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Anderson v. Fulwood

United States District Court, District of Columbia

January 18, 2013

Michael A. ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
United States Parole Commissioner Isaac FULWOOD, Jr., et al., Defendants.

Page 82

Michael A. Anderson, Winton, NC, pro se.

Jeffrey Earl Warner, U.S. Attorney's Office, Washington, DC, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on defendants' motion to dismiss. [1] For the reasons stated below, the motion will be granted.

Page 83

I. BACKGROUND

A. Parole Under District of Columbia Law

In the days of indeterminate sentencing, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia sentenced a convicted felon " for a maximum period not exceeding the maximum fixed by law, and for a minimum period not exceeding one-third of the maximum sentence imposed," after which the prisoner " may be released on parole...." D.C.Code § 24-403(a). The District of Columbia Board of Parole (" Parole Board" ) could parole a prisoner if it found that " there is a reasonable probability that a prisoner will live and remain at liberty without violating the law, that his ... release is not incompatible with the welfare of society, and that he ... has served the minimum sentence imposed or the prescribed portion of his sentence, as the case may be." D.C.Code § 24-404(a). Initially there was " no formalized scoring system" in place, and the Parole Board only " was required by regulation to consider factors such as the inmate's offense, prior history of criminality, personal and social history, ... [and] institutional experience, ... when exercising its discretion to authorize parole." Davis v. Henderson, 652 A.2d 634, 635 (D.C.1995). In short, " parole eligibility was determined by a ... Board that operated with nearly complete discretion." Wilson v. Fullwood, 772 F.Supp.2d 246, 252 (D.D.C.2011) (citing Austin v. Reilly, 606 F.Supp.2d 4, 8 (D.D.C.2009)). The Parole Board subsequently developed and published regulations, see D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 28, § 100 et seq. (1987) (repealed Aug. 5, 2000) (" 1987 Regulations" ), in an effort to " mak[e] explicit those factors that [would] be considered in each [individual] case." Sellmon v. Reilly, 551 F.Supp.2d 66, 69 (D.D.C.2008) (citations omitted and emphasis removed).

Pursuant to the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997 (" Revitalization Act" ), Pub. L. No. 105-33, 111 Stat. 712 (1997), the Parole Board was abolished. See D.C.Code § 24-131(b). The United States Parole Commission (" USPC" ) assumed authority to grant, deny, impose or modify conditions of, and revoke parole for District of Columbia Code felony offenders, see id. § 24-131(a)(1), (2), and " amend or supplement any regulation interpreting or implementing the parole laws of the District of Columbia with respect to felons." Id. § 24-131(a)(1); see id. § 24-131(c). The USPC has since promulgated regulations for parole and reparole decisions for District of Columbia felony offenders. See generally 28 C.F.R. §§ 2.80-2.81.

B. Plaintiff's Parole History

On April 26, 1985, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, plaintiff was sentenced three concurrent five to 15 year terms of imprisonment upon his conviction of three armed robberies committed in 1983. See Compl., Ex. 1 (Judgment and Commitment Order, United States v. Anderson, No. F-3721-83 (D.C.Super.Ct. Apr. 26, 1985) and Criminal Complaints dated June 25, 1983 and October 4, 1983). The Parole Board paroled plaintiff on June 8, 1989, and he was to remain under supervision until January 22, 2000. Mem. of P. & A. in Supp. of Defs.' M't. to Dismiss (" Defs.' Mem." ), Ex. B (Certificate of Parole dated April 25, 1989). Before the parole term had expired, however, plaintiff had been convicted of attempted distribution of cocaine and sentenced by the Superior Court to an eight to 24 year term of imprisonment to be served concurrently to the sentences previously imposed both by the Superior Court and courts of the State of Maryland. Id., Ex. C (Judgment and Commitment Order, United States v. Anderson, No. F-7099-91 (D.C.Super.Ct. Sept. 8, 1992));

Page 84

see Compl., Ex. (Criminal Complaint dated June 20, 1991). Upon this 1992 conviction, the Parole Board revoked plaintiff's parole and opted to reconsider the matter when plaintiff became eligible for parole release on the aggregated sentences. Defs.' ...


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