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Jackson v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

March 14, 2008

AINSWORTH JACKSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, brought this action under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a. He alleges that the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") and the United States Parole Commission ("the Commission") have failed to maintain accurate records pertaining to plaintiff and refused to amend the inaccurate files. Defendants move to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. Plaintiff has filed an opposition. Because the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and because plaintiff has failed to state a viable claim under the Privacy Act, defendants' motion will be granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is an inmate at the Rivers Correctional Institution in Winton, North Carolina serving an aggregate 13-year term of imprisonment based on separate convictions under the United States Code and the District of Columbia Code. Defs.' Mot. Ex. 1. On April 11, 1989, in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, plaintiff was sentenced to six years' imprisonment for bank fraud. Id. That same month, plaintiff was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia after pleading guilty to violations of the Bail Reform Act, and to committing forgery and uttering offenses. Id.

The Commission held a parole hearing for plaintiff on July 15, 1991. Id. Ex. 3. Plaintiff's parole eligibility was determined by 28 C.F.R. § 2.65, the federal regulation which outlines the paroling policy for prisoners serving aggregate United States and D.C. Code sentences. Id. Under this regulation, the Commission first applies the parole guidelines for the U.S. Code offense to determine the number of months to be served on the "federal time." Id. § 2.65(c). The Commission is then required to schedule a D.C. parole hearing not more than four months prior to the expiration of the prisoner's "federal time." Id. § 2.65(e). At the D.C. parole hearing, the Commission is required to apply the parole guidelines of the former D.C. Board of Parole. Id.

In a Notice of Action dated August 30, 1991, the Commission ordered that plaintiff continue to expiration on the federal sentence (48 months) and be given an initial parole hearing on the D.C. sentence in July 1993. Defs.' Mot. Ex. 4. Plaintiff appealed this determination. Id. Ex. 5. The National Appeals Board affirmed the Notice of Action on December 13, 1991. Id. Ex. 6.

Following plaintiff's completion of the federal portion of his aggregate sentence, the Commission applied the D.C. Board of Parole guidelines to the D.C. Code offense. Id. Ex. 7. Plaintiff was paroled on August 26, 1994 and ordered to remain under supervision until December 7, 2002. Id. Ex. 9.

On September 8, 1995, the Commission issued a parole violator warrant based on plaintiff's arrest for bank fraud and for assaulting police officers. Id. Ex. 10. On May 1, 1996, following a guilty plea, plaintiff was sentenced in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to a term of 57 months imprisonment for the interstate transportation of securities taken by fraud. Id. Ex. 12. After this sentence was served, on October 6, 1999, the Commission arrested plaintiff on the violator warrant. Id. Ex. 14.

On January 21, 2000, based on plaintiff's new criminal conduct, the Commission revoked his parole and continued his case to a presumptive parole on December 16, 2003, after the service of 100 months. Id. Ex. 16. Plaintiff appealed this decision. Id. Ex. 15. The Commission affirmed the revocation decision on appeal, but modified plaintiff's presumptive parole date to August 16, 2002. Id. Ex. 19. Plaintiff was paroled on that date and ordered to remain under supervision until January 16, 2008. Id. Ex. 20.

On December 23, 2004, and March 18, 2005, the Commission issued violator warrants alleging that plaintiff committed two violations of law and failed to comply with the conditions of his parole. Id. Ex. 21& Ex. 25. On May 19, 2005, plaintiff's parole was revoked and he was ordered to remain in custody until the expiration of his sentence. Id. Ex. 26. That decision was affirmed by the National Appeals Board on August 29, 2005. Id. Ex. 28.

DISCUSSION

Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, defendants move to dismiss for lack of subject matter. Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, with the ability to hear only cases entrusted to them by a grant of power contained in either the Constitution or in an act of Congress. Hunter v. District of Columbia, 384 F. Supp. 2d 257, 259 (D.D.C. 2005). The plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that a federal district court has jurisdiction. Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence United With Million Mom March v. Ashcroft, 339 F. Supp. 2d 68, 72 (D.D.C. 2004). In considering whether to dismiss a complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the court must accept all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true. Jerome Stevens Pharms., Inc. v. FDA, 402 F.3d 1249, 1253-54 (D.C. Cir. 2005).

Defendants also move, in the alternative, for summary judgment. Under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is appropriate if the pleadings on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 (c). Material facts are those that "might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Tao v. Freeh, 27 F.3d 635, 638 (D.C. Cir. 1994). In considering whether there is a triable issue of fact, the Court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; see also Washington Post Co. v. United States Dep't of Health and Human Servs., 865 F.2d 320, 325 (D.C. Cir. 1989).

Plaintiff claims that the BOP and the Commission have failed to maintain accurate records regarding his sentence and criminal history. He alleges that the BOP erroneously computed the expiration date of his D.C. Code sentence and that the Commission's records contain false information about his prior convictions. As a result of these inaccurate records, ...


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