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Stanley v. Sullivan

Court of Appeals of Kansas

December 6, 2013

Billy J. STANLEY, Appellant,
v.
Shawn SULLIVAN, Secretary of the Kansas Department on Aging and Disabilities, Appellee.

Page 884

Syllabus by the Court

1. Habeas corpus is an extraordinary legal remedy that should be used only when relief cannot be obtained using ordinary procedures.

2. Proceedings on a petition for writ of habeas corpus are not subject to ordinary rules of civil procedure.

3. Except for matters pertaining to sentencing addressed by K.S.A. 60-1507, the procedure to be used in seeking a writ of habeas corpus is set forth in K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 60-1501.

4. For many years, Kansas courts have recognized the obligation of a person who is detained, confined, or restrained of liberty to exhaust appropriate administrative remedies prior to seeking a writ of habeas corpus.

5. Exhaustion of administrative remedies is not required when such remedies are inadequate or would serve no purpose.

6. The exhaustion of administrative remedies requirement for civilly committed sexually violent predators filing civil actions against the State— including habeas corpus actions— is now codified in K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 59-29a24(a).

7. The provisions of K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 60-1501(c) extend the deadline for the filing of habeas corpus actions by civilly committed sexually violent predators while they attempt to exhaust administrative remedies.

8. Except when administrative remedies are inadequate or would serve no purpose, a civilly committed sexually violent predator must exhaust such remedies before seeking a writ of habeas corpus in a K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 60-1501 proceeding.

Gerald E. Wells, of Lawrence, for appellant.

Corrine E. Johnson, litigation counsel, of Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, for appellee.

Before BRUNS, P.J., ARNOLD-BURGER and POWELL, JJ.

BRUNS, J.

Billy J. Stanley, a civilly committed sexually violent predator, is a patient in the custody of the Secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), K.S.A. 59-29a01 et seq. During 2012, Stanley filed three separate petitions for writs of habeas corpus under K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 60-1501 in the Pawnee County District Court. Ultimately, the district court dismissed Stanley's petitions for failure to exhaust administrative remedies prior to seeking court intervention. On appeal, Stanley argues that the enactment of K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 59-29a24 excuses him from his obligation to exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing a petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus. Based on the language of the statutes in question, as well as upon the legislative history, we conclude that civilly committed sexually violent predators are still required to exhaust any applicable administrative remedies prior to seeking the extraordinary remedy of habeas corpus under K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 60-1501. Accordingly, we affirm the district court's dismissal of Stanley's petitions for writs of habeas corpus.

FACTS

The facts of this case are not in dispute. During August 2012, Stanley— who is a patient

Page 885

in the Sexual Predator Treatment Program (SPTP) at Larned State Hospital— filed three petitions in Pawnee County District Court seeking writs of habeas corpus pursuant to K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 60-1501. The district court stayed each of the habeas corpus actions for 90 days so that Stanley could exhaust his administrative remedies through the SPTP.

On January 7, 2013, the district court dismissed each of the habeas corpus petitions because Stanley had failed to timely exhaust administrative remedies. Stanley filed timely notices of appeal, and appellate counsel was appointed to represent him. Subsequently, on March 25, 2013, this court consolidated the three cases because they present the same issue on appeal.

ANALYSIS

Issue Presented

The sole issue presented is whether the district court erred in dismissing Stanley's K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 60-1501 petitions for writs of habeas corpus for his failure to timely exhaust administrative remedies. Specifically, Stanley argues that K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 59-29a24(d) eliminates any requirement that patients in the SPTP exhaust administrative remedies prior to the filing of a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Stanley contends that in enacting K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 59-29a24, the legislature intended to require patients in the SPTP to exhaust administrative remedies before filing all civil actions except habeas corpus against the State or its political officials. In response, the State contends that the legislature did not intend to ...


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