Little v. United States of America
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER; 1) Petition for writ of habeas corpus is DENIED 2) Little's motion for injunction which asks the Court to order BOP to stop collecting fine is DENIED AS MOOT 3) matter is STRICKEN from Court's active docket 4) a corresponding judgment will be entered this date. Signed by Judge Henry R. Wilhoit, Jr on 4/27/17.(SMT)cc: COR, Little via USMail
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
NORTHERN DIVISION at ASHLAND
Civil No. 0: 16-129-HRW
JANISSE BISHOP, Acting Warden,
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Inmate Trevor Little is confined at the Federal Correctional Institution in
Ashland, Kentucky. Proceeding without counsel, Little filed a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [D. E. No. 1] Little's petition is now
before this Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2243. For the reasons set
f01ih below, the Court will deny Little's petition.
In late 1995, the United States charged Little with multiple drug-related
crimes. See United States v. Little, No. 2:95-CR-198 (S.D. W. Va.). The United
States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia held a jury trial, and
on May 3, 1996, the jury found Little guilty of multiple counts of the indictment. A
few months later, on July 15, 1996, the court sentenced Little to life imprisonment
and fined him $25,000.
While the court later reduced Little's sentence of
imprisonment to 360 months, the fine remained in place.
In 2016, over twenty years after the court entered its judgment of sentence,
Little filed a prose petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241,
as well as a supplemental petition. [D. E. Nos. 1, 7] Little argues that he is no longer
obligated to pay the $25,000 fine imposed as part of his sentence because his liability
on that fine expired 20 years after the entry of judgment. Little bases this argument
on an early version of 18 U.S.C. § 36 l 3(b ), which provided that a criminal
defendant's liability to pay a fine expired either 20 years after the entry of the
judgment or upon the death of the defendant.
Little's habeas petition is without merit because the version of§ 3613(b) that
he relies upon was no longer in effect when he was convicted and sentenced. That
is because Congress passed the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MYRA) of
1996, Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1227, which amended§ 3613(b). The amended
version of§ 3613(b) went into effect on April 24, 1996, and it provided that "[t]he
liability to pay a fine shall terminate the later o/20 years from the entry of judgment
or 20 years after the release fi·om imprisonment of the person fined, or upon the
death of the individual fined." See 18 U.S.C. § 3613(b) (emphasis added). So, by
the time Little was convicted in May 1996 and sentenced in July 1996, the old
version of§ 3613(b) was no longer in effect. Therefore, Little's reliance on that
provision is simply misplaced.
Little nevertheless argues that the old version of§ 3613(b) applies to his case
because the dates he committed his offenses-"from early 1990 to December
1995"-is controlling, rendering application of the revised statute a violation of the
Ex Post Facto Clause.
[D. E. No. 7] But the Ex Post Facto Clause prohibits
enactments that "retroactively alter the definition of crimes or increase the
punishment for criminal acts," Cal. Dept. of Corr. v. Morales, 514 U.S. 499, 504
(1995), and the amendment at issue here plainly does neither. Therefore, the Court
will deny Little's habeas petition.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that:
Little's petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241
[D. E. No. 1] is DENIED.
Little's motion for an injunction [D. E. No. 9], which asks the Court to
order the Bureau of Prisons to stop collecting the fine, is DENIED AS
This matter is STRICKEN from the Court's active docket.
A corresponding judgment will be entered this date.
This 27 111 day of April, 2017.
HenryR. Wi/holt. Jr.
United State11 District Judge
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