Hawkins v. USA
ORDER REFERRING CASE to Magistrate Judge Clifford J. Proud. Signed by Judge David R. Herndon on 4/11/2018. (tjk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
WILLIAM E. HAWKINS,
Case No. 18−cv–102−DRH
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON, District Judge:
Petitioner William E. Hawkins filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on January 17, 2018. (Doc. 1). The petition was
dismissed on January 26, 2018 (Doc. 4), and he filed an Amended Petition on
March 9, 2018. (Doc. 8) In the amended petition, petitioner once again seeks
early termination of his parole imposed in relation to Count 2 of his criminal
case, United States of America v. Hawkins, No. 90-cr-30067-DRH (S.D. Ill. Jan.
9, 2018) (“Criminal Case”). (Doc. 4). As discussed in more detail below, the
Court concludes that the Amended Petition survives preliminary review under
Rule 4 and Rule 1(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United
States District Courts.
In the Criminal Case, petitioner sought early termination of his supervised
release and parole in late 2017. Criminal Case, Docs. 638, 641, 647. Pursuant to
18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1), the Court granted petitioner’s request to terminate his
supervised release, finding that supervision could not offer him or the public
anything further given his demonstrated rehabilitation. Criminal Case, Doc. 651.
The Court denied petitioner’s request for termination of his parole, imposed in
association with Count 21 of his criminal case under 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1),
however, noting that it did not have the authority to do so outside the context of a
habeas corpus proceeding. Id. at pp. 1-2.
In response, petitioner filed this action on January 17, 2017. (Doc. 1). In
his original petition, petitioner referred to: (1) his Motion for Early Termination of
Supervised Release, filed October 19, 2017 in his Criminal Case, (2) his Pro Se
Motion to Terminate Supervised Release Term, filed October 23, 2017 in his
Criminal Case, (3) his Addendum Motion for Early Termination of Supervised
Release Under Count 2, Old Law Sentence, filed December 15, 2017 in his
Criminal Case, and (4) the Court’s Memorandum and Order filed January 9, 2018
in his Criminal Case. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7). These documents were attached to the
original petition as Exhibits 1-4, respectively. Id.
The Court dismissed the original petition for failure to present grounds
supporting petitioner’s request for termination of his parole, aside from his
statement that the “Court does not have the authority to terminate petitioner’s
This Count “was a pre-guidelines count,” and the original sentencing date was August 31, 1992.
Criminal Case, Doc. 638-2; (Doc. 1, p. 17).
parole without the consideration of a habeas corpus petition.”
Court gave petitioner leave to file an amended petition, which he did.
petitioner argues that 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1) grants the Court the authority to
terminate his parole. (Doc. 8).
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 cases in United States District
Courts provides that upon preliminary consideration by the district court judge,
“[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the
petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner.” Rule 1(b) of those Rules
gives this Court the authority to apply the rules to other habeas cases.
“[T]he essence of habeas corpus is an attack by a person in custody upon
the legality of that custody.” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973).
“Parole is a form of ‘custody’, so it is proper to use § 2241 to contest its
continuation.” See Valona v. United States, 138 F.3d 693, 695 (7th Cir. 1998).
The Seventh Circuit has suggested that district courts do not have the authority to
terminate terms of parole early outside the context of a habeas corpus proceeding,
despite their ability pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1) to terminate a term of
supervised release without one. See Kendrick v. Hamblin, 606 F. App’x 835, 838
(7th Cir. 2015).
In his amended petition, petitioner points to a district court that found, in a
situation similar to his, that “[t]he weight of authority confirms that § 3583(e)(1)
authorizes termination of statutorily mandated term of supervised release
resulting from a pre-2002 conviction under § 841(a).” (Doc. 8, p. 2) (citing United
States v. Harris, 258 F. Supp. 3d 137, 143 (D.D.C. 2017) (citing United States v.
Spinelle, 41 F.3d 1056, 1056-57, 1060-61 (6th Cir. 1994); United States v.
McClister, No. 2:02-CR-87 TS, 2008 WL 153771, at *1-*2 (D. Utah Jan. 14,
2008); United States v. Scott, 362 F. Supp. 2d 982, 983-84 (N.D. Ill. 2005);
United States v. Vargas, 564 F.3d 618, 622-23 n.3 (2d Cir. 2009); United States
v. Simmons, No. 05 CR. 1049, 2010 WL 4922192, at *4 n.1 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 1,
2010); U.S. SENTENCING COMMISSION, Federal Offenders Sentenced to Supervised
Release 35 (July 2010))).
Because the reasoning in Harris may apply to petitioner’s situation to
enable him to seek termination of his parole based on his pre-2002 § 841(a)
conviction, and Kendrick suggests that a habeas petition is the appropriate avenue
for this challenge, the Court declines at this stage to find that petitioner is not
entitled to habeas relief. Further briefing from the parties is necessary before the
Court will make such a determination.
When a petitioner is on parole, the proper respondent for a habeas action
brought by him is the parole board, which has the authority to impose conditions
on his release. See Jones v. Cunningham, 371 U.S. 236, 243 (1963). In this
case, petitioner is under the jurisdiction of the United States Parole Commission.
(Doc. 1, p. 39).
Thus, the United States of America will be dismissed as the
respondent in this action, and it will be replaced by the United States Parole
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is
DISMISSED from this action. The CLERK is DIRECTED to ADD the UNITED
STATES PAROLE COMMISSION as the Respondent in this action in CM-ECF.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondent UNITED STATES PAROLE
COMMISSION shall answer the Amended Petition or otherwise plead within thirty
(30) days of the entry this order is entered (on or before May 14, 2018).2 This
preliminary order to respond does not, of course, preclude the government from
raising any objection or defense it may wish to present. Service upon the United
States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, 750 Missouri Avenue, East St.
Louis, Illinois, shall constitute sufficient service.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that pursuant to Local Rule 72.1(a)(2), this
cause is referred to United States Magistrate Judge Clifford J. Proud for further
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this entire matter be REFERRED to
United States Magistrate Judge Proud for disposition, as contemplated by Local
Rule 72.2(b)(2) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), should all the parties consent to such a
The response date ordered herein is controlling. Any date that CM/ECF should generate in the
course of this litigation is a guideline only.
Petitioner is ADVISED of his continuing obligation to keep the Clerk (and
each opposing party) informed of any change in his whereabouts during the
pendency of this action. This notification shall be done in writing and not later
than seven days after a transfer or other change in address occurs. Failure to
provide such notice may result in dismissal of this action. See FED. R. CIV. P.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
United States District Judge
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