a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, Duane Lajeunesse
seeks his immediate release because he claims that his
sentence is longer than the law allows. He is presently
placed in the Missoula Assessment and Sanction Center (MASC).
electronic records indicate that Lajeunesse originally had
two convictions and sentences from Custer County.
March 2011, Lajeunesse pled guilty to several offenses The
Sixteenth Judicial District Court, Custer County, sentenced
Lajeunesse to the Department of Corrections (DOC) for felony
criminal endangerment for a suspended, ten-year period and
additionally committed him to the DOC for felony intimidation
for a concurrentj suspended, ten-year term Lajeunesse also
received a six-month jail term for misdemeanor assault In May
2012, the Custer County District Court revoked both sentences
because of probationary violations The court imposed two,
concurrent commitments to the DOC for ten years, with six
years suspended (2012 sentences upon revocation).
serving this probationary term, Lajeunesse committed a new
offense of felony aggravated assault in Lewis and Clark
County in March 2017. On May 8, 2017, the Custer County
District Court revoked both six-year sentences based upon
Lajeunesse's admission of violations for alcohol or drug
use. The court committed him to the DOC for two, concurrent
six-year terms, with no time suspended (2017 sentences upon
First Judicial District Court, Lewis and Clark County,
accepted Lajeunesse's guilty plea to the amended charge
of felony criminal endangerment on June 14, 2017. The
District Court sentenced him to the DOC for a five-year,
suspended term and ran this sentence consecutively to the
2017 sentences upon revocation. Lajeunesse received credit
for time served in jail from March 29, 2017, through June 14,
states four reasons why his incarceration is illegal. He
asserts that he was held unlawfully in the Lewis and Clark
County Detention Facility because his "cases had been
closed" while awaiting a bed date in MASC. He claims to
have an e-mail from the Clerk of District Court stating that
his cases were closed and that his "rights were being
violated." He challenges the time that he spent in this
jail because he "was never booked ... on the probation
revocation warrant from Custer County." He argues that
Probation and Parole officers conducted an illegal search of
the apartment which he shared with his mother. Lastly, he
contends that his 2017 sentences upon revocation are longer
than the law allows and violate his due process rights.
arguments lack merit. His judgments specifically refer
Lajeunesse to the custody of the DOC and list the probation
conditions. Section 46-23-1001(4), MCA. Montana statutes
outline the DOC Probation and Parole's authority for
supervision of offenders serving the suspended portion of a
sentence. See § 46-23-1001, MCA, through
§46-23-1032, MCA. Probation and Parole officers have
authority to supervise probationers, including searches of a
probationer's residence. Section 46-23-1011, MCA; Admin.
R. M. 20.7.1101(1) (2008). Probation and Parole officers may
arrest a probationer when violations are alleged and return
"the probationer to any suitable detention center."
Section 46-23-1012(1), MCA. A probation offender may be held
in jail for seventy-two hours before a bail hearing. Section
46-23-1012(3), MCA. Once the District Court receives a filed
report of violation, the court may "proceed with
revocation of probation in the manner provided in
46-18-203." Section 46-23-1012(5), MCA. Pursuant to
§ 46-18-203(7)(a)(iii), MCA, the Custer County District
Court revoked Lajeunesse's sentences again in 2017.
the District Courts may have "closed" his case
files, Lajeunesse still has to complete his sentences on his
judgments. It should be noted that his Custer County cases
were not "closed" in March 2017 because he was
still serving the suspended portion of the 2012 sentences
upon revocation. He was detained in the Lewis and Clark
County Detention Facility on a new bailable offense, for
which he received credit for this time served. Section
46-18-403(1), MCA. He also received credit for time served
from March 29 through May 8 against his 2017 sentences upon
revocation. His due process rights were not violated because
he was given notice of his probation revocation, had
representation by counsel, and was afforded separate court
proceedings in both counties.
is doubly constrained here because his claims lack merit and
are procedurally barred. His 2017 sentences upon revocation
are not any longer than the sentences originally imposed.
State v. Haagenson, 2010 MT 95, ¶¶ 15-16,
356 Mont. 177, 232 P.3d 367. The revocation court has only
required Lajeunesse, who violated the conditions of his
probation supervision, to successfully complete two,
concurrent six-year sentences-as originally imposed. Section
46-18-203(7)(a)(iii), MCA. Section 46-22-101(2), MCA, states
that habeas corpus "relief under this chapter is not
available to attack the legality of an order revoking a
suspended or deferred sentence." Hence, he is
statutorily precluded from seeking habeas corpus relief from
orders revoking suspended sentences.
does not have illegal sentences. His sentences are valid.
IT IS ORDERED that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus
Clerk is directed to provide a copy of this Order to counsel
of record, ...