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Camp v. Hornbeak

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


August 4, 2008

CHRISTY MARIE CAMP, PETITIONER,
v.
TINA HORNBEAK, WARDEN RESPONDENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur L. Alarcón United States Circuit Judge Sitting by Designation

ORDER

Christy Marie Camp filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254(a) on December 29, 2006. She alleged that the California Board of Prison Terms ("BPT") declined to set a date for release on parole on June 1, 2005 in the absence of some evidence that she was unsuitable for release because she posed a threat to public safety.

On July 18, 2008, this Court issued an order granting Petitioner's application because the BPT failed to identify any facts in its June 1, 2005 finding that constituted some evidence that she posed an unreasonable risk of danger to society. The undisputed evidence showed that she was a victim of battered wife syndrome. The BPT found that she had no past criminal record, and that

"[s]he does have good parole plans, especially for someone who doesn't have a family available. She has a lot of letters of support. . . . She has certainly been able to garner good community support and has made plans for what she would do should she be granted parole."

The refusal of the BPT to grant Petitioner a parole release date on June 1, 2005 was contrary to its conclusion that she was suitable for release on parole almost five years ago on December 30, 2003. The BPT's 2003 finding was reversed by the Governor.

On July 25, 2008, Respondent filed a motion styled as "RESPONDENT'S MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT AND MOTION TO DISMISS PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AS MOOT." This Court was informed for the first time that Petitioner was found suitable for parole release on February 13, 2008.

Thus, it would appear that Petitioner has been improperly imprisoned since at least June 1, 2005 because she was denied a parole release date without some evidence that she posed a danger to society on that date. It is obvious to this Court that California has deprived Petitioner of her right to due process and her liberty interest under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Because Petitioner's application for habeas corpus relief has become moot in light of her belated release on parole, this Court's July 21, 2008 Order is VACATED, and Petitioner's application is DISMISSED. The clerk is directed to enter judgment and close the case.

20080804

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