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Lingefelt v. LA Dept. of Probation & Parole

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

October 9, 2018


         SECTION P




         Petitioner Tommy L. Lingefelt, Sr., who proceeds pro se, filed the instant Petition for writ of habeas corpus on September 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">26, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2018, under 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">28 U.S.C. § 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">22');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">241. He challenges his release on parole and seeks, primarily, unconditional release from all terms and conditions of parole.[1" name="FN1" id="FN1">1]


         Petitioner was convicted of unstated charges on May 9, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2003. [doc. # 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, 1');">p. 1]. He was released from incarceration “as if released on parole” on October 7, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2013, pursuant to Louisiana Revised Statute § 15:571.5(A).[2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2" name="FN2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2" id="FN2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2] Id. at 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2. He claims, however, that he served his entire sentence and should not be on parole. He did not appeal the decision to release him on parole, and he did not seek collateral review. [doc. # 1, pp. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2-7].

         Petitioner essentially claims that, instead of parole, he should have been released unconditionally. First, he alleges that he entered an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (“DPSC”) in which he agreed to forego his incentive wages in exchange for a diminution of sentence in the form of good-time credit earned at a rate of 30 days of credit for every 30 days in custody. [doc. # 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, p. 4]. The “contract, ” as Petitioner refers to it, made no mention of La. Rev. Stat. § 15:571.5 and did not state that, upon earning good-time credit, he would be released “as if released on parole.” Id. at 4-5. He claims that he fulfilled his agreement and earned 13.5 years of good-time credit for the 12');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2 years he was incarcerated. Id. at 6. He also claims that, by foregoing incentive wages, he bought good-time credit. Id. at 5. Under his logic, he “diminished” or reduced his sentence, and he was therefore entitled to unconditional release. Id.

         Apparently in the alternative, Petitioner argues that, to the extent the contract he signed entitled him to parole only, the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole (“the Board”) cannot enforce the contract because the Board did not sign it. Id. at 4.

         Relatedly, Petitioner claims that, on the day of his release, he was forced to choose between remaining incarcerated or signing a second “contract” and agreeing to release subject to parole conditions. Id. at 5. He construes this as a form of duress and claims that the second contract is a nullity. Id. He adds that the second contract “breaches the first contract because it takes away any diminution of sentence and makes [him] forfeit his good time credits promised in the first contract.” Id. at 6.

         Petitioner also challenges the constitutionality of La. Rev. Stat. § 15:571.5, claiming that it violates due process, that its application results in double jeopardy, that it violates his right to equal protection, and that it violates the ex post facto clause. Id. at 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, 5.

         Petitioner seeks release free from all terms and conditions of parole, reimbursement for his parole fees, a declaration that La. Rev. Stat. § 15:571.5 is unconstitutional, and compensation for lost wages, pain, and suffering. [doc. #s 1, p. 7; 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2, p. 7].

         Law and Analysis

         Title 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">28 U.S.C. § 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">22');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">244(d)(1) provides a one-year statute of limitations for filing habeas corpus applications by persons in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court. A petitioner is still considered “in custody” if he is on parole. Jones v. Cunningham, 371 U.S. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">236');">371 U.S. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">236, 83 (1963); U.S. v. Tavarez, 79 Fed. App'x. 79, 80 (5th Cir. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2003); Caldwell v. Dretke, 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">29 F.3d 52');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">21');">42');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">29 F.3d 52');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">21, 52');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">28 (5th Cir. 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2005). Here, as Petitioner is on parole, he is “in custody.”

         The limitation period in 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">28 U.S.C. § 2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">22');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');">2');"> ...

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