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Brown v. Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit

January 8, 2015

LEE BROWN
v.
LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS

Appealed from the 19th Judicial District Court, In and for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Trial Court Number C618207. Honorable Timothy E. Kelley, Judge Presiding.

Lee Brown, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Angie, Louisiana.

Debra A. Rutledge, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Attorney for Defendant -- Appellee Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

BEFORE: MCDONALD, CRAIN AND HOLDRIDGE,[1] JJ.

OPINION

Page 395   

[2014 1059 La.App. 1 Cir. 2] HOLDRIDGE, J.

Petitioner, appellant, Lee A. Brown, an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (" the Department" ), appeals the district court's dismissal of his petition for judicial review. Brown filed the petition, asserting the Department failed to designate him as being eligible for treatment pursuant to La. R.S. 15:538(C), which he alleges has resulted in him being wrongfully denied eligibility for diminution of sentence. We affirm the district court's judgment.

Following allegations of alleged aggravated rape involving an eleven-year old victim during January 2004, Brown was indicted with one count of aggravated rape and two counts of sexual battery. The State amended the aggravated rape indictment to one count of oral sexual battery, and it amended the two counts of sexual battery to one count of oral sexual battery, with both amended counts in violation of La. R.S. 14:43.3. During 2007, Brown pled no contest to the amended charges, and he was sentenced to ten years on each count, with the sentences to be served consecutively to each other.[2]

Brown initiated his request for an administrative remedy in August 2012, asserting that he was eligible to participate in a " sex offender treatment plan" pursuant to Department of Correction regulation B-06-002.[3] He asserted he has been

Page 396

[2014 1059 La.App. 1 Cir. 3] deprived of mental health services, which has resulted in the infliction of " cruel and unusual" punishment. The Department denied Brown's request.[4] Brown's second step request was also denied; the Department found his request was adequately addressed at the first step and there was no reason for administrative intervention. Thereafter, Brown filed a petition for judicial review, asserting the Department failed to enforce their own regulations. As a result, he asserted he was ultimately denied eligibility for diminution of sentence pursuant to La. R.S. 15:538.

Citing La. R.S. 15:571.3(B)(3)(g), the district court commissioner found that Brown is ineligible for diminution of sentence for good behavior, because he was convicted of two counts of oral sexual battery in violation of La. R.S. 14:43.3.[5]

Page 397

The [2014 1059 La.App. 1 Cir. 4] commissioner thus concluded that the Department's decision to deny Brown's requested relief was not " arbitrary, capricious or manifestly erroneous" or otherwise in violation of constitutional or statutory law. La. R.S. 15:1177A(9). The district court adopted the commissioner's reasons, affirmed the Department's decision, ...


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