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Crawford v. United States Parole Board Chevy Chase Maryland


September 18, 2006


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard W. Roberts United States District Judge


In this action for a writ of habeas corpus, petitioner claims that he was arrested on "a bogus warrant" on March 25, 2005, for parole violations. He alleges that his detention is illegal because his parole supervision terminated on November 4, 2004, before execution of the warrant.*fn1 Petitioner names as respondents Warden Steven Smith of the District of Columbia Detention Facility and the United States Parole Commission ("USPC"). The USPC asserts that the petition should be denied because petitioner has neither exhausted his administrative remedies nor presented claims entitling him to habeas relief. Petitioner asserts that he exhausted his administrative remedies. Petitioner's Response to the Respondent [Dkt. No. 14] at 1.*fn2 Resolution of the exhaustion question is unnecessary because, as determined below, the petition provides no basis for issuing the writ. It therefore will be denied on the merits.


Petitioner was serving a sentence imposed by this Court when he was released to parole on June 4, 2004. See Crawford v. Jackson, 323 F.3d 123, 124 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (recounting part of petitioner's lengthy parole history). The parole certificate listed petitioner's full-term release date as May 3, 2006, minus 180 days; hence, November 4, 2005. Res.' Ex. C; see also Ex. E at 3. On March 10, 2005, the USPC issued a warrant for petitioner's arrest based on multiple charges of parole violations. The warrant was executed on March 25, 2005, and petitioner appeared with counsel for a probable cause hearing on March 29, 2005. Ex. F. The USPC revoked petitioner's parole following a revocation hearing on June 1, 2005, forfeited the time he had spent on parole ("street-time credit"), and ordered petitioner to serve the remainder of his sentence to expiration. Exs. G, H.


The extraordinary remedy of habeas corpus is available to a District of Columbia prisoner or detainee if he shows that he is "in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c). Petitioner does not specify the basis of the violation. The Court assumes that he is asserting violations of the due process clause. District of Columbia parolees have a Fifth Amendment liberty interest in maintaining their "conditional" freedom and are therefore entitled to due process. Ellis v. District of Columbia, 84 F.3d 1413, 1420 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (citing Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471 (1972)). That entitlement, however, is limited to notice and an opportunity to be heard in a reasonably timely manner. See 1421-24 (discussing Morrissey standards). The Court cannot reinstate parole or determine one's eligibility for parole. Rather, "at most[,] [a court] could order the Commission to reconsider [a parole decision] in a manner that does not violate" the Constitution or federal law. Alamo v. Clay, 137 F.3d 1366, 1368 (D.C. Cir. 1998).

At his parole revocation hearing, petitioner claimed that he was unaware that he was under parole supervision after his release on June 4, 2004, see Res.' Ex. G at 1 (hearing summary), despite documentation that he had submitted to periodic drug testing and met with his community supervision officer between June 14, 2004, and February 17, 2005. See Ex. D at 2-3. The hearing examiner reasonably rejected petitioner's claim of ignorance based on the parole certificate petitioner had signed, which "indicates that [petitioner] knew he was on supervision until 5/3/06." Ex. G at 3.*fn3

The record clearly establishes that petitioner was under parole supervision at the time the USPC issued the arrest warrant. The USPC therefore was within its authority to take custody of petitioner based on the alleged parole violations. The revocation proceedings provided petitioner the process due him under the Constitution. The petition for a writ of habeas corpus therefore is denied. A separate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.

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