D.S.A. v. Circuit Court Branch 1, No. 89-2871

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore CUDAHY, EASTERBROOK and RIPPLE; RIPPLE; EASTERBROOK
Citation942 F.2d 1143
PartiesD.S.A., Petitioner-Appellant, v. CIRCUIT COURT BRANCH 1, Rock County Juvenile Probation Department, John Whitcomb and Donald Hanaway, Respondents-Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 89-2871
Decision Date05 September 1991

Page 1143

942 F.2d 1143
D.S.A., Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
CIRCUIT COURT BRANCH 1, Rock County Juvenile Probation
Department, John Whitcomb and Donald Hanaway,
Respondents-Appellees.
No. 89-2871.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued Dec. 13, 1990.
Decided Sept. 5, 1991.

Page 1144

Glenn Reynolds (argued), O'Brien & Reynolds, Madison, Wis., for petitioner-appellant.

Sally L. Wellman, Asst. Atty. Gen. (argued), Wisconsin Dept. of Justice, Madison, Wis., for respondents-appellees.

Before CUDAHY, EASTERBROOK and RIPPLE, Circuit Judges.

RIPPLE, Circuit Judge.

D.S.A. was adjudicated delinquent for her participation in the murder of Anthony Darnell Wilson. D.S.A. brought two motions for a new trial that were denied. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decisions, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied D.S.A.'s petition for review. D.S.A. filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the following reasons, we affirm the district court's dismissal of the petition.

I
BACKGROUND

The body of nine-year-old Anthony Darnell Wilson was found on July 27, 1985, in Beloit, Wisconsin. It was determined that he had been murdered the previous night. Wilson died of multiple stab wounds to the chest, head, and neck.

Pursuant to Wis.Stat. § 48.13(12), a Child in Need of Protection and Services petition was filed against eleven-year-old D.S.A. The petition alleged that D.S.A. was a participant in the murder. Delinquency petitions were filed against D.S.C., age 12, and R.E.W., age 14. The three proceedings were held before different judges and were conducted separately. In each proceeding, the jury found that the juvenile was delinquent for his/her participation in the murder.

D.S.A. brought a motion for a new trial 1 on the basis of newly discovered evidence that D.S.A. believed demonstrated her innocence. This evidence consisted of allegations of adult involvement in the murder, medical expert opinion that D.S.A. could not have committed the murder, and an expert's view of the reliability of one of the state's witnesses (who was five years old). The trial court refused to permit D.S.A. to call witnesses at an evidentiary hearing and ultimately denied her motion. D.S.A. appealed the trial court's rulings, contesting

Page 1145

the court's refusal to allow her to call witnesses. While the case was on appeal, R.E.W. gave an in-court confession to the killing. D.S.A. then filed a second motion for a new trial based on this confession. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals remanded D.S.A.'s first appeal to enable the trial court to hear the second motion for a new trial.

The trial court granted the state's request for an evidentiary hearing to evaluate the inherent credibility of the confession. R. 12 at 122. Only R.E.W. and witnesses who had taken earlier statements from R.E.W. were permitted to testify at the hearing. The state called four witnesses to support its contention that the confession was inherently incredible and therefore did not have sufficient probative weight to merit a new trial. The court refused to allow D.S.A. to call forensic experts to testify about the consistency between the physical evidence and R.E.W.'s confession. The court reasoned that the physical evidence adduced at trial, as well as the comments from the experts who testified at the trial, obviated the need for repeating the trial record.

Although another court had granted D.S.C.'s motion for a new trial on the basis of R.E.W.'s confession, the trial court denied D.S.A.'s motion. In rejecting D.S.A.'s motion, the court determined that the confession was inherently incredible because R.E.W. had given a number of conflicting statements concerning the killing and that, in any event, the confession did not foreclose D.S.A.'s participation in the murder. D.S.A. filed a second appeal, claiming that the court's refusal to allow her to present evidence at the evidentiary hearing violated her constitutional right to due process.

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals consolidated both of D.S.A.'s appeals. 145 Wis.2d 904, 430 N.W.2d 379. The court rejected D.S.A.'s arguments and concluded that the trial court had not abused its discretion by denying her motions for a new trial. D.S.A. proceeded to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus. In her petition, D.S.A. requested the district court to hold an evidentiary hearing to evaluate the trustworthiness of the new evidence that D.S.A. had attempted to admit in the state court proceedings. The district court denied both the motion for an evidentiary hearing and the petition. The court held that D.S.A.'s constitutional rights were not implicated by her inability to call witnesses at hearings on post-trial motions and that there is no federal constitutional right to a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence.

II
ANALYSIS

A. Mootness

We first address the state's argument that D.S.A.'s appeal is moot because she is no longer in custody and suffers no collateral consequences as a result of her adjudicated delinquency.

1. General principles

The basic principles that govern the issue of mootness 2 are well established. In Carafas v. La Vallee, 391 U.S. 234, 240,

Page 1146

88 S.Ct. 1556, 1560, 20 L.Ed.2d 554 (1968), the Supreme Court established that a petition for habeas corpus is not rendered moot by the mere release of the petitioner from custody. A petitioner, although released from custody, may continue to seek the writ if collateral consequences--lingering disabilities or burdens resulting from the conviction--are sufficient to give the petitioner " 'a substantial stake in the judgment of conviction which survives the satisfaction of the sentences imposed on him.' " Id. at 237, 88 S.Ct. at 1559 (quoting Fiswick v. United States, 329 U.S. 211, 222, 67 S.Ct. 224, 230, 91 L.Ed. 196 (1946)). The Carafas Court found that, because of his conviction, the petitioner could not engage in certain businesses, vote in state elections, or serve as a juror; these collateral consequences were sufficient for the Court to hold that the petitioner's cause was not moot. See id. at 237, 88 S.Ct. at 1559.

Although these disabilities usually exist in the case of a criminal felony conviction, 3 there can be circumstances when the underlying conviction leaves no such residue and the case is moot upon the petitioner's release from incarceration. For instance, in Broughton v. North Carolina, 717 F.2d 147 (4th Cir.1983), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 940, 104 S.Ct. 1917, 80 L.Ed.2d 464 (1984), the petitioner was cited for criminal contempt because of her outburst in a state civil trial. Her thirty-day sentence expired five days after the district court dismissed her petition for habeas corpus. While acknowledging the rule in Carafas, the Fourth Circuit determined that it was inapplicable in the case before it:

Broughton, however, will suffer none of these collateral consequences as a result of her misdemeanor contempt conviction. The contempt conviction, for example, will not prevent her from voting, serving on a jury, obtaining a license to practice law, becoming an official of a labor union, or qualifying for state elective offices. Nor will the criminal conviction expose her to the possibility of an enhanced sentence if she commits a later criminal act.

717 F.2d at 149 (citations omitted). 4

Lane v. Williams, 455 U.S. 624, 102 S.Ct. 1322, 71 L.Ed.2d 508 (1982), has complicated to some extent the application of these settled principles. In Lane, the petitioners challenged the confinement imposed upon them when they violated their parole after serving their prison sentences. The petitioners argued that their constitutional rights were violated because they were not informed at the time of their original guilty pleas on the underlying crimes that their prison sentences would be followed by a parole term. The Supreme Court noted that, if the petitioners "had sought the opportunity to plead anew" to the underlying criminal charges, the case would not be moot because such relief would free them from "all consequences flowing from their convictions." Id. at 630, 102 S.Ct. at 1326. However, because they already had served the original sentences, 5 they simply sought to remove "the consequence that gave rise to the constitutional harm," the parole

Page 1147

term. This consequence, noted the Court, "expired of its own accord." Id. at 631, 102 S.Ct. at 1327. The petitioners "are no longer subject to any direct restraint as a result of the parole term." Id. The Court concluded that, "[s]ince [petitioners] elected only to attack their sentences and since those sentences expired during the course of these proceedings, this case is moot." Id.

As our colleagues in other circuits have noted, Lane held that the petition for habeas corpus was moot because it attacked only a sentence that already had been served. 6 Those matters that might have generated lingering consequences under the rule of Carafas --the underlying conviction and the finding that they had violated parole--were never attacked. Id. 455 U.S. at 631, 633, 102 S.Ct. at 1327, 1328. 7 Indeed, the Fifth Circuit has stressed that Lane requires a specific focus on the relief sought in order to determine whether a release from custody renders a petition for habeas corpus moot. See Port v. Heard, 764 F.2d 423, 428 (5th Cir.1985). It is clear that the precise holding of Lane has no direct application to the present case. Here, unlike in Lane, the petitioner is attacking the underlying adjudication of her conduct as well as the sentence imposed.

2. Application to this case

We next must consider what, if any, consequences remain from the petitioner's juvenile adjudication now that she is not in custody. We begin with Wisconsin Statute § 48.35(1)(b), which we set out in full at the margin. 8 This provision makes clear that

Page 1148

the civil disabilities "ordinarily resulting from the conviction of a crime" do...

To continue reading

Request your trial
34 practice notes
  • Gerald v. Duckworth, No. 93-1192
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • December 20, 1994
    ...797 F.2d 540, 543 (7th Cir. 1986). See also Fagan v. Washington, 942 F.2d 1155 (7th Cir. 1991); D.S.A. v. Circuit Court Branch 1, 942 F.2d 1143 (7th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 112 S.Ct. 1196 (1992); United States ex rel. Simmons v. Gramley, 915 F.2d 1128 (7th Cir. 1990); Page v. United State......
  • Wickliffe v. Farley, Civ. No. S92-324(S).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • November 10, 1992
    ...Kennedy, 797 F.2d 540, 543 (7th Cir.1986). See also Fagan v. Washington, 942 F.2d 1155 (7th Cir.1991); D.S.A. v. Circuit Court Branch 1, 942 F.2d 1143 (7th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ____, 112 S.Ct. 1196, 117 L.Ed.2d 436 (1992); United States ex rel. Simmons v. Gramley, 915 F.2d 112......
  • Burris v. Farley, No. 3:92cv0755 AS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • January 27, 1994
    ...Kennedy, 797 F.2d 540, 543 (7th Cir.1986). See also Fagan v. Washington, 942 F.2d 1155 (7th Cir.1991); D.S.A. v. Circuit Court Branch 1, 942 F.2d 1143 (7th Cir.1991), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 112 S.Ct. 1196, 117 L.Ed.2d 436 (1992); United States ex rel. Simmons v. Gramley, 915 F.2d 1128 ......
  • Walker v. McCaughtry, No. 98-C-130.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • November 10, 1999
    ...1984), overruled on other grounds by State v. McDonald, 144 Wis.2d 531, 424 N.W.2d 411 (1988); see D.S.A. v. Circuit Court Branch 1, 942 F.2d 1143, 1150-51 (7th Cir.1991) (under Wisconsin law motions for new trial and technical motions dealing with the trial itself are part of appeal proces......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
35 cases
  • Gerald v. Duckworth, No. 93-1192
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • December 20, 1994
    ...797 F.2d 540, 543 (7th Cir. 1986). See also Fagan v. Washington, 942 F.2d 1155 (7th Cir. 1991); D.S.A. v. Circuit Court Branch 1, 942 F.2d 1143 (7th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 112 S.Ct. 1196 (1992); United States ex rel. Simmons v. Gramley, 915 F.2d 1128 (7th Cir. 1990); Page v. United State......
  • Wickliffe v. Farley, Civ. No. S92-324(S).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • November 10, 1992
    ...Kennedy, 797 F.2d 540, 543 (7th Cir.1986). See also Fagan v. Washington, 942 F.2d 1155 (7th Cir.1991); D.S.A. v. Circuit Court Branch 1, 942 F.2d 1143 (7th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ____, 112 S.Ct. 1196, 117 L.Ed.2d 436 (1992); United States ex rel. Simmons v. Gramley, 915 F.2d 112......
  • Burris v. Farley, No. 3:92cv0755 AS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • January 27, 1994
    ...Kennedy, 797 F.2d 540, 543 (7th Cir.1986). See also Fagan v. Washington, 942 F.2d 1155 (7th Cir.1991); D.S.A. v. Circuit Court Branch 1, 942 F.2d 1143 (7th Cir.1991), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 112 S.Ct. 1196, 117 L.Ed.2d 436 (1992); United States ex rel. Simmons v. Gramley, 915 F.2d 1128 ......
  • Walker v. McCaughtry, No. 98-C-130.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District of Wisconsin
    • November 10, 1999
    ...1984), overruled on other grounds by State v. McDonald, 144 Wis.2d 531, 424 N.W.2d 411 (1988); see D.S.A. v. Circuit Court Branch 1, 942 F.2d 1143, 1150-51 (7th Cir.1991) (under Wisconsin law motions for new trial and technical motions dealing with the trial itself are part of appeal proces......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT