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White v. Lea

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

December 23, 2014

ROGER D. WHITE
v.
STEVE LEA

Roger Dale White, Plaintiff, Pro se, Jackson, LA.

For Steve Lea, Defendant: Kathryn W. Landry, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kathryn W. Landry, LLC, Baton Rouge, LA.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

KAREN WELLS ROBY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

This matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct hearings, including an evidentiary hearing if necessary, and to submit proposed findings and recommendations pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C), and as applicable, Rule 8(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. Upon review of the entire record, the Court has determined that this matter can be disposed of without an evidentiary hearing. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2) (2006).[1]

I. Factual Background

The petitioner, Roger D. White (" White"), is an insanity acquittee who is currently on supervised, active probation while residing in the Secure Forensic Facility, a secured residential facility on the grounds of the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System (" ELMHS") (f/k/a Feliciana Forensic Facility) in Jackson, Louisiana.[2] The record indicates that on February 15, 2005, White was charged by bill of information in St. Tammany Parish with first degree robbery.[3] White originally entered a plea of not guilty to the charge on February 24, 2005, and a lunacy commission was appointed on motion of defense counsel.[4]

White remained under pretrial evaluation with periodic status reports being sent to the Court until October 11, 2007.[5] On that date, based on the doctors' recommendations, the Trial Court found White to be competent to proceed to trial while on his current regimen of medication and treatment.[6]

Thereafter, on November 29, 2007, White withdrew his former plea and entered a plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.[7] After receiving testimony and evidence from the commission doctors, Dr. John Thompson, Jr. and Dr. Raphael Salcedo, the Trial Court found White to be not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.[8] The Court ordered that White be placed in ELMHS for psychiatric care and treatment.[9]

On April 22, 2008, White filed a petition for issuance of a writ of habeas corpus requesting that the Trial Court release him on probation.[10] The Trial Court denied the motion without stated reasons on April 23, 2008.[11]

The Trial Court held a status review hearing on October 9, 2008.[12] Based on the recommendation of the doctors and personnel at ELMHS, the Court determined that White was no longer in need of inpatient treatment and ordered that he be conditionally released on supervised probation for five years subject to outpatient treatment to reside in the Harmony Transitional Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[13]

On March 28, 2011, on the urging of the probation office, the Court issued an arrest warrant for White for violation of his probation having tested positive for opiates and leaving the residential center.[14] After his eventual arrest, the Trial Court revoked his probation on September 27, 2012, and remanded him to the ELMHS, Forensic Division for re-evaluation and rehabilitation.[15]

Over the next year, White submitted numerous motions to the Trial Court requesting that he be released or placed on probation to no avail.[16] Eventually, on February 20, 2014, the Trial Court scheduled a hearing to determine White's status.[17] At the hearing held April 4, 2014, based on the recommendation of the forensic specialists, the Trial Court released White on supervised, active probation for five years while residing in the Secure Forensic Facility on the grounds of the ELMHS where he currently is housed.[18] White signed an acknowledgment that he understood and accepted the conditions of his probation.[19]

II. Federal Petition

On August 4, 2014, the clerk of this Court filed White's petition for federal habeas corpus relief in which he challenges his confinement without a proper civil commitment hearing to determine his mental capacity and dangerousness and is being held without due process.[20] The State filed an answer and memorandum in opposition to White's petition contending that the ...


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