RICHEY, DISTRICT JUDGE.
This case, brought by a prisoner in a federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, is before the Court on remand from the Court of Appeals. By Order of May 20, 1983, the district court (Hart, J.) had directed that this case be transferred to the Middle District of Pennsylvania. In remanding, the Court of Appeals vacated that Order. In re Chatman-Bey, 231 U.S. App. D.C. 72, 718 F.2d 484 (D.C. Cir. 1983).
Initially, the Court notes that, based upon a careful reading of the Complaint, the decision of the Court of Appeals, the respective motions, and the petitioner's pleadings, including that by him for summary judgment, it is clear beyond peradventure that the claims herein, being fully briefed, do not require the appointment of counsel. This case does not prevent a novel issue. The issue has previously been decided, in a way that no reasonable person can dispute, by the Court of Appeals, as hereinafter discussed.
The Court has before it several motions, together with Supplemental Memoranda in Support Thereof and in Opposition Thereto, in this case. The Court must rule on the Defendants' Motion for a Protective Order to Stay Discovery, the Petitioner's Motion for Summary Judgment, and the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, to Transfer. For the reasons set forth in this Opinion, the Court has, by Order of even date herewith, granted the Defendants' Protective Order, denied the Petitioner's Motion for Summary Judgment, denied the Defendants' Motion to Transfer, and granted the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
The petitioner is presently serving, at Lewisburg, three consecutive sentences for violations of both the United States Code and the District of Columbia Code. The first sentence is a twenty-five year term imposed on January 3, 1975 by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. The second sentence is a term of ten to thirty years imposed on June 18, 1975 by the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. The third sentence is a term of five years imposed on January 10, 1977 by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
The petitioner began service of these consecutive sentences in June, 1981. In August, 1981 the records office at the Lewisburg penitentiary prepared a sentence computation report that set Chatman-Bey's eligibility for parole at October, 1999. His parole eligibility was determined by aggregating the minimum terms of two of the three consecutive sentences being served. The minimum term of the first sentence of twenty-five years, imposed by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, is one third of that sentence, or eight years and four months. This calculation was made pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4205(a), which states, in part, that "a prisoner shall be eligible for release on parole after serving one-third of such term." The minimum term, ten years, of the second sentence, imposed by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, was added to the eight years and four months. This was calculated pursuant to 24 D.C. Code § 203, which states that "any person so convicted and sentenced may be released on parole as herein provided at any time after having served the minimum sentence." These two sentences were aggregated to a total of eighteen years and four months, which resulted in the October, 1999 release date.
The petitioner contends that the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("FBP") improperly computed his release date. Specifically, the petitioner claims that the FBP improperly relied on provisions of the D.C. Code, while the United States Code provides for parole eligibility to federal offenders after ten years. 18 U.S.C. § 4205(a). Chatman-Bey argues that Congress's ten year ceiling for federal offenders should apply to his sentence even though Congress provided no such ceiling for violators of the D.C. Code. If the ten year ceiling does not apply, the petitioner asserts that he is being denied equal protection of the laws in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Chatman-Bey seeks an order declaring him eligible for parole in 1991 rather than 1999. He has named as defendants the Attorney General of the United States, the FBP General Counsel, the FBP Director, the Warden at Lewisburg, and the United States Parole Commission.
After exhausting his administrative remedies, the petitioner filed pro se a petition for a writ of mandamus or habeas corpus. On May 20, 1983, the District Court (Hart, J.) sua sponte ordered the case transferred, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), to the Middle District of Pennsylvania. On October 4, 1983, the U.S. Court of Appeals for this Circuit vacated the transfer order and remanded to this Court for proceedings consistent with its Opinion. In re Chatman-Bey, 231 U.S. App. D.C. 72, 718 F.2d 484 (D.C. Cir. 1983). The Court stated, inter alia, that "as Chatman-Bey requested mandamus relief, it is clear that venue is proper in this forum." 718 F.2d at 488 (Citations omitted). The Court also held that the District Court abused its discretion in transferring the case. Id.
THERE IS NO NEED FOR DISCOVERY BECAUSE THERE ARE NO MATERIAL FACTS IN DISPUTE
When the Court of Appeals remanded this case, it stated:
Chatman-Bey is attacking the FBP's method of computing parole eligibility for prisoners serving consecutive federal and District of Columbia sentences. He raises a purely legal issue, which requires no trial court factfinding. 718 F.2d at 488.
The defendants agree with this interpretation, and contend that no discovery is necessary. The petitioner argues that some discovery is needed. However, the petitioner has also moved for summary judgment, contending that there are no genuine issues of material fact. While the petitioner, therefore, has presented inconsistent contentions, the Court notes that he is pro se, and the Court has looked beyond these inconsistent pleadings to see if discovery is needed. Cf. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 30 L. Ed. 2d 652, 92 S. Ct. 594 (1972) (Pro se complaints are held "to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers"). However, upon careful review, the Court is convinced that the instant case involves solely legal questions, and thus discovery is unnecessary. All of the material facts, which have been herein set forth, are not in dispute. Accordingly, the Court has granted the defendants' Motion to Stay Discovery.
THIS CASE SHOULD NOT BE TRANSFERRED
The defendants in the present case contend that this case should be transferred to the Middle District of Pennsylvania, where the petitioner is presently confined. The basis for this contention is that mandamus is unavailable to the petitioner, and therefore habeas corpus is his only avenue of relief. A habeas action, the defendants argue, can only be brought against the petitioner's Warden in Pennsylvania. This argument fails.
It is no longer the law that habeas can only be brought in the jurisdiction of the petitioner's confinement. Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 35 L. Ed. 2d 443, 93 S. Ct. 1123 (1973); Procacci v. Sigler, 61 F.R.D. 5 (D.D.C. 1973). In Procacci, the petitioner brought an action, styled in the form of habeas and mandamus, against the Director of the BFP, the Chairman of the U.S. Board of Parole,
and the Attorney General. The petitioner in that case challenged the Parole Board's decision to deny the petitioner's requests for parole or for transfer. Although the petitioner was incarcerated in Texas, the Court held that jurisdiction and venue were proper in the District of Columbia, stating that "the decision was made here, the decision makers are here, as well as any information the decision makers may have relied upon in making their determination." 61 F.R.D. at 7.
The argument for jurisdiction and venue is even more compelling in the present case. This case challenges a decision of the BFP, setting petitioner's parole eligibility date in 1999. That decision rested, in part, upon the application of certain District of Columbia parole statutes. The only defendant in the Middle District of Pennsylvania is the petitioner's Warden, who played no part in the decision. Chatman-Bey, 718 F.2d at 488. Thus, the Court concludes that it has habeas jurisdiction in this case.
Even if this Court does not have habeas jurisdiction, the Court of Appeals has already directed this Court to hear the petitioner's mandamus action:
Initially, we note that venue is proper in this circuit. Chatman-Bey is challenging the FBP's computation of his parole eligibility date. In the district court, he requested alternative remedies: federal habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, and mandamus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1361. While this court has not decided whether habeas is available to a prisoner alleging an unlawful denial of parole consideration, we have ruled that an alleged improper denial of a parole hearing can be challenged by a petition for a writ of mandamus. See Goode v. Markley, 195 U.S. App. D.C. 391, 603 F.2d 973, 975 & n. 4 (D.C. Cir. 1979), cert. denied 444 U.S. 1083, 100 S. Ct. 1039, 62 L. Ed. 2d 768 (1980). As Chatman-Bey requested mandamus relief, it is clear that venue is proper in this forum. See Starnes v. McGuire, 168 U.S. App. D.C. 4, 512 F.2d 918, 925 (D.C. Cir. 1974) (en banc); Wren v. Carlson, 165 U.S. App. D.C. 70, 506 F.2d 131, 133-34 (D.C. Cir. 1974) (per curiam); 28 U.S.C. § 1361, 1391(e).