United States District Court, D. New Mexico
DANIEL E. CORIZ, Petitioner,
VICTOR RODRIGUEZ, ACTING WARDEN Sandoval County Detention Center, Sandoval County New Mexico, ROBERT B. CORIZ, TRIBAL COURT JUDGE and Governor for the Pueblo of Kewa, and KEWA PUEBLO (Also known as Santo Domingo Pueblo), Respondents.
PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT AND RECOMMENDED
MATTER comes before the Court on Petitioner Daniel E.
Coriz's Motion for Immediate Release Pending Review of
the Merits of his Petition (Doc. 14), filed on March
30, 2018. The Honorable James O. Browning referred this case
to me to conduct hearings, if warranted, including
evidentiary hearings, and to perform any legal analysis
required to recommend to the Court an ultimate disposition of
the case. Doc. 16. The Court has reviewed the
submissions of the parties and the relevant law, and further
conducted oral arguments on the issues thus presented.
Although the Court recommends that Petitioner's Motion
for Immediate Release be denied, it further recommends that
an expedited evidentiary hearing be held as soon as possible
to address the issues of exhaustion of remedies and waiver of
December 6, 2017, Daniel Coriz (“Petitioner”) was
sentenced to 2, 520 days of imprisonment by the Pueblo of
Santo Domingo Tribal Court (“Tribal Court”).
Doc. 7-1 at 22. Petitioner then brought a Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus under the Indian Civil Rights Act
(“ICRA”), 25 U.S.C. § 1303. Doc. 1.
Petitioner now requests that the Court grant him immediate
release pending review of the merits of his Petition.
Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770 (1987),
Petitioner contends that there are four factors for the Court
to consider when determining release:
(1) a strong showing that the movant is likely to succeed on
the merits regarding the subject of the requested relief; (2)
the movant is likely to suffer irreparable injury in the
absence of relief; (3) the requested relief will not
substantially injure the other parties interested in the
proceeding; and (4) the relief serves the public interest.
Doc. 14 at 3. But, the Hilton factors are
not applicable here. Hilton deals with Federal Rule
of Appellant Procedure 23 and the standard for release of a
successful habeas petitioner after
the district court has granted his or her petition, and the
government is seeking appeal. Hilton, 481 U.S. at
776-77 (“In this case, we are asked to decide what
factors these provisions [of Fed. R. App. P. 23] allow a
court to consider in determining whether to release a state
prisoner pending appeal of a district court order granting
habeas relief.”). As a New Hampshire District Court
correctly pointed out, Rule 23 “does not specifically
address the possibility of release on bail pending a district
court's decision on the petition. Bader v.
Coplan, No. CIV 02-508-JD, 2003 WL 163171, at *3 (D.N.H.
Jan. 23, 2003).
the appropriate standard is defined in Pfaff v.
Wells, 648 F.2d 689, 693 (10th Cir. 1981). “An
inmate seeking federal habeas relief must, in order to obtain
release pending a determination on the merits of his
petition, make a showing of exceptional circumstances or
demonstrate a clear case on the merits of his habeas
petition.” United States v. Palermo, 191
Fed.Appx. 812, 813 (10th Cir. 2006) (citing Pfaff,
648 F.2d at 693). While this standard has not yet been
applied in an ICRA Section 1303 case, it has been applied in
analogous cases where “[a]n inmate seek[s] federal
habeas relief.” Id. The Tenth Circuit has
applied the Pfaff standard to cases involving habeas
petitions under Section 2255 (Palermo, 191 Fed.Appx.
at 813), Section 2254 (Pfaff, 648 F.2d at 690, 693),
and Section 2241 (Stow v. Perrill, 30 F.3d 142 (10th
Cir. 1994) (table decision)). The Court therefore finds this
standard persuasive, if not binding.
Tenth Circuit case law treats the two Pfaff
requirements as alternatives (a showing of exceptional
circumstances or a clear case on the merits).
See, e.g., United States v. Zander, 669
Fed.Appx. 955, 956 (10th Cir. 2016); Barnett v.
Hargett, 166 F.3d 1220, at *1 (10th Cir. 1999) (table
decision). However, in Vreeland v. Zupan, 644
Fed.Appx. 812 (10th Cir. 2016) the Tenth Circuit treated the
standard with an “and” instead of an “or,
” noting that “a motion for release at this late
stage required [petitioner] to show not only a clear case on
the merits of the habeas petition, but also exceptional
circumstances.” Id. at 813 (citation omitted).
The Court distinguishes Vreeland from the instant
case because there the petition for habeas corpus was filed
“nearly eight years into a state prison term . . .
.” Id. Here, the case is in its early stages,
as Petitioner filed his habeas petition within weeks of his
conviction and sentencing. See Docs. 1; 7-1
at 22. The Court therefore treats the Pfaff
requirements as alternative grounds for release.
Tenth Circuit has held that exceptional or “special
circumstances include the raising of substantial claims upon
which appellant has a high probably of success, a serious
deterioration of health while incarcerated, and unusual delay
in the appeal process.” Barnett, 166 F.3d at
*1 (citations omitted). That said, in Palermo, the
Tenth Circuit found that “[a]lthough [petitioner]
asserts he is suffering from various health problems, has
endured significant delay in the district court's
processing of his § 2255 motion, and is on the verge of
being transferred from prison to a halfway house, none of
these assertions constitute exceptional circumstances.”
Palermo, 191 Fed.Appx. at 813.
Petitioner has not shown that exceptional circumstances exist
in this case. Petitioner does argue that he has suffered
irreparable harm by being unlawfully detained. Doc.
14 at 8. He asserts that he cannot provide for his
family, including a young daughter, or care for his elderly
parents, whose health has declined because of their son's
incarceration. Doc. 14 at 9-10, 11. However, as
Respondent observes, Petitioner and his family are suffering
the same stressors accompanying any conviction and
incarceration. Simply put, Petitioner fails to demonstrate a
serious deterioration of health or any other exceptional
circumstances that would warrant immediate release.