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TX: Unfavorable Decision in the Hearn Case

From TexasVoices: As many of you are aware our constitutional claim rested on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Santobello v. New York. In Santobello the Supreme Court ruled a state violates substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment when it breaches a plea bargain agreement with a criminal defendant. In our case the State of Texas did just that: it changed state law to require Jack, Donnie and Jimmy to register for life, long after they accepted a plea bargain agreement in their criminal cases. The negotiated terms of their plea agreements, at the time of they were induced to waive their constitutional rights to a fair trial, either provided they would not be required to register at all, or that they would only be required to register until they completed their probation.

Today the U.S. District Court in our case ruled against us on two, and only two, issues. First, the Court correctly ruled contract principles generally apply to our constitutional breach of plea claim. However, to our surprise, the Court further ruled that a valid breach of contract claim, as well as our constitutional claim based on Santobello, requires an aggrieved person to prove the consequences of the breach resulted in a criminal “punishment” being imposed against him. Most of us are familiar that rule applies to Ex Post Facto claims. However, I am unaware of any case that recognizes such a principle in contract law, or any case that has interpreted Santobello in this way in the plea bargain context. Full Analysis and Decision

Join the discussion

  1. JohnDoeUtah

    Time for an appeal.

    • TS

      @JDUtah

      Read the full article and you’ll see an appeal is coming along with further decision analysis by Rich Gladden. Good insight into the legal machinations.

  2. SR

    This is such crap. Things timing out because “you should’ve known and done it earlier” in cases like this are pure BS. It’s like a guy a few years ago who was wrongfully arrested and jailed for several years. He kept pleading for it to be investigated. He was ignored. He got out and sued. And even though the court 100% agreed that he was wronged, they didn’t award him any damages because it lapsed past the 2-year mark. The 2+ years that he was in custody and no one would look into it.

  3. Tim in WI

    To the Author
    I know WI has case law on the issue that was reviewed by the 2nd where the annual fee was enjoined by the Fed. Dist. Judge. Ramesch v.________2010. I’ll try to find the cite.

    I would inquire over at SOSEN.ORG for relevant case law too because they’ve a nice reference library there. IMO the problem with referring to contract law as to SOR enforcement is that pesky civil designation from which the standardized waiver form can be reasonably applied by the state and inevitability the judge. Technically the state hasn’t altered the original judgement via agreement. Rather a civil regime was developed by cause of law and applied going forward to which the Admin branch must comply. An incident of actual incarceration without trial first however would infact be sufficient to meet the bar. That is the kind of things that can be placed in the record at FTR.

    • JohnDoeUtah

      That case was overturned on appeal in 2014. The fee lives on.

  4. JohnDoeUtah

    What is the 2012 SCOTUS decision on continuing violations doctrine?

  5. Tim in WI

    Utah Joe,
    Yes the Fee lives. The 2nd Cir. COA spent a good deal of time drawing distinction between ” tax” & “fee” as it relates to due protection and punishment per say. which IMO was not the means by which the Circuit Judge enjoined the plaintiff as unconstitutional.

    His announced rejoining opinion was the fee exceeded statutes of forfeiture in place at the conviction date by statute by cumulative effect. 100$ x # years. The case was filed by men now living in FL! Wisconsin DOCSOR is tracking their out of state addresses and many other data points. Ultimately the question is not whether it is a tax or fee, rather it is the effect of the cash flow – plain forfeiture & plain indenture to government machine property maintenance.

  6. nah

    I researched this because the government violated my plea bargain contract, but this was decided with finality in the California courts a few years back, long after my sentencing.

    See PEOPLE v. ERLANDSON Filed October 19, 2017, citing precedent.

    https://www.leagle.com/decision/incaco20171024089

    They can make up the rules as they play the game.

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