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Williams v. Deslauriers

September 7, 2007

TRAVIS WILLIAMS, APPELLANT,
v.
AUSTIN DESLAURIERS, CLINICAL DIRECTOR, AND LEO HERMAN, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, APPELLEES.



Appeal from Pawnee District Court; BRUCE T. GATTERMAN, judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. An appellate court's standard of review over a trial court's summary dismissal of a K.S.A. 60-1501 petition is well-established. K.S.A. 60-1503 authorizes the summary dismissal of a habeas corpus petition if it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits attached thereto that the plaintiff is not entitled to relief in the trial court. To avoid summary dismissal, the allegations must be of a constitutional stature. In determining if this standard is met, courts must accept the facts alleged by the inmate as true. If a violation of due process is alleged, a question of law is raised over which an appellate court has unlimited review.

2. The Kansas Act for Judicial Review and Civil Enforcement of Agency Actions (KJRA), K.S.A. 77-601 et seq., applies to all agencies and all proceedings for judicial review and civil enforcement of agency actions that are not specifically exempted by statute. The KJRA is the exclusive remedy for all requested relief which an agency can grant under its authority. Only actionable claims which fall outside the authority of an agency to grant can support a separate action by an aggrieved party.

3. The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services is the agency charged with the control, care, and treatment of sexually violent predators.

4. K.S.A. 60-1501 states that subject to the provisions of K.S.A. 60-1507, and amendments thereto, any person in this state who is detained, confined, or restrained of liberty on any pretense whatsoever, and any parent, guardian, or next friend for the protection of infants or allegedly incapacitated or incompetent persons, physically present in this state may prosecute a writ of habeas corpus in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or the trial court of the county in which such restraint is taking place.

5. K.S.A. 60-1501 may be an appropriate remedy for an individual to use to challenge an agency's actions or an agency's administrative hearing procedures when the agency's actions or the agency's hearing procedures infringe on the individual's constitutional rights.

6. Before seeking judicial review in a K.S.A. 60-1501 proceeding, a petitioner must exhaust all available administrative remedies.

7. To avoid summary dismissal of a 60-1501 petition, the petition must allege shocking and intolerable conduct or continuing mistreatment of a constitutional stature.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Green, J.

Dismissed.

Before HILL, P.J., GREEN and GREENE, JJ.

Travis Williams appeals from the trial court's summary dismissal of his K.S.A. 60-1501 petition. On appeal, Williams contends that the lack of a formal disciplinary procedure in the Sexual Predator Treatment Program (SPTP) at the Larned State Hospital denied him due process under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Because Williams' complaint concerning a lack of a disciplinary procedure in the SPTP to protect his due process rights involves an agency action and is controlled by the Kansas Act for Judicial Review and Civil Enforcement of Agency Actions (KJRA), K.S.A. 77-601 et seq., we determine that Williams brought his action in the wrong forum. As a result, we determine that the trial court correctly held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider this action. Further, assuming arguendo that this is the proper forum for Williams' 60-1501 petition, we determine that Williams has failed to allege in his petition shocking or intolerable conduct or continuing mistreatment of a constitutional stature sufficient to afford him relief under habeas corpus. Accordingly, we dismiss.

In August 2003, Williams was committed to the SPTP at the Larned State Hospital. On February 12, 2006, Williams' room was searched and several adult DVD movies that were rated X were seized. On February 15, 2006, Williams was called to a meeting with the SPTP treatment team where he was told that he was being reduced to a Level 1 in the program. Williams was told that he would have to retake several "Core Phase" classes. Williams alleges that he was also told that he had to disclose who gave him the adult movies, how the movies got into the facility, and the names of any other individuals he knew who had adult movies. Williams was told that he would not get his privileges back unless he cooperated with these conditions. Nevertheless, Williams refused to disclose any of the requested information.

According to Williams, it was revealed during an investigation of another resident that the movies seized from Williams actually belonged to another resident and that a staff member had brought the movies into the facility for that resident. Williams alleged that he had to meet with the SPTP treatment team again to tell them his story and take a polygraph test to ensure that he was telling the truth. Williams was told that this was to help the SPTP treatment team with their investigation.

Williams sent a letter titled "Grievance" to Eric Fox, the director of consumer relations for the Larned State Hospital, detailing the above facts. Williams alleged that he had been deprived of his property, his job, and his wages. Moreover, Williams argued that the use of the polygraph for investigative purposes was improper and illegal. Fox responded to Williams' grievance in a written letter dated April 12, 2006, stating that he had investigated Williams' claim. Fox noted that it was the consensus among different departments across campus that it was allowable to have ...


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