This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
William Demone Walker, petitioner,
Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections,
Filed March 20, 2007
Chisago County District Court
File No. 13-CV-05-905
William Demone Walker, OID #186755, 7525 Fourth Avenue, Lino Lakes, MN 55014 (pro se appellant)
Brent D. Wartner, Director, Policy and Legal Services, 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55108-5219 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Ross, Judge; and Collins, Judge.*
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant William Demone Walker challenges the district court order denying his petition for writ of habeas corpus, contending that (1) the district court erred by denying his request for an evidentiary hearing; and (2) his due process rights were violated at the hearing concerning revocation of his supervised release. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
“This court gives
great weight to the district court’s findings in considering a petition for
habeas corpus and will uphold those findings if they are reasonably supported
by the evidence.” State ex rel. Allen v. Fabian, 658 N.W.2d 913, 915 (
person whose supervised release has been revoked may seek review of the
revocation by petitioning the district court for a writ of habeas corpus. See
The petitioner has
the burden of establishing the illegality of the detention. Loyd v.
Fabian, 682 N.W.2d 688, 690 (
that the district court erred in denying him an evidentiary hearing. We disagree.
A petitioner is entitled to an evidentiary hearing only when the
petition establishes the existence of a material factual dispute not previously
resolved. State ex rel. Roy v. Tahash, 277
Following a revocation hearing, appellant’s supervised release was revoked based on the finding of the Hearings and Release Unit (HRU) that appellant conspired with other prisoners to smuggle drugs into a correctional facility. Appellant argues that he did not receive the minimal requirements of due process at his revocation hearing. We disagree.
An inmate shall not
be deprived of a liberty interest without appropriate due process. See
Carrillo v. Fabian, 701 N.W.2d 763, 768 (
Appellant argues that his
due process rights were violated because the HRU improperly admitted transcripts
of telephone calls between appellant and prisoners that were taped by the
Department of Corrections. Appellant
contends these transcripts constituted inadmissible hearsay. We disagree.
Assuming but not deciding that these transcripts constitute hearsay, they
may be admitted in a revocation proceeding if they have some substantial
indicia of reliability, even if the same hearsay would not be admitted in a
criminal proceeding. Belk v. Purkett, 15 F.3d 803, 808 (8th
Cir. 1994). The revocation process
“should be flexible enough to consider evidence including letters, affidavits,
and other material that would not be admissible in an adversary criminal
Here, the district court determined that the records of the monitored calls were admissible under the business-records hearsay exception: “Telephone records are kept in the regular course of business which falls under an exception to the hearsay rule. These records create further substantial indicia of reliability as to who the [appellant] was calling and the smuggling allegation. Thus, there is no evidence that the hearsay was improperly admitted.” We agree.
Moreover, the record demonstrates that appellant’s violation was properly found based on a preponderance of the evidence which included appellant’s cell phone records, the transcription of the monitored calls, and a corrections officer’s admission that he brought drugs obtained from appellant into the correctional facility. We reject appellant’s argument that because hearsay was admitted, he was denied the right to call witnesses. In a revocation proceeding, demonstrably reliable hearsay evidence does not have to be subject to cross-examination or confrontation. See, e.g., United States v. Burkhalter, 588 F.2d 604, 607 (8th Cir. 1978).
In addition, the record does not
indicate that appellant made a request to call witnesses with an offer of proof
to the HRU regarding what the witnesses would testify to. We can only consider matters on the record
before us. State v. Brown, 597 N.W.2d 299, 305 (
as the district court correctly noted, even if the telephone calls had been
improperly admitted, the HRU still had the power to revoke appellant’s release
status. “In order to justify a
revocation order all that is required is enough evidence, within a sound
judicial discretion, to satisfy the district judge that the conduct of the
probationer has not met the conditions of probation.” United
States v. Strada, 503 F.2d 1081, 1085 (8th Cir. 1974) (quotation omitted). Under
If an inmate violates the conditions of the inmate’s supervised release imposed by the commissioner, the commissioner may: . . . revoke the inmate’s supervised release and reimprison the inmate for the appropriate period of time.
Minn. Stat. § 244.05, subd. 3. Here, appellant admitted to owning a motor vehicle without obtaining the permission of his supervising agent in violation of a special condition of his release. Thus, even without the hearsay evidence, the HRU could have revoked appellant’s release status based on appellant’s violation of the car-ownership prohibition.
Appellant also contends that the HRU failed to follow its own guidelines, arguing that his due process rights were violated because he was not formally charged with a crime. But it is not necessary that appellant be charged with a crime in order to revoke his release. Standard Condition #7 states that offenders must not be involved in “any activity defined as criminal.” Any such involvement “constitutes a violation of release and may result in revocation.” The condition does not require a formal charge or conviction. Finally, we have reviewed appellant’s other arguments and determined that they are without merit.
* Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.