United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
Procedure for Filing Objections:
Recommended Disposition (Recommendation) has been sent to
Chief Judge Brian S. Miller. Either party to this suit may
file written objections with the Clerk of Court. To be
considered, objections must be filed within 14 days.
Objections should be specific and should include the factual
or legal basis for the objection.
parties do not file objections, they risk waiving the right
to appeal questions of fact. And, if no objections are filed,
Judge Miller can adopt this Recommendation without
independently reviewing the record.
Columbia County, Arkansas jury found Petitioner Khalin
Collins guilty of commercial burglary, theft of property, and
three counts of arson in February 2015. (Docket entry #1 at
24-27); Collins v. State, 2014 Ark.App. 551, at *1.
The Arkansas Court of Appeals reversed one arson conviction
and affirmed the remaining convictions. Collins,
2014 Ark.App. 551, at 14.
2016, Petitioner Khalin Collins simultaneously filed both a
pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2254 and a motion to stay the federal
proceedings. (Docket entry #1, #2) Mr. Collins's motion
was granted, and the case was stayed in an August 16, 2016
Order, to allow Mr. Collins the opportunity to exhaust
potential state-law claims without the risk of running afoul
of the federal one-year statute of limitations for filing a
federal petition. (#5)
Collins was instructed to move to reopen his federal
proceedings within 30 days of the conclusion of his state
proceedings. Since the August 16, 2016 Order staying this
case, Mr. Collins has not communicated with the Court.
Order issued on January 9, 2019, Mr. Collins was directed
both to notify the Court within 30 days of the status of his
state proceedings and to update his address or risk dismissal
of the case under Local Rule 5.5(c)(2). (#6) Similarly,
Respondent Kelley was ordered to provide the Court any
information she had regarding Mr. Collins's custody
status and the progression of his state proceedings.
(Id.) The Court warned that, if Mr. Collins no
longer met the “in custody” requirement of 28
U.S.C. § 2254(a), his claim would be dismissed for lack
January 9th Order sent to Mr. Collins has been returned as
undeliverable. (#8) Director Kelley timely responded. (#9)
habeas relief lies only for those who are “in custody .
. . in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of
the United States.” 28 U.S.C. §2254(a). A
petitioner who has been released from prison but who remains
subject to parole restrictions is considered “in
custody.” Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 6
(1998); Jones v. Cunningham, 371 U.S. 236, 243
(1963). In contrast, a petitioner whose sentence has fully
expired and who has been unconditionally released is no
longer “in custody” for habeas purposes.
Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 492 (1989);
Painter v. Outlaw, 334 Fed. App.'x 47, 48 (8th
Cir. 2009). Accordingly, unless a habeas petitioner is in
custody, a federal court has no jurisdiction to reach the
merits of a habeas claim. Weaver v. Pung, 925 F.2d
1097, 1099 (8th Cir. 1991), cert denied, 502 U.S.
Collins is no longer in custody. As the result of his
successful pursuit of state-law claims, he was resentenced to
time served and released from imprisonment in July 2018. (#9)
His updated sentencing order also reflects that Mr. Collins
“has no additional jail time[, ] and is flat on parole
. . ..” (#9-1 at 4) Moreover, the Arkansas Department
of Correction's Order of Discharge certifies that Mr.
Collins had served “the full term” of his
sentence. (#92-2 at 1) Because Mr. Collins has been fully
discharged from his sentence, he is no longer in custody as
contemplated by §2254. Consequently, this Court no
longer has jurisdiction to hear the merits of his habeas
petition, and his claims are now moot.
Court recommends that Judge Miller DENY, as moot, and
DISMISS, with prejudice, Khalin Collin's petition for
writ of habeas corpus (#1) for lack of jurisdiction.
Furthermore, it is ...