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Roberts v. Wilson

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

May 28, 2015

ERIC D. WILSON, Respondent.


RODERICK C. YOUNG, Magistrate Judge.

Edward Roberts, a federal inmate proceeding pro se, filed this petition for habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (hereinafter, "§ 2241 Petition, " ECF No. 1). The matter is before the Court for a Report and Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). Roberts challenges the method used by the Bureau of Prisons (hereinafter, "BOP") to award good conduct time credit toward his District of Columbia ("D.C.") sentence and argues that he is entitled to more good conduct credit than the BOP has awarded him. Respondent has moved to dismiss (ECF No. 7) or in the alternative moved for summary judgment (ECF No. 8) on the ground that Roberts's claim lacks merit. Roberts has not responded. For the reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that summary judgment be GRANTED and the § 2241 Petition be DISMISSED because Roberts has received all the credit he is due.

A. Standard for Summary Judgment

Summary judgment must be rendered "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). It is the responsibility of the party seeking summary judgment to inform the Court of the basis for the motion, and to identify the parts of the record that demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "[W]here the nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial on a dispositive issue, a summary judgment motion may properly be made in reliance solely on the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file." Id. at 324 (internal quotation marks omitted). When the motion is properly supported, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and, by citing affidavits or "depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, ' designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Id. (quoting former Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) and 56(e) (1986)).

In reviewing a summary judgment motion, the Court "must draw all justifiable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party." United States v. Carolina Transformer Co., 978 F.2d 832, 835 (4th Cir. 1992) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986)). However, a mere scintilla of evidence will not preclude summary judgment. Anderson, All U.S. at 251 (citing Improvement Co. v. Munson, 81 U.S. (14 Wall.) 442, 448 (1872)). "[T]here is a preliminary question for the judge, not whether there is literally no evidence, but whether there is any upon which a jury could properly proceed to find a verdict for the party... upon whom the onus of proof is imposed.'" Id. (quoting Munson, 81 U.S. at 448). Additionally, "Rule 56 does not impose upon the district court a duty to sift through the record in search of evidence to support a party's opposition to summary judgment.'" Forsyth v. Barr, 19 F.3d 1527, 1537 (5th Cir. 1994) (quoting Skotak v. Tenneco Resins, Inc., 953 F.2d 909, 915 & n.7 (5th Cir. 1992)); see Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3) ("The court need consider only the cited materials....").

In support of his Motion for Summary Judgment, Respondent submits: (1) the Declaration of Grace Woods-Coleman, a Management Analyst at the Designation and Sentence Computation Center in Grand Prairie, Texas (Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 1 ("Woods-Coleman Decl."), ECF No. 9-1); (2) records from Roberts's criminal proceedings in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (Woods-Coleman Decl. Attachs. 1-2); (3) Roberts's sentence computation records from the D.C. Department of Corrections and the BOP ( id. Attachs. 3-6, 10); and, (4) relevant portions of the Bureau of Prisons Program Statement P5880.33, District of Columbia Sentence Computation Manual ( id. Attachs. 7-9).[1] Roberts failed to respond, however, he swore to the contents of his § 2241 Petition.

In light of the foregoing principles and submissions, the facts set forth below are established for purposes of the Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court draws all reasonable inferences in favor of Roberts.

B. Roberts's Claim

Roberts argues that the BOP has "[d]en[ied] him good time credits earned and authorized by statute." (§ 2241 Pet. 7.) He contends:

I have been denied application of at least 408 days of Extra Good Time that I have earned to the minimum term of my sentence of 15 years to life, consecutively imposed. The Federal Bureau of Prisons states that my Extra Good time (408 days) cannot be applied to my minimum term, but can only be deducted from my "release date, " which is "life." Yet nowhere in any of the Program Statements or federal regulations cited by the Bureau is this said. Accordingly, under the rule of lenity, these credits should be applied to my term.

( Id. at 8.) Because of the convoluted nature of the system governing the calculation of sentences for D.C. Offenders like Roberts, who are housed in the BOP, the Court sets forth the pertinent facts and then separately sets forth the law governing Roberts's sentence computation.[2]

C. Summary of Pertinent Facts

On July 10, 1996, the Superior Court of D.C. ("Sentencing Court") sentenced Roberts to a term of fifteen years to life for his conviction of carnal knowledge, a consecutive term of fifteen years to life for his conviction of rape, and a concurrent term of one to three years for indecent acts with a minor. (Woods-Coleman Decl. ¶ 6 (citing Attach. 1, at 1).) On March 6, 2003, the Sentencing Court amended the Judgment and Commitment/Probation Order to remove the conviction and sentence for indecent acts with a minor. ( Id. ¶ 6 (citing Attach. 2, at 1).) Robert's offense date is October 19, 1992. ( Id. (citing Attach. 6, at 2).)

Because the Sentencing Court ordered that Roberts serve his sentences consecutively, Roberts has an aggregate thirty-year minimum term of incarceration and a maximum term ...

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