Barrett v. Peters (A155789)

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Habeas Corpus
  • Date Filed: 10-07-2015
  • Case #: A155789
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Wollheim, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the Interstate Corrections Compact (ORS 421.245 to ORS 421.254), a petition for a writ of habeas corpus by a plaintiff under Oregon legal custody who is serving a sentence in a Florida prison properly names the Oregon director of the Department of Corrections, and can seek relief from conditions of confinement that are unconstitutional under the Oregon Constitution.

Plaintiff, an inmate in the legal custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC), appealed the trial court’s dismissal of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that, despite the fact that he is physically incarcerated in Florida pursuant to the Interstate Corrections Compact (ICC), the conditions of incarceration required by the Oregon Constitution still apply. The trial court did not reach the merits of the petition, but rather dismissed the petition on grounds that, because he is incarcerated in Florida, his petition under the Oregon Constitution naming the Director of the ODOC is not well-taken. On review, the Court disagreed, and held that, under the ICC, a plaintiff need only allege specific facts sufficient to show that the conditions of confinement are unconstitutional, and may name a defendant that has either physical or legal custody over the plaintiff. Here, because the Florida prison’s grooming standards did not accommodate Plaintiff’s religious hairstyle, and because Plaintiff was under the legal custody of the ODOC, Plaintiff properly named the director of the ODOC, and could seek habeas corpus relief under the Oregon Constitution. Reversed and remanded.

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