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Daniel v. Bredesen

March 31, 2008

ALDEN JOE DANIEL, JR., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GOVERNOR PHIL BREDESEN, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas W. Phillips United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

This is a pro se prisoners' civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The matter is before the court on various non-dispositive motions filed by the parties, as well as a motion to dismiss filed by the defendant and plaintiffs' response thereto. For the following reasons, the motion to dismiss will be GRANTED and this action DISMISSED. All other pending motions will be DENIED as MOOT.

I. Standard of Review

A motion to dismiss tests whether a claim has been adequately stated in the complaint. In considering a motion to dismiss, all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint must be regarded as true and all factual allegations must be construed in favor of the plaintiff. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236-37 (1974); Collins v. Nagle, 892 F.2d 489, 493 (6th Cir. 1989). Dismissal "is proper when it is established beyond a doubt that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts consistent with the allegations that would entitle such plaintiff to relief." Collins, 892 F.2d at 493. See also Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957).

II. Factual Background

Plaintiffs are convicted sex offenders. They allege that the state statute requiring community supervision for life for persons convicted of certain sex offenses, and the statute setting forth the penalties for the violation of community supervision, are facially invalid under the U.S. Constitution.

Section 39-13-524 of the Tennessee Code Annotated provides as follows:

(a) In addition to the punishment authorized by the specific statute prohibiting the conduct, any person who, on or after July 1, 1996, commits a violation of § 39-13-502 [aggravated rape], § 39-13-503 [rape], § 39-13-504 [aggravated sexual battery], § 39-13-522 [rape of a child], or attempts to commit a violation of any of these sections, shall receive a sentence of community supervision for life.

(b) The judgment of conviction for all persons to whom the provisions of subsection (a) apply shall include that the person is sentenced to community supervision for life.

(c) The sentence of community supervision for life shall commence immediately upon the expiration of the term of imprisonment imposed upon the person by the court or upon the person's release from regular parole supervision, whichever first occurs.

(d)(1) A person on community supervision shall be under the jurisdiction, supervision and control of the board of probation and parole in the same manner as a person under parole supervision. The board is authorized on an individual basis to establish such conditions of community supervision as are necessary to protect the public from the person's committing a new sex offense, as well as promoting the rehabilitation of the person.

(2) The board is authorized to impose and enforce a supervision and rehabilitation fee upon a person on community supervision similar to the fee imposed by § 40-28-201 [for parolees]. To the extent possible, the board shall set the fee in an amount that will substantially defray the cost of the community supervision program. The board shall also establish a fee waiver procedure for hardship cases and indigency.

The State has set forth the following prescribed penalties for the violation of community supervision:

(a) It is an offense for a person to knowingly violate a condition of community supervision imposed upon the ...


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