JOHNSON v. GRAY et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION accompanying final order issued separately this day. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 11/14/12.(ah)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
James F. Johnson,
Civil Action No. 12-0967 (JDB)
Vincent C. Gray et al.,
In this action for a writ of mandamus brought pro se, petitioner, a District of Columbia
resident, was convicted in 1976 of “Carnal Statutory Rape” and other crimes following a jury
trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Pet. at 2; 1 see Fed. Resp’t’s Opp’n to
Pet’r’s Pro Se Pet. for Writ for Mandamus [Dkt. # 7], Ex. A. As a consequence, petitioner must
register for life as a sex offender under the District’s Sex Offender Registration Act of 1999
(“SORA”), codified at D.C. Code § 22-4001 et seq.. Resp’t’s Ex. B.
Petitioner “challenges the . . . additional sentence . . ., which was not orally pronounced .
. . by the sentencing Judge during the 1976 sentencing phase,” but which “CSOSA authorities
pronounce[d] and mandated . . . as a condition of [petitioner’s] parole release in . . . 2004, nearly
. . . 30 years after the [imposition of] [his] sentence . . . .” Pet. at 2. Presumably, petitioner
This action was initiated by petitioner’s submission captioned: “Motion for Federal Writ of
Error Coram Nobis or in the Alternative Writ for Mandamus to Order Dismissal/ Removals from
the District of Columbia and Federal Sex Offenders Registration Petitioner Challenge the Sex
Offender Registration Mandate Only!” Since petitioner is not challenging a judgment of this
Court, the document is construed as a petition seeking mandamus relief. See Black’s Law
Dictionary (9th ed. 2009) (defining coram nobis as “[a] writ of error directed to a court for review
of its own judgment and predicated on alleged errors of fact”).
seeks an order to compel the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (“CSOSA”), a
federal agency, see D.C. Code § 24-133, to relieve him of SORA’s reporting requirement. Id.
Since petitioner has not shown his entitlement to mandamus relief, the Court will deny his
Under the mandamus statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1361, a court is empowered to grant injunctive
relief only if “(1) the plaintiff has a clear right to relief; (2) the defendant has a clear duty to act;
and (3) there is no other adequate remedy available to plaintiff.” Fornaro v. James, 416 F.3d 63,
69 (D.C. Cir. 2005) (quoting Power v. Barnhart, 292 F.3d 781, 784 (D.C. Cir.2002)); accord In
re Medicare Reimbursement Litig., 414 F.3d 7, 10 (D.C. Cir. 2005). “[I]f there is no clear and
compelling duty under the statute as interpreted, the district court must dismiss the action.” In re
Cheney, 406 F.3d 723, 729 (D.C. Cir. 2005) (en banc). Even if the petitioner satisfies all three
elements, whether the extraordinary remedy of mandamus should issue is discretionary. Id.
Petitioner has failed to demonstrate the requirements for mandamus relief, and he has
utilized – albeit unsuccessfully -- an adequate remedy under D.C. Code § 22-4004 available to
him in Superior Court. See Resp’t’s Ex. C (Johnson v. CSOSA, No. F-33483-76 (Super. Ct. Sept.
27, 2004) (denying petitioner’s motion “challenging his status as a sex offender under the
[SORA]”)); Anderson v. Holder, 647 F.3d 1165, 1170 (D.C. Cir. 2011) (discussing the SORA’s
remedial scheme); cf. Charles v. Chandler, 180 F.3d 753, 756-58 (6th Cir. 1999) (unfavorable
outcome alone does not render remedy inadequate under habeas statute’s savings clause) (citing
cases). Hence, the Court finds no basis for granting mandamus relief.
Petitioner also contends that the application of SORA’s reporting requirement to him
violates the Constitution’s ex post facto proscription. Pet. at 4-5. But the District of Columbia
Circuit in addressing the same argument petitioner advances here has “conclude[d] that . . .
SORA's registration requirement does not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause.” Anderson, 647
F.3d at 1169. The D.C. Circuit was “persuaded that the [District of Columbia] Council intended
to [and did] create a regulatory scheme that is civil and nonpunitive,” and, thus, not subject to ex
post facto analysis. Id. (internal quotation marks omitted); see Collins v. Youngblood, 497 U.S.
37, 42-43 (1990) (“ ‘[A]ny statute . . . which makes more burdensome the punishment for any
crime, after its commission . . . is prohibited as ex post facto.’ ”) (quoting Beazell v. Ohio, 269
U.S. 167, 169-70 (1925)). Hence, to the extent that petitioner is seeking injunctive relief based
on a constitutional violation, the Court finds that he has not stated a cognizable claim.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court will deny the petition for a writ of mandamus and
dismiss the case. A separate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.
DATE: November 14, 2012
JOHN D. BATES
United States District Judge
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