appeal, Shannon argued
that the evidence as a whole did not support his commitment
and that the statutes governing his civil commitment were
unconstitutional as applied to him. Specifically, Shannon
argued that the statutes governing his civil commitment
violated his substantive due process rights because they were
not narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest,
violated his rights to equal protection under the laws
because he was “singled out among other criminal
offenders for special treatment under Minnesota law”
due to his designation as a sex offender, were void for
vagueness, constituted circumstance of double jeopardy, and
violated his right to a jury trial. (Appeal Brief, [Docket
No. 16], at 68-95).
January 14, 2008, the Minnesota Department of Corrections
revoked Shannon's parole due to his “[f]ailure to
refrain from assaultive, abusive, or violent behavior or
threats of violence” while at the MSOP. (MN DOC Review,
[Docket No. 16], at 176). Ultimately, it was decided that
Shannon's parole would be revoked and his incarceration
with the Minnesota Department of Corrections would be
extended until its expiration on June 26, 2018. (Id.
at 176, 189).
9, 2009, the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued an unpublished
opinion affirming Shannon's civil commitment for an
indeterminate length of time. In re Civil Commitment of
Shannon, No. A09-0070, 2009 WL 1375988, at *1
(Minn.Ct.App. May 19, 2009). In affirming Shannon's civil
commitment, the Minnesota Court of Appeals specifically
addressed and rejected each of Shannon's constitutional
arguments noting that each argument had previously been
rejected by controlling case law. See, Id.
subsequently petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court for
discretionary review. In his Petitioner for Review, Shannon
raised three constitutional arguments-specifically,
“whether Minnesota's commitment process is in
violation of the due process, equal protection and double
jeopardy provisions of the United States Constitution.”
(Pet. for Review to Minn. Supreme Ct., [Docket No. 16], at
22, 2009, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied Shannon's
petition for discretionary review. (Order, [Docket No. 16],
1, 2015, while he was in the custody of the Minnesota
Department of Corrections, Shannon filed a pro se Notice of
Motion and Motion, as well as, documentation in support of
said Motion in the Hennepin County District Court in his
civil commitment case. (Notice of Motion and Motion, [Docket
No. 16], at 163-180). In that Motion, Shannon sought
“immediate release . . . due to violation of due
process of law and [to] correct manifest injustice due to
breach of promise.” (Id. at 165). Shannon
asserted that he was warranted “immediate
release” because he was not present at all proceedings
which constitutes a violation of his due process rights and
because his guilty plea was involuntary which constitutes a
breach of promise. (Id.). Essentially, Shannon
sought an order of the court releasing him from the custody
of the Minnesota Department of Corrections and allowing him
to withdraw his guilty plea. (See, Id.).
31, 2015, the Hennepin County District Court Judge issued an
Order denying the relief requested in Shannon's pro se
Motion. (Order, [Docket No. 16], at 184). The Order noted
that Shannon's Motion was being denied because he sought
relief in his criminal case, and therefore, the civil court
in which Shannon was civilly committed was not the correct
jurisdiction to seek such relief. (Id.).
February 2, 2016, Shannon filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus in Hennepin County District Court making assertions
substantially similar to his May 1, 2015, Motion.
(See, Pet., [Docket No. 16], at 185-191). Shannon
appears to have again been seeking immediately release from
the Minnesota Department of Corrections. (See,
on February 3, 2016, Hennepin County District Court Judge
Jamie Anderson issued an Order denying Shannon's Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus. (Order, [Docket No. 16], at 212).
The Order noted that Shannon's Petition, like his
previous one, was being denied because he sought relief in
his criminal case, and therefore, the civil court in ...