Justice System Accountable
Susan J. Clouthier and her firm have handled dozens of appeals and writs of habeas corpus in courts throughout the State of Texas, the United States Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals and United States District Courts. Ms. Clouthier has also handled a number of appellate motions seeking leave to amend or to dismiss appeals in various courts.
While each case must be evaluated on its own merit, a few of Ms. Clouthier's recent notable successes are as follows:
United States of America v. Franklin Joseph Ryle, 778 Fed.Appx. 598 (10th Cir. 2020).
- Federal 2255 motion, conviction vacated, defendant released from prison
Defendant pleaded guilty of one count of deprivation of rights and one count of using or carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence in 2009. In 2017, counsel filed a § 2255 motion to vacate arguing that his 60-month sentence for the gun crime was unconstitutional. After the district court denied the motion, counsel fought to amend the motion based on the Supreme Court's new decision in Sessions v. Dimaya, which found a similar statute unconstituonally vague. The district court similarly denied defendant's motion and refused to issue a certificate of appealability. Counsel filed a request for certificate of appealability with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. While it was pending, the U.S. Supreme Court issued U.S. v. Davis, holding § 924(c) unconstitutionally vague. On the same day, counsel notified the 10th Circuit of the new rule of law, subsequently the court issued its opinion vacating Mr. Ryle's 60-month sentence for the gun crime. Since he had served his sentence for the underlying conviction, Mr. Ryle was immediately released and reunited with his parents and children.
In re Nicola Kluge, No. 09-20-00004-CV, 2020 WL 1173702 (Tex.App.-Beaumont Mar 12, 2020).
- Writ of Habeas Corpus challenging a contempt order, court set aside the trial court's order of contempt, discharged Ms. Kluge from custody
The County Court of Law #3 in Montgomery County, Texas found Nicola Kluge in contempt of court for violating the geographical restriction in her SAPCR order after she moved her teen-aged son to Texas A&M University and ordered she be confined in jail for 130 days. Counsel filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus alleging the SAPCR's terms were too ambiguous to be enforceable by contempt. Within hours of filing the writ, the court of appeals issued bond for Ms. Kluge to be released from jail. Then, the court agreed with counsel's argument and granted the petition for writ of habeas corpus.
In the Matter of the Marriage of Nathanson, No. 07-19-00386-CV, 2019 WL 6205519 (Tex.App.-Amarillo Nov. 20, 2019).
- Filed Motion to Dismiss Appeal, court of appeals dismissed appeal for want of jurisdiction
Appellant David Nathanson attempted to appeal a final decree of divorce dissolving his marriage to Carrie Nathanson. Counsel for Ms. Nathonson was approached to defend the appeal, and she immediately filed a motion to dismiss the appeal for want of jurisdiction because Appellant filed his notice of appeal untimely. The court of appeals agreed and dismissed the appeal.