United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Lee Stabnow, (pro se Petitioner)
Leonard J. Schweich and Matthew Frank, Assistant Attorneys
General, Minnesota Attorney General's Office, (for
REPORT & RECOMMENDATION
N. Leung United States Magistrate Judge
matter comes before the Court on Petitioner Robert Lee
Stabnow's Petitions under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for a
Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody (ECF Nos.
1 & 8) and his motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 14).
This matter has been referred to the undersigned for a Report
and Recommendation to the Honorable Paul A. Magnuson,
District Judge for the United States District Court for the
District of Minnesota, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and
D. Minn. LR 72.1. For the reasons that follow, the Court
recommends that the Petition and motion for summary judgment
Robert Lee Stabnow has been civilly committed as Sexually
Dangerous Person at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program
(“MSOP”) since August 31, 2007. (ECF No. 13-2, p.
134). Petitioner did not directly appeal the order committing
him, but has since challenged his commitment unsuccessfully
in several ways. In 2013, he filed a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus in Minnesota state court. (ECF No. 13-1, p.
413; ECF No. 13-2, p. 198). Petitioner did not appeal the
order denying him habeas relief. Two years later, Petitioner
filed a motion for relief under Minnesota Rule of Civil
Procedure 60.02. (ECF No. 13-1, p. 220; ECF No. 13-1, p.
405). Petitioner did appeal from the decision denying him
relief under Rule 60.02. The Minnesota Court of Appeals
affirmed and the Minnesota Supreme Court denied review. (ECF
No. 13-1, p. 37-41). Petitioner has also twice petitioned the
Special Review Panel and Judicial Appeal Panel for transfer,
provisional discharge, or discharge. (ECF No. 13-1, pp. 3-5,
9-22). Both petitions were denied, with the most recent
decision being entered on September 17, 2018. (Id.).
Petitioner did not appeal the denial of either petition to
Minnesota's appellate courts.
11, 2019, Petitioner filed a petition for habeas corpus
relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (ECF No. 1). He
contends that his “commitment is for an undetermined
time” and that, among other things, it violates his
rights under the First, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth
Amendments. (ECF No. 1, pp. 1, 9). Petitioner seeks
“declaratory and injunctive relief, ” including
an order vacating his commitment.
30, 2019, Petitioner filed an amended petition, so that he
could change the name of the responding party and add certain
exhibits in support of his claim. (ECF No. 8). Respondent
answered the Petition on August 29, 2019. Petitioner filed a
reply brief, along with a motion for summary judgment, on
September 9, 2019. The Court then took the matter under
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”) governs review of habeas corpus
petitions filed by persons civilly committed under state law.
Persons civilly committed under state law may seek relief on
the grounds that they are “in custody in violation of
the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United
States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Relief may be
granted under Section 2254 only if the petitioner can
establish that a state court proceeding “(1) resulted
in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an
unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law,
as determined by the Supreme Court of the United
States;” or “(2) resulted in a decision that was
based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light
of the evidence presented in the State court
proceeding.” Id. § 2254(d).
person seeking relief under Section 2254 must file his or her
application within a “1-year period of
limitation.” 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). The one-year
period runs from the latest of: (1) the date that direct
appeal is concluded or the expiration of the time for seeking
such review; (2) the date on which the impediment to applying
for habeas relief is removed; (3) the date on which the
constitutional right was initially recognized; or (4) the
date on which the claims could have been discovered through
the reasonable exercise of due diligence. 28 U.S.C. §
2244(d)(1)(A)-(D). Time during which a properly-filed state
postconviction petition or similar motion is pending does not
count toward the one-year period of limitation. 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244(d)(2). But the fact that a person files a
postconviction petition or similar motion does not reset the
one-year period of limitation. Johnson v. Mooney,
No. 05-cv-1030, 2006 WL 1284076, at *4 n. 4 (D. Minn. May 10,
2006). It merely pauses the clock on the limitations period
until that petition or motion is resolved. Id. A
late-filed postconviction petition or other similar motion
“cannot revive a time period that has already
expired.” Id. (citation omitted).
Claims Related to the Commitment Order are
not clear what state court proceeding Petitioner is claiming
resulted in a decision that was contrary to or resulted in an
unreasonable application of federal law. 28 U.S.C. §
2254(a). On the very first page of his Amended Petition, he
indicates that he seeks relief from the August 31, 2007
decision ordering that he be civilly committed. To the extent
Petitioner seeks relief from that order, the Court must
recommend the Amended Petition be denied with prejudice. The
time to appeal that order expired on October 30, 2008.
See Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 104.01, subd. 1 (providing
60 days to appeal district court judgment). Petitioner,
however, did not seek habeas relief until July 2019, nearly
11 years after the one-year statute of limitations expired.
Any claim related to the August 31, 2007 decision is
has not identified any impediment that prevented him from
challenging that order in a timely fashion. Nor has he
claimed that his petition relates to constitutional rights
that were recognized by the United States Supreme Court only
after he was civilly committed. The fact that beginning in
2013, Petitioner began to seek relief from the Judicial
Appeal Panel and through other state court proceedings does
not restart the one-year limitations period for claims
related to the initial commitment order. See
Johnson, 2006 WL 1284076, at *4 n. 4. Accordingly, the