Maciel v. Cate

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 09-25-2013
  • Case #: 11-55620
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Nguyen for the Court; Circuit Judges Benavides and Bybee
  • Full Text Opinion

For the purposes of a habeas petition, a state’s imposition of parole and sex-offender registration requirements after a sentencing court fails to impose them is “neither contrary to nor an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.”

In 1986, James D. Maciel was convicted of committing lewd and lascivious acts with force against a child and sentenced to approximately 42 years in prison. The sentencing court did not impose a parole term or require Maciel to register as a sex-offender. When Maciel was released in 2008, the court informed him that he would be placed on parole for three years and ordered him to register as a sex-offender. About one year later, Maciel was reimprisoned for violating parole. Maciel then filed a habeas corpus petition alleging that the state’s retroactive imposition of the parole and registration requirements violated his due process. The California Court of Appeals denied the petition. He appealed to the district court, claiming that the parole term was imposed in violation of Hill v. United States ex rel. Wampler; this claim was also denied. On appeal, in addition to his challenge to the parole term, Maciel sought to expand his certificate of appealability to include an identical challenge to registration requirement. The Ninth Circuit found the issue of the parole term moot because Maciel had already been released at the time of the hearing. The panel certified Maciel’s second challenge to the registration requirement. However, it affirmed the lower court’s denial of the habeas petition, finding that the state’s imposition of the parole and registration requirements were “nether contrary to nor an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.” The panel found that Wampler was distinguishable in several ways, including that parole and registration requirements are not subject to the sentencing court’s discretion because they are required by law. AFFIRMED.

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