United States District Court, D. Montana, Helena Division
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED STATES
Johnston United States Magistrate Judge.
case comes before the Court on state pro se Petitioner Jesse
Lee Sackett's application for writ of habeas corpus under
28 U.S.C. § 2254.
explained below, because Sackett has failed to make the
requisite showing to set aside the procedural bars, his
petition will be recommended for dismissal with prejudice.
1987, following a conviction in Montana's Fourth Judicial
District, Missoula County, for Deliberate Homicide committed
with a Dangerous Weapon, Sackett was sentenced to a net
60-year prison sentence with 20 of the years suspended. (Doc.
6 at 2, ¶¶l-3.) Sackett is not challenging his
underlying conviction, but rather the unlawful imprisonment
and illegal restraint that purportedly occurred when his
custody was transferred across state lines under the
Interstate Corrections Compact. Id. at 3,
¶15(A); 4, ¶15(B).
Sackett and other Montana inmates were transferred to the
Dickens County Correctional Center, in Spur, Texas, due to
overcrowding. (Doc. 1 at 2.) Following this transfer, Sackett
was assaulted several times. Id. at 2-3. According
to Sackett, the United States Federal District Court in
Lubbock, Texas, intervened and, because the State had
circumvented the Interstate Corrections Compact, ordered the
Montana prisoners be released. Id. at 4;
see also, (Doc. 13 at 1.) Instead, in July of 1997,
Sackett and the other prisoners were not released but were
transferred back to the Montana State Prison
("MSP") where they continued serving their
custodial sentences. Id.
it is unclear exactly when, Sackett was released on
probation. In 2018, Sackett was arrested on a warrant for a
purported probation violation and returned to Montana's
Fourth Judicial District. See, (Doc. 1 at 1);
see also, (Doc. 1-1 at 6.) Sackett's probation
was revoked on December 18, 2018; he is currently
incarcerated at the Montana State Prison.
claims that in October of 2018 he attempted to file a habeas
petition challenging his purportedly unlawful
transfer/restraint in the state district court, but his
application was not accepted. (Doc. 6 at 4.) Sackett admits
he has not attempted to present his claims to the Montana
Supreme Court and he believes any such state action in the
state courts would be "fruitless." Id. at
5-6; see also, (Doc. 1-2 at 3, 5.)
filed his petition in this Court on December 7, 2018 in which
he raised claims concerning both his present incarceration
and the conditions of his confinement. (Doc. 1.) Sackett was
advised of the legal standards at play in federal habeas
proceedings, as well those applicable in 42 U.S.C. §1983
actions. (Doc. 5 at 2-3.) Sackett was directed to file an
Amended Petition. Id. at 3-4. Sackett filed his
Amended Petition on December 26, 2018. (Doc. 6.)
February 11, 2019, Sackett was informed it appeared his
petition was filed more than twenty years too late and that
his claims were likely procedurally defaulted because they
had not been fairly presented to the Montana Supreme Court.
(Doc. 12 at 3-5.) Sackett was ordered to show cause as to why
his petition should not be dismissed and was advised of the
ways in which he might make the requisite showings.
Id. Sackett timely responded. (Doc. 13.)
initially explained he had attempted to exhaust his
administrative remedies through the Montana Department of
Corrections (DOC), the Governor's Office, and the Montana
State Prison (MSP), but that his attempts were either ignored
or he was faced with retaliation and destruction of his
exhibits and documents. See, (Doc. 1-2 at 3.)
Sackett explained that at some unidentified time in the past,
he attempted to obtain the purported release order issued by
the United States District Court in Lubbock, Texas, but all
attempts were unsuccessful and disrupted by MSP officials.
response to the order to show cause, Sackett explains his
actions further. See generally, (Doc. 13.) He states
that upon his return to MSP in 1997, he attempted to follow
up on the Texas case and was asked by an MSP clerk "if
his legal work had got through," as other individuals
had had their paperwork seized. Id. at 3. Although
Sackett does not explain exactly what then occurred, he
advises, "[o]bviously no further effort[s] were
successful, although attempts were made to contact the U.S.
Court in [Texas]." Id. Sackett believes his
correspondence was seized during the time-period, presumably
in 1997 or 1998, and that the same pattern of document
seizure reoccurred in recent months when Sackett attempted to
contact the Department of Justice. Id.
the untimeliness of his petition, Sackett explains he was
threatened by an Associate Warden in 1997 that if he
continued to pursue the Texas matter he "would be
shipped out of state." Id. at 4. According to
Sackett, he was then transferred to a facility in Tennessee,
where a counselor gave him a memo threatening to discharge
his sentence. Id. Sackett claims he then
"ceased his attempts" but was nonetheless forced to
discharge his sentence and begin f serving
the twenty-year probationary term of his sentence.
Id. Sackett states ...