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QAWI v. GRAZIANI

April 1, 2004.

KANURI SURGURY QAWI, Petitioner;
v.
DAVE GRAZIANI, Respondent



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SUSAN ILLSTON, District Judge

JUDGMENT

The petition for writ of habeas corpus is dismissed as moot.

IT IS SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED.

  ORDER OF DISMISSAL

  INTRODUCTION

  Kanuri Surgury Qawi, currently in custody at the Napa State Hospital, filed this pro se action seeking a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Respondent filed an answer to the petition. For the reasons discussed below, the petition is dismissed as moot.

  BACKGROUND

  Qawi was sentenced to a four — year prison term in 1991 after he was found guilty of an assault. Once he was done with his prison term, Qawi was subjected to proceedings under California Penal Code § 2970, resulting in his commitment to a state mental hospital as a mentally disordered offender ("MDO"). He was committed in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003.

  In the habeas petition filed here, Qawi challenges his 2002 commitment. He alleges that he was forcibly medicated to testify at the commitment proceedings, in violation of his right to due process. He also alleges that he was unable to access this court because of the forced Page 2 medication and because the former respondent had not supplied him with pens, papers, or envelopes. The question of the state's ability to forcibly medicate Qawi was recently decided in In re Qawi, 32 Cal.4th 1 (Cal. 2004). The petition before this court, filed months before the California Supreme Court issued its decision in In re. Qawi, does not concern the propriety of Qawi being medicated in general. Rather, Qawi's federal petition concerns the propriety of medication only as it relates to the 2002 commitment proceedings.

  The decision at issue here is the February 8, 2002 commitment order that provided for Qawi's recommitment "to Napa State Hospital forthwith for the period of time terminating on February 17, 2003." Resp. Exh. 8. He was recommitted in 2003. The commitment order filed January 13, 2003 provided that he was to be recommitted "to Napa State Hospital for the period of one year beginning February 17, 2003 and terminating February 17, 2004." Resp. Exh. 1.

  Qawi's commitment status after February 17, 2004 is not known because the parties completed their briefing before the 2003 commitment order had expired. His current commitment status does not affect the court's analysis of his petition.

  DISCUSSION

  Article III, § 2, of the U.S. Constitution requires the existence of a case or controversy through all stages of federal judicial proceedings. This means that, throughout the litigation, the petitioner/plaintiff "must have suffered, or be threatened with, an actual injury traceable to the [respondent/defendant] and likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision." Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477 (1990).

  An incarcerated (or paroled) convict's challenge to the validity of his conviction satisfies the case — or — controversy requirement because the incarceration (or the restrictions imposed by the terms of the parole) constitutes a concrete injury, caused by the conviction and redressable by the invalidation of the conviction. Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7 (1998). Once the convict's sentence has expired, however, some concrete and continuing injury other than the now — ended incarceration or parole-some "collateral consequence" of the conviction-must exist if the suit is to be maintained and not considered moot. Id. Courts may presume that a criminal Page 3 conviction has continuing collateral consequences. See id at 8-12 (noting that Supreme Court has been willing to accept hypothetical collateral consequences for criminal convictions); Evitts v. Lucey, 469 U.S. 387, 391 n.4 (1985) (accepting as collateral consequence possibility that conviction may be used in future criminal proceeding to enhance sentence). But this presumption does not extend to other contexts. See Spencer, 523 U.S. at 13; Lane v. Williams 455 U.S. 624, 632-33 (1982). A petitioner who seeks to challenge the revocation of his parole, for example, must demonstrate that continuing collateral consequences exist if the underlying sentence has expired, see Spencer. 523 U.S. at 14-18, or if the term imposed for violating parole has been served, see Cox v. McCarthy, 829 F.2d 800, 803 (9th Cir. 1987) (claim moot ...


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