887 F.3d 737 (6th Cir. 2018), 17-3395, Hautzenroeder v. Dewine

Docket Nº:17-3395
Citation:887 F.3d 737
Opinion Judge:COOK, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:Julie HAUTZENROEDER, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Michael DEWINE, Ohio Attorney General, Respondent-Appellee.
Attorney:Wendy R. Calaway, THE LAW OFFICE OF WENDY R. CALAWAY, CO., L.P.A., Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellant. M. Scott Criss, OFFICE OF THE OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellee. Wendy R. Calaway, THE LAW OFFICE OF WENDY R. CALAWAY, CO., L.P.A., Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellant. Stephanie L. W...
Judge Panel:Before: COLE, Chief Judge; SILER and COOK, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:April 11, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
SUMMARY

An Ohio jury found Hautzenroeder, a high school teacher, guilty of one count of sexual battery involving a student. Although her state court appeals were unsuccessful, the trial court suspended most of her two-year prison sentence and discharged her early from community control. No court could suspend Hautzenroeder’s statutorily-mandated classification as a Tier III sex offender with lifetime... (see full summary)

 
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Page 737

887 F.3d 737 (6th Cir. 2018)

Julie HAUTZENROEDER, Petitioner-Appellant,

v.

Michael DEWINE, Ohio Attorney General, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 17-3395

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

April 11, 2018

Argued: January 24, 2018

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio at Cincinnati. No. 1:16-cv-00443— Michael R. Barrett, District Judge.

ARGUED:

Wendy R. Calaway, THE LAW OFFICE OF WENDY R. CALAWAY, CO., L.P.A., Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellant.

M. Scott Criss, OFFICE OF THE OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellee.

ON BRIEF:

Wendy R. Calaway, THE LAW OFFICE OF WENDY R. CALAWAY, CO., L.P.A., Cincinnati, Ohio, for Appellant.

Stephanie L. Watson, OFFICE OF THE OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL, Columbus, Ohio, for Appellee.

Before: COLE, Chief Judge; SILER and COOK, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

COOK, Circuit Judge.

Due to her conviction for sexual battery, Julie Hautzenroeder must forever comply with Ohio’s sex offender registration and notification laws. After her release from prison and community control, Hautzenroeder filed a habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging her conviction with its attendant ongoing reporting burden. The district court dismissed the petition, deciding that it lacked jurisdiction under § 2254 because Hautzenroeder was no longer " in custody." Hautzenroeder timely appealed, and we AFFIRM.

I. BACKGROUND

An Ohio jury found Hautzenroeder, a high school teacher, guilty of one count of sexual battery involving a student. Although her state court appeals were unsuccessful, Hautzenroeder benefitted from the trial court’s suspending most of her two-year prison sentence and discharging her early from community control. But no court could suspend Hautzenroeder’s statutorily-mandated classification as a Tier III sex offender with its associated lifetime reporting requirements. See Ohio Rev. Code § § 2950.01(G)(1)(a), 2950.07(B)(1).

Hautzenroeder’s federal habeas petition alleged a due process violation stemming from insufficient evidence supporting her conviction. Ohio moved to dismiss, arguing that the district court lacked jurisdiction over the petition because Hautzenroeder filed it after her period of incarceration

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and community control expired— in other words, when she was no longer " in custody." Agreeing with a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation, the district court dismissed her petition for want of jurisdiction. That court’s later grant of a certificate of appealability as to " whether petitioner is in custody for purposes of habeas relief and whether the Court properly granted respondent’s motion to dismiss" occasions this appeal.

II. ANALYSIS

" We apply de novo review to questions of subject matter jurisdiction." Steverson v. Summers, 258 F.3d 520, 522 (6th Cir. 2001). As the party opposing dismissal, Hautzenroeder bears the burden of establishing the existence of jurisdiction. Brott v. United States, 858 F.3d 425, 428 (6th Cir. 2017).

Federal courts may " entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus [o]n behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a) (emphases added). This language is jurisdictional: if a petitioner is not " in custody" when she files her petition, courts may not consider it. Steverson, 258 F.3d at 522.

The Supreme Court holds that a petitioner is " in custody" when she is subject to conditions that " significantly restrain [her] liberty to do those things which in this country free men are entitled to do." Jones v. Cunningham, 371 U.S. 236, 243, 83 S.Ct. 373, 9 L.Ed.2d 285 (1963); see also Hensley v. Mun. Court, 411 U.S. 345, 351, 93 S.Ct. 1571, 36 L.Ed.2d 294 (1973) (" The custody requirement of the habeas corpus statute is designed to preserve the writ of habeas corpus as a remedy for severe restraints on individual liberty." ). Comparing herself to a parolee, Hautzenroeder maintains that the continuous burdens and restrictions of her Tier III classification similarly circumscribe her liberties, rendering her " in custody" under § 2254. See Jones, 371 U.S. at 242, 83 S.Ct. 373 (detailing terms of petitioner’s parole).

Yet not all consequences that flow from a criminal conviction significantly curb one’s liberty. " [O]nce the sentence imposed for a conviction has completely expired, the collateral consequences of that conviction are not themselves sufficient to render an individual ‘in custody’ for the purposes of a habeas attack upon it." Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 492, 109 S.Ct. 1923, 104 L.Ed.2d 540 (1989) (per curiam) (emphasis added). Hautzenroeder is no longer in custody, the States argument goes, because her...

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