United States District Court, District of Columbia
OPINION DECLINING TO ADOPT RECOMMENDATION; GRANTING THE
GOVERNMENT’S MOTION TO REVIEW AND REVERSE; DENYING
DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO ADOPT THE MAGISTRATE
COURT’S RULING; ORDERING REVOCATION OF SUPERVISED
RELEASE RE DOCUMENT NOS. 38, 39, 40
RUDOLPH CONTRERAS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Damion Alexander Peddie was brought before a magistrate judge
for a Preliminary Revocation Hearing on his supervised
release, which dates from a 2013 conviction in this Court.
The magistrate judge recommends that no action be taken by
this Court with respect to the alleged violation of
supervised release because she found that the defendant was
not on supervised release at the time of the alleged
violation. Both parties filed motions, with the government
asking the Court to review and reverse this recommendation
and the defendant asking the Court to adopt it. Because the
Court disagrees with the recommendation of the magistrate
judge, it grants the government’s motion, denies the
defendant’s, and orders that the defendant’s
supervised release be revoked.
facts of this case are not in dispute. On October 4, 2013,
this Court sentenced Peddie to concurrent terms of
forty-eight months of incarceration, to be followed by three
years of supervised release. Oct. 4, 2013 Minute Entry;
see also Judgment, ECF No. 27. He was released from
the custody of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on August 19,
2016, and was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) that say day. On September 9, 2016, Peddie
was removed by ICE to Jamaica.
point thereafter, Peddie returned to the United States
without obtaining legal permission. He was re-arrested in the
District of Columbia on November 22, 2017, but was released
without charges for reasons that are not entirely clear from
the record. On December 22, 2017, the U.S. Probation Office
petitioned this court for a warrant for Peddie’s arrest
based on two alleged violations of his conditions of
supervision. ECF No. 33. This Court approved the warrant. ECF
No. 34. Peddie was not re-arrested until July 25, 2019.
was brought before the Magistrate Judge for a Preliminary
Revocation Hearing on his supervised release. Transcript of
Probation Revocation Proceedings Before the Honorable Deborah
A. Robinson, United States District Court Magistrate Judge
(“Transcript”), ECF No. 38. The probation office
withdrew the first of the two alleged violations.
Id. at 4. The second alleged violation said that
Peddie had violated the following conditions:
Defendant shall comply with the Bureau of Immigration and
Customs Enforcement’s Immigration Process. If deported,
defendant shall not re-enter the United States without legal
authorization during the period of the supervision. Should
defendant receive permission to return to the United States,
he shall report to the U.S. Probation Office in the area
where he intends to reside within 72 hours of his return.
U.S. Probation Office Petition, ECF No. 33 at 2. The
defendant conceded the relevant facts, as stated above,
regarding the timing of his removal and reentry without
authorization and conceded that he had never reported to a
U.S. Probation Office upon his return to the United States.
Transcript at 4.
hearing arguments, the magistrate judge accepted the
defendant’s argument. The Magistrate Court found that
Peddie had never reported to a Probation Office to begin his
supervised release and could not have done so within the
first seventy-two hours of his release from BOP custody-since
he was in ICE custody at that time. Id. at 20. This
meant he was never “installed on supervised
release” and was not on supervised release at the time
of the alleged violation. Id. at 21. The magistrate
judge therefore recommended that this Court take no action
with respect to the second alleged violation. Id.
The government seeks review and reversal of this ruling, ECF
No. 39, and the defense seeks to have it adopted, ECF No. 40.
courts must apply a de novo standard of review when
considering objections to, or adoption of, a recommendation
from a magistrate judge. See Gardill v. District of
Columbia, 930 F.Supp.2d 35 (D.D.C. 2013); Estate of
Heiser v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 466 F.Supp.2d 229,
255–56 (D.D.C. 2006) (citing 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B)); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). “[A]
judge of the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or
in part, the findings or recommendations made by the
magistrate judge.” Heiser, 466 F.Supp.2d at
255–56; see also Roell v. Withrow, 538 U.S.
580 (2003) (noting that a district court is “free to do
as it sees fit with [a] magistrate judge's
recommendations” made under authority of 28 U.S.C.
instance, the Court declines to adopt the magistrate’s
recommendation because it goes against a plain reading of the
statute and the weight of precedent throughout the Circuits.
The defendant in this case suggested, and the magistrate
judge agreed, that supervised release does not begin until
the defendant is “installed on supervised
release” by meeting with a Probation Officer or by
receiving some sort of instruction about doing so. Transcript
at 21. The federal statute that controls supervised release
has no such requirement but says-with no qualification-that
“[t]he term of supervised release commences on the day
the person is released from imprisonment.” 18 ...