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Johnson v. Wilson

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

December 19, 2017

ERIC WILSON, Respondent.



         Ronald Johnson, a federal inmate proceeding pro se, filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 ("§ 2241 Petition, " ECF No. 1). The matter is before the Court for a Report and Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). Johnson contends that the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") has improperly calculated his federal sentence.

         Specifically, Johnson argues:

Claim One: (a) He is entitled to credit against his federal sentence for all of the time he served in state custody before the imposition of his federal sentence. (§ 2241 Pet. 10.)[1]
Claim Two: (b) The BOP erred when it determined that the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey did not grant him credit pursuant to United States Sentencing Guidelines § 5G1.3(b). (Id. at 6-7, 10.)
Claim Two: The BOP erred when it determined that he was not eligible for nunc pro tunc retroactive designation. (Id. at 7, 11.)
Claim Three: The BOP's use of 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a) and (b) is unconstitutional. (Id. at 7, 11-12.)

         Respondent has moved to dismiss ("Motion to Dismiss, " ECF No. 9) Johnson's § 2241 Petition, or in the alternative for summary judgment ("Motion for Summary Judgment, " ECF No. 12), arguing that the BOP properly calculated Johnson's sentence and that his other claims lack merit. For the reasons set forth below, it is RECOMMENDED that the Motion for Summary Judgment be GRANTED and the § 2241 Petition be DENIED because the Court finds no error in the manner that Respondent has calculated Johnson's sentence. Johnson has already received the benefit of nunc pro tunc designation, and Johnson's claims regarding the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a) and (b) are without merit.

         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, 411 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. Ban, 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 Robert C. Jennings, a Management Analyst at the BOP's Designation and Sentence Computation Center in Grand Prairie, Texas (Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 1 ("Jennings Decl."), ECF No. 10-1); (2) Johnson's BOP sentence computation records (id. Attachs. A, C, E, F, ECF Nos. 10-2, 10-4, 10-6, 10-7); (3) records relating to Johnson's federal conviction (id. Attachs. B, D, ECF Nos. 10-3, 10-5); (4) Johnson's inmate disciplinary record (id. Attach. G, ECF No. 10-8); (5) records from Johnson's administrative remedy requests (id. Attach. H, ECF No. 10-9); and, (6) relevant portions of BOP Program Statement 5880.28, Sentence Computation Manual (CCCA of 1984) ("BOP Program Statement 5880.28") (id. Attachs. I-L, ECF Nos. 10-10 through 10-13).

         As required by Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), Johnson was advised of his right to respond to Respondent's motion, as well as the consequences of failing to respond. (ECF No. 11.) Johnson did not respond and the time to do so has expired. In light of the foregoing principles and submissions, the following facts are established for purposes of the Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court draws all permissible inferences in favor of Johnson.

         B. Summary of Pertinent Facts

         Johnson was arrested by the Atlantic City, New Jersey, Police Department for possession of heroin on April 7, 2012. (Jennings Decl. ¶ 6.) Johnson was again arrested "by the Atlantic City, New Jersey, Police Department on December 3, 2012, for Possess/Distribute/ Manufacture/Dispense Controlled Dangerous Substances." (Id.) The following year, "[o]n April 5, 2013, Petitioner was sentenced on both cases to 4-years['] imprisonment with 39 days of jail credit." (Id.)

         On March 18, 2013, a Criminal Complaint was filed against Johnson in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey ("Sentencing Court") for "conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, 1 kilogram or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, " on or about the dates of November 10, 2012, through March 2013. (Id. ¶ 7 (quoting id. Attach. B, at 2).) "On April 11, 2013, and November 20, 2013, Petitioner was temporarily removed from state custody by the United States Marshals Service on a federal writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum." (Id. ¶ 8 (citing id. Attach. C).) Pursuant to BOP Program Statement 5880.28, [2] "[t]his time has been credited toward his state sentence." (Id. ¶ 17 (citing id. Attach. L).)

         On January 14, 2016, Johnson was sentenced by the Sentencing Court for his conviction of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. (Id. ¶ 9 (citing id. Attach. D, at 2).) The Sentencing Court imposed the following sentence:

The defendant is hereby committed to the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a term of 60 months, to run concurrent to the undischarged New Jersey State term of imprisonment with credit received for time previously served on this charge.
The Court further designates the New Jersey Department of Corrections as the place of service for this sentence. The U.S. Marshals Service shall file a detainer so the defendant is returned to federal custody once his state term is complete.
The Court makes the following recommendations to the Bureau of Prisons:
If or when the defendant is a federal prisoner; the defendant shall be designated to a facility that will provide drug treatment and counseling.
The defendant shall remain in custody pending service of sentence.

(Id. Attach. D, at 2.) In summary, the Sentencing Court sentenced Johnson to "60-months to be served concurrently with his state sentence, " and the BOP "designated the New Jersey Department of Corrections as the place to serve his federal sentence and commenced Petitioner's federal sentence on January 14, 2016, the date his federal sentence was imposed, in order to effectuate concurrent service of ...

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