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Simpson v. Maloughney

Supreme Court of Montana

October 15, 2013

MICHAEL SIMPSON, Petitioner,
v.
DAN MALOUGHNEY, Administrator Missoula Assessment and Sanction Center, Respondent,

ORDER

Petitioner Michael Simpson (Simpson) has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in which he claims that the Missoula Assessment and Sanction Center (MASC) program has misinterpreted his judgment by requiring that he complete sex offender treatment while in custody, rather than permitting him to seek outpatient treatment. The Department of Corrections (DOC) has filed a response.

By way of background, Simpson was convicted upon a guilty plea of attempted sexual abuse of children in the Richland County Judicial District Court, and committed to the DOC on February 27, 2013, to a term often years with six years suspended. He was designated a Tier I sex offender.

He was received at MASC and screened for placement. The screening committee determined that based upon his Presentence Investigative Report, he was a candidate for SOP I in MASC. Once Simpson committed several disciplinary infractions, it was determined that he would be more appropriately placed at Montana State Prison, where he was transferred on July 26, 2013. Now serving his sentence at Montana State Prison, Simpson maintains that custodial SOP treatment is detrimental to his rehabilitation and overly restrictive because his psychosexual evaluation recommended outpatient treatment.

It appears that he believes that the requirement that he participate in custodial sex offender treatment deprives him of the opportunity for parole, for which he became eligible on February 9, 2013.

The DOC argues the relief Simpson requests is not available through habeas corpus, because he does not challenge his incarceration as illegal. DOC is correct. This claim is not cognizable by means of habeas corpus. Simpson has not challenged the legality of his incarceration pursuant to § 46-22-101(1), MCA. Gates v. Missoula County Comm'rs., 235 Mont. 261, 766 P.2d 884 (1988). Through his misbehavior, Simpson squandered his opportunity to begin SOP treatment in MASC. Consequently, these allegations do not rise to a constitutional violation.

IT IS ORDERED that the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is DENIED. The Clerk is directed to provide a copy hereof to counsel of record and to Michael Simpson.


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