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Loiseau v. Clarke

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

October 26, 2017

MICHAEL A. LOISEAU, Petitioner,
v.
HAROLD E. CLARKE, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ROBERT E. PAYNE, SR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Michael A. Loiseau, a Virginia state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("§ 2254 Petition, " ECF No. 1) challenging the manner in which the Virginia Department of Corrections ("VDOC") is executing his sentence. Respondent has moved to dismiss. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 9) will be granted.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On March 4, 2010, the Circuit Court for the County of Spotsylvania ("Circuit Court") convicted Loiseau of running a continuing criminal enterprise and sentenced him to an active prison term of twenty (20) years. (Brown Aff. ¶ 4, ECF No. 10-1.) "On May 5, 2010, Loiseau became a state responsible offender . . . ." (Id. ¶ 5.) "On September 8, 2015, the VDOC Correspondence Unit sent Loiseau a letter in response to a written inquiry regarding his time computation and projected release date." (Id. ¶ 9 .)

         Thereafter, Loiseau filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with the Circuit Court. In that petition, Loiseau alleged that the VDOC had "not appropriately awarded him good conduct allowance credit to be applied towards his active sentence in accordance with Virginia law." (ECF No. 10-2, ¶ 1.) The Circuit Court found that Loiseau had "been appropriately credited with sentence reducing credit due to him for the time he has spent within the custody of VDOC." (Id. ¶ 2.) Loiseau appealed. The Supreme Court of Virginia refused his petition for appeal. Loiseau v. Clarke, No. 160845, at 1 (Va. Jan. 3, 2017).

         On February 27, 2017, the Court received Loiseau's § 2254 Petition.

         II. APPLICABLE CONSTRAINTS UPON FEDERAL HABEAS REVIEW

         In order to obtain federal habeas relief, at a minimum, a petitioner must demonstrate that he is "in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA") of 1996 further circumscribed this Court's authority to grant relief by way of a writ of habeas corpus. Specifically, " [s]tate court factual determinations are presumed to be correct and may be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence." Gray v. Branker, 529 F.3d 220, 228 (4th Cir. 2008) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1)). Additionally, under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), a federal court may not grant a writ of habeas corpus based on any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in state court unless the adjudicated claim:

(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1)-(2). The Supreme Court has emphasized that the question "is not whether a federal court believes the state court's determination was incorrect but whether that determination was unreasonable-a substantially higher threshold." Schriro v. Landrigan, 550 U.S. 465, 473 (2007) (citing Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 410 (2000)).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. December 2, 2008 through May 5, 2010

         "Loiseau was continuously confined in the Rappahannock Regional Jail from December 2, 2008 through May 5, 2010 (519 days) for pre-trial and post-trial confinement." (Brown Aff. ¶ 6.) During this period, "Loiseau earned sentence credit at the . . . rate of 2.25 days credit for every 30 days served. Loiseau also received credit toward his sentence for the 519 days he spent in pre-trial and post-trial confinement at the Rappahannock Regional Jail." ...


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