Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Fields v. Smith

United States District Court, District of Columbia

January 4, 2016

ANTHONY KEVIN FIELDS, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN WILLIAM SMITH, et al., Respondents.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

CHRISTOPHER R. COOPER United States District Judge

Petitioner Anthony Fields filed this action for a writ of habeas corpus in September 2014, while detained at the District of Columbia Jail. See Pet., ECF No. 1.[1] Fields was in custody following the execution of a warrant issued by the United States Parole Commission (“the Commission”) for violating the terms of his supervised release.[2] In his petition, filed pro se, Fields claims that this warrant was based on D.C. sentences that had expired before its issuance. Because the Commission’s documentation shows otherwise, and because no other grounds exist for issuing the writ, the Court will deny Fields’s petition and dismiss this case.

I. Background

In June 2004, Fields was arrested for contempt of an order that barred him from being within a five-block radius of an address in the District’s northwest quadrant. He was placed in a halfway house on work release. In November 2004, Fields was charged with escape for failing to report to the halfway house. Govt.’s Resp. Pet. (“Resp.”), ECF No. 7, Ex. 1 (“Presentence Report”) at 4–5.[3] The Superior Court of the District of Columbia convicted Fields of contempt (Case No. F-3620-04) and escape (Case No. F-7573-04), and on May 26, 2005, it sentenced him to consecutive terms of nine months’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release. Resp., Exs. 2–4. On January 26, 2006, Fields was released on supervision until the expiration of his sentences on January 26, 2009. Resp., Ex. 5. On August 27, 2007, the Commission issued a so-called violator warrant, which was executed upon Fields’s arrest on July 19, 2008. Resp., Ex. 9. Following a hearing, the Commission revoked Fields’s supervised-release term on March 4, 2009, and imposed a prison term of fourteen months from July 19, 2008, followed by a supervised-release term of 46 months. Resp., Ex. 13.

Fields was again released on supervision on August 14, 2009, until the expiration of his sentence on June 13, 2013. Resp., Exs. 4, 13, 17. On November 16, 2012, the Commission issued another violator warrant, which was executed on November 28, 2012. Following a hearing, the Commission revoked Fields’s supervised-release term and imposed a prison term of sixteen months followed by a supervised-release term of 26 months. Resp., Ex. 23–24. Fields was released on supervision a third time on January 24, 2014, until the expiration of his sentence on March 23, 2016. Resp. Exs. 32–34. On April 25, 2014, the Commission issued yet another violator warrant, which was executed upon Fields’s arrest on June 26, 2014. Resp. Exs. 36–38. Fields brought this habeas action three months later, on September 29, 2014.

On December 8, 2014, the Commission convened a revocation hearing at the District’s Correctional Treatment Facility. It postponed further proceedings upon Fields’s request for appointed counsel from the Federal Public Defender’s Office. Govt.’s Supp. 1. Following a hearing at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia on May 19, 2015, the Commission revoked Fields’s supervised-release term and imposed a prison term of 26 months, which “will exhaust the maximum authorized new term of imprisonment.” Pet’r’s Supp., Not. of Action, June 8, 2015, at 3. Fields is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Beaver, West Virginia.

II. Analysis

District of Columbia prisoners are entitled to habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 upon a showing that their “custody [is] in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” Id. § 2241(c)(3). Fields contends that (1) “[s]ince parole is a constitutionally protected liberty interest, due process requires that a state provide [the] basic right of fair treatment when it seek[s] to revoke parole”; (2) he has been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, because the Commission has detained him after the expiration of his sentences; and (3) he has been “twice put in jeopardy of life or deprived of . . . liberty.” Pet. 7–8.[4]

The Government responds first that Fields’s petition should not even be considered because he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Resp. 7–8. When the Government made this written argument in November 2014, the Commission’s revocation hearing “ha[d] not been concluded.” Id. 8. The Commission has since held a hearing and revoked Fields’s supervised-release term. To the extent that Fields seeks review of the Commission’s June 8, 2015 Notice of Action attached to his supplemental filing, the Court agrees that he must exhaust his administrative remedies by, as advised in the Notice, appealing the decision to the National Appeals Board pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 2.220. Thereafter, any habeas petition should be presented to the district court where Fields is presently incarcerated, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. See Stokes v. U.S. Parole Comm’n, 374 F.3d 1235, 1239 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (holding that a “district court may not entertain a habeas petition involving present physical custody unless the respondent custodian is within its territorial jurisdiction”).

Because the Commission’s 2015 revocation decision does not affect Fields’s constitutional challenges to his detention at the D.C. Jail, the Court will address those grounds for relief.

A. Due Process

Contrary to Fields’s contention, D.C. prisoners do not have a Fifth Amendment liberty interest in their release on parole or supervision. Ellis v. District of Columbia, 84 F.3d 1413, 1420 (D.C. Cir. 1996); see also Anderson v. U.S. Parole Comm’n, CV No. 10–1451, 2010 WL 5185832, at *2 (D.D.C. Dec. 22, 2010) (citing Colts v. U.S. Parole Comm’n, 531 F.Supp.2d 8, 13 n.4 (D.D.C. 2008)) (“For most purposes, supervised release is the functional equivalent of parole and the law pertaining to the revocation of parole is applicable to the revocation of supervised release.”). Fields is nonetheless correct that, once released, D.C. prisoners are entitled to notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard prior to the revocation of a supervised-release term. See Sutherland v. McCall, 709 F.2d 730, 732–33 (D.C. Cir. 1983). At a minimum, due process requires the following six elements:

(a) written notice of the claimed violations of parole; (b) disclosure to the parolee of evidence against him; (c) opportunity to be heard in person and to present witnesses and documentary evidence; (d) the right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses . . .; (e) a ‘neutral and detached’ hearing body such as a traditional parole board, members of which need not be judicial officers or lawyers; and (f) a written statement by the factfinders as to the evidence relied on and reasons for revoking parole.

Darden v. U.S. Parole Comm’n, 61 F.Supp.3d 68, 72–73 (D.D.C. 2014) (quoting Morrissey v. Brewer, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.