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Steven T. Thompson v. Johanna Smith

December 24, 2012

STEVEN T. THOMPSON,
PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
JOHANNA SMITH,
RESPONDENT-RESPONDENT ON APPEAL,
OLIVIA CRAVEN, STATE OF IDAHO,
RESPONDENT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Daniel C. Hurlbutt, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Melanson, Judge

2012 Unpublished Opinion No. 773

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED OPINION AND SHALL NOT BE CITED AS AUTHORITY

Steven T. Thompson, an inmate, appeals pro se from the district court's order dismissing his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

On June 11, 2012, Thompson filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Thompson alleged that he was entitled to credit against his sentence for 1,106 days he served on parole prior to revocation of his parole. Thompson asserted that a provision of Idaho Code § 20- 228, calling for forfeiture of time spent on parole unless the Commission of Pardons and Parole (in its discretion) grants credit against the sentence, violates constitutional provisions relating to due process and equal protection. The district court issued an order of dismissal, pursuant to I.C. 19-4209, prior to service on the respondents because the petition failed to state a claim of constitutional violation upon which relief could be granted. Thompson appeals.

II.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

The writ of habeas corpus is a constitutionally mandated mechanism to effect the discharge of an individual from unlawful confinement. See IDAHO CONST. art. I, § 5; I.C. §§ 19- 4201 to 19-4226; Mahaffey v. State, 87 Idaho 228, 231, 392 P.2d 279, 280 (1964); Gawron v. Roberts, 113 Idaho 330, 333, 743 P.2d 983, 986 (Ct. App. 1987). The essence of habeas corpus is an attack upon the legality of a person's detention for the purpose of securing release where custody is illegal and is an avenue by which relief can be sought where detention of an individual is in violation of a fundamental right. In re Robison, 107 Idaho 1055, 1057, 695 P.2d 440, 442 (Ct. App. 1985). An in-state prisoner may file a petition for writ of habeas corpus to request that a court inquire into state or federal constitutional questions concerning conditions of confinement, the revocation of parole, miscalculation of a sentence, loss of good time credits, or detainers lodged against the prisoner. I.C. §§ 19-4203(2)(a)-(e). Habeas corpus should not be used as a substitute for, or in addition to, a direct appeal of a criminal conviction or proceeding under Idaho Criminal Rule 35 or the Uniform Post-Conviction Procedures Act. I.C. § 19- 4203(4).

The decision to issue a writ of habeas corpus is a matter within the discretion of the court. Johnson v. State, 85 Idaho 123, 127, 376 P.2d 704, 706 (1962); Brennan v. State, 122 Idaho 911, 914, 841 P.2d 441, 444 (Ct. App. 1992). When we review an exercise of discretion in a habeas corpus proceeding, we conduct a three-tiered inquiry to determine whether the lower court rightly perceived the issue as one of discretion, acted within the boundaries of such discretion, and reached its decision by an exercise of reason. Brennan, 122 Idaho at 914, 841 P.2d at 444; Sivak v. Ada Cnty., 115 Idaho 762, 763, 769 P.2d 1134, 1135 (Ct. App. 1989). If a petitioner is not entitled to relief on a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, the decision by the petitioned court to dismiss the petition without an evidentiary hearing will be upheld. Brennan, 122 Idaho at 917, 841 P.2d at 447.

III.

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