Helen Cathren Morris v. United States of America

Filing 3


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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 HELEN CATHREN MORRIS, 12 13 Petitioner, v. 14 15 16 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Case No. ED CV 17-01664 AB (AFM) ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING HABEAS PETITION FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION Respondent. 17 18 On August 17, 2017, petitioner filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by 19 a Person in Federal Custody (28 U.S.C. § 2241). Petitioner seeks an order 20 recommending early release from federal custody upon her successful completion 21 of a residential drug abuse program (RDAP). The Petition must be dismissed 22 without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because petitioner’s 23 challenge to a discretionary decision to deny her a sentence reduction upon 24 completion of the RDAP is not subject to judicial review. 25 Congress has delegated to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) the duty to provide 26 appropriate substance abuse treatment for each prisoner the BOP determines has a 27 treatable condition of substance addiction or abuse. 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b). To carry 28 out this requirement, the BOP must make available residential drug abuse programs 1 (RDAP) for eligible prisoners. 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e)(1). 2 successful completion of the RDAP, the BOP may reduce a prisoner’s sentence by 3 up to one year. 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e)(2)(B). “Determining which prisoners are 4 eligible to participate in RDAP is within the discretion of the BOP, as is the 5 decision to grant or deny eligible prisoners sentence reductions upon successful 6 completion of the program.” Reeb v. Thomas, 636 F.3d 1224, 1226 (9th Cir. 2011). 7 Officials at the BOP found petitioner ineligible for a sentence reduction upon 8 completion of the RDAP because petitioner had a disqualifying conviction and 9 firearm enhancement. Petitioner was found disqualified for the sentence reduction 10 because she had a conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 11 marijuana. (ECF No. 1 at 19, 21.) Moreover, a search of petitioner’s home had 12 revealed “multiple firearms,” resulting in a two-point sentence enhancement for 13 possession of a firearm. 14 disqualifying because it involved “an offense that involved the carrying, possession, 15 or use of a firearm” and “an offense that, by its nature or conduct, present a serious 16 potential risk of physical force against the person or property of another.” (Id.) 17 Petitioner disputes these findings and points out that her co-defendant was found 18 eligible for the program. (ECF No. 1 at 15.) Petitioner seeks a recommendation 19 from this Court to the effect that she should be considered for the sentence 20 reduction upon her successful completion of the RDAP. (ECF No. 1 at 15-16.) (ECF No. 1 at 19.) As an incentive for The firearm enhancement was 21 In 18 U.S.C. § 3625, Congress explicitly precluded judicial review of the 22 BOP’s individualized RDAP decisions by excluding any “determination, decision, 23 or order” made by the BOP pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 3621-3624 from the 24 provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (which authorizes federal courts to 25 hear actions involving a “legal wrong” suffered because of an agency action). 26 Consequently, the BOP’s discretionary determinations in implementing the RDAP 27 in individual cases are not subject to judicial review. See Reeb, 636 F.3d at 1227 28 (“[A]ny substantive decision by the BOP to admit a particular prisoner into RDAP, 2 1 or to grant or deny a sentence reduction for completion of the program, is not 2 reviewable by the district court.”). It follows that petitioner’s claim that the BOP 3 abused its discretion in her individual case by denying her a sentence reduction for 4 completion of the RDAP cannot be reviewed by the Court. 5 ORDER 6 7 8 IT IS ORDERED that the Petition is summarily dismissed without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 9 10 DATED: August 28, 2017 11 12 13 ANDRÉ BIROTTE JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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