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Floyd v. U.S. Parole Commission

United States District Court, District of Columbia

September 14, 2015

DESHAWN FLOYD, Petitioner,
v.
U.S. PAROLE COMMISSION et al., Respondents.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RUDOLPH CONTRERAS, District Judge.

Petitioner DeShawn Floyd, a District of Columbia prisoner, has applied for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. He claims that the United States Parole Commission lacks authority over him because he had completed his sentence prior to his arrest for violating the terms of his supervised release. Because the Commission's documentation belies petitioner's premise, and the petition presents no other grounds for habeas relief, the Court will deny the petition and dismiss the case.

I. BACKGROUND

Petitioner was convicted in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia after pleading guilty to armed robbery. He was sentenced in December 2006 to a prison term of 48 months, followed by a supervised release term of three years. Pet. at 2; District of Columbia v. Floyd, No. 2006-CF3-3143 (Super. Ct. Dec. 15, 2006). On September 20, 2009, prior to completion of the prison term, petitioner was released to a detainer the Commission had lodged for another offense. Gov't Ex. 1 (Sentence Monitoring Computation Data at 2, 5). Upon completing service of the term underlying the detainer, petitioner was released on October 29, 2010, to serve the supervised release term imposed in No. 2006-CF3-3143. That term was to expire on October 28, 2013.[1] Id.

On October 26, 2013, petitioner was arrested and charged in Fairfax County, Virginia, with petit larceny and possession of burglary tools. As a result, the Commission issued a violator warrant on October 28, 2013, and amended the warrant on October 30, 2013, and December 3, 2013, with additional charges. Gov't Exs. 2, 3, 4.

The United States Marshal executed the warrant by arresting plaintiff on October 30, 2013, and detaining him at the D.C. Jail. Gov't Ex. 5. Petitioner appeared with counsel for a probable cause hearing on November 1, 2013, and for a revocation hearing on December 16, 2013. Gov't Exs. 6, 7. The hearing examiner found that petitioner had indeed violated the terms of his supervised release, and recommended the revocation of petitioner's release term and the imposition of an eight-month prison term-below the guideline range of 12 to 16 months' imprisonment. Gov't Ex. 7 (Hearing Summary). On February 21, 2014, the Commission adopted the hearing examiner's recommendation and imposed an eight-month prison term, followed by a 52-month term of supervised release.[2] Gov't Ex. 8 (Not. of Action). Petitioner filed the instant action in April 2014 from the District's Correctional Treatment Facility.

II. ANALYSIS

District of Columbia prisoners are entitled to habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 upon showing that their "custody is in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." Id., § 2241(c)(3). Petitioner invokes the Fifth and Eighth Amendments and, inexplicably, 18 U.S.C. § 912 ("Officer or employee of the United States") and § 4001 ("Limitation on detention; control of prisons"). Pet. at 5. The statutory claims are dismissed without further discussion. See Mayle v. Felix, 545 U.S. 644, 649 (2005) ("Rule 2(c) of the Rules Governing Habeas Corpus Cases requires a more detailed statement [than Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure]. The habeas rule instructs the petitioner to specify all the grounds for relief available to [him]' and to state the facts supporting each ground.'"); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (A court may dismiss a complaint that lacks "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'") (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).

1. Fifth Amendment

Petitioner seems to advance arguments under both the due process clause and the double jeopardy clause. See Pet. at 5-6 & Supp'g Mem. of P. & A, ECF No. 1-2. He cannot prevail under either clause.

A. Due Process

It is established that District of Columbia prisoners have no Fifth Amendment liberty interest in their release to parole or other supervision, Ellis v. District of Columbia, 84 F.3d 1413, 1417-20 (D.C. Cir. 1996), and are entitled only to notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard prior to the revocation of parole or supervised release. See Sutherland v. McCall, 709 F.2d 730, 733-34 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (applying standards set out in Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471 (1972)). Any claim based on procedural due process is defeated by the evidence in the record showing that petitioner received constitutionally adequate process prior to the challenged revocation. See Gov't Exs. 6 and 7.

Contrary to petitioner's premise, the Commission was well within its authority to issue the violator warrant on October 28, 2013, because "an offender [is] subject to the authority of the [USPC] until completion of the term of supervised release, " D.C. Code § 24-133(c)(2) (emphasis supplied), and petitioner had not yet completed the supervised release term when the violator warrant was duly issued. See 28 C.F.R. § 2.211(d) ("A... warrant shall be considered issued when signed and... [s]ent by electronic transmission to the appropriate law enforcement authority."); Gov't's Ex. 5 (showing warrant faxed to the U.S. Marshals Service on October 28, 2013). Hence, the fact that petitioner was arrested on the warrant after October 28, 2013, when the supervised term was to expire, is inconsequential because the issuance of a valid warrant essentially stops or "tolls" the running of the time credited towards service of the sentence, Bethea v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 751 F.Supp.2d 83, 87 (D.D.C. 2010), even when the warrant is issued on the day the sentence is to expire, see Russie v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 708 F.2d 1445, 1448 (9th Cir. 1983); United States v. Venable, 416 F.Supp.2d 64, 74 (D.D.C. 2006). And under the applicable parole regulation, the "warrant maintains the Commission's jurisdiction to retake the parolee either before or after the normal expiration date of the sentence and to reach a final decision as to the revocation of parole and the forfeiture ...


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