Carter v. Federal Medical Center Devens
Judge Richard G. Stearns: ORDER entered adopting Report and Recommendations re 47 Report and Recommendations.; granting 18 Motion to Dismiss; finding as moot 21 Motion for Summary Judgment; finding as moot 33 Motion for Summary Judgment; finding as moot 35 Motion for Order to Show Cause. The Magistrate Judge's Recommendation is ADOPTED, Grondolsky's Motion to Dismiss is ALLOWED with prejudice, and the remaining motions are DENIED AS MOOT. (RGS, law1) (Additional attachment(s) added on 8/28/2017: # 1 Report and Recommendations) (Russo, Noreen).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 16-11910-RGS
FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTER DEVENS AND
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
August 28, 2017
I agree with Magistrate Judge Cabell’s Report and his adoption of the
Fifth Circuit’s analysis of the argument raised by Carter here, as well as its
conclusion that “there is no necessary inconsistency between line D [of the
judgment], the payment schedule following [the Petitioner]’s release, and the
apparently standard paragraph requiring payments to be made during
imprisonment ‘unless expressly ordered otherwise.’” Hickman v. Keffer,
498 F. App’x 375, 378 (5th Cir. 2012). Line D of the judgment merely
specifies the frequency, duration, and amount of the payments to be made
after Carter is released from prison; it says nothing about those being the sole
payments for which he is responsible. No other aspect of the judgment
“expressly orders” that Carter be relieved of his restitution obligations while
he is incarcerated. Indeed, the very size of the restitution amount ordered in
Carter’s case — some $1.3 million — militates for immediate payments.
Otherwise, his entire repayment obligation would amount to only $18,000,
despite a fifteen-year prison sentence during which payments could be made.
This consideration by itself overcomes Carter’s reliance on United
States v. Merric, 166 F.3d 406 (1st Cir. 1999), in his objection to the Report.
In Merric, the First Circuit “held that it is the inherent responsibility of the
judge to determine matters of punishment and this includes final authority
over all payment matters.” Id. at 409. Here, the District Judge exercised
that responsibility as reflected in line D of the judgment when read with the
general savings paragraph, which states that “payment of criminal monetary
penalties is due during imprisonment.” The savings paragraph likewise
specifies that those payments may be made “through the Federal Bureau of
Prisons’ Inmate Financial Responsibility Program.” Therefore, contrary to
Carter’s argument, the District Judge did not improperly delegate his
responsibilities under 18 U.S.C. § 3572(d). See Bramson v. Winn, 136 F.
App’x 380, 381 (1st Cir. 2005) (where the sentencing court ordered payment
due immediately, “there was no improper delegation” where the “Bureau of
Prisons . . . us[ed] the IFRP to collect . . . court-ordered payments”); United
States v. Stewart, 2015 WL 728498, at *1 & n.3 (D. Me. Feb. 19, 2015)
(holding that the savings paragraph, in conjunction with a post-release
repayment schedule, satisfies Bramson and Merric).
The court also views as persuasive Grondolsky’s alternative argument
that the IFRP is an incentive program designed to encourage prisoners to
voluntarily make payments toward their restitution obligations. See United
States v. Lemoine, 546 F.3d 1042, 1048 (9th Cir. 2008). Although Lemoine
involved a case in which the sentencing court had specifically mandated
participation in the IFRP and a minimum quarterly payment, its holding that
“the BOP has the authority to encourage voluntary payments in excess of
those required under the court’s judgment by conditioning the receipt of
certain privileges during the term of imprisonment on the inmate’s
participation in the IFRP,” id. at 1050, is just as pertinent here. Manifestly,
Carter has “no entitlement, constitutional or otherwise, to any of the benefits
agreeing to participate in the IFRP would provide.” Id. at 1049; see also 28
C.F.R. § 545.11(d) (describing the effects of refusal to participate in IFRP);
Bramson, 136 F. App’x at 381 n.1 (concluding that constitutional challenges
to the IFRP lack merit).
For the foregoing reasons, the Magistrate Judge’s Recommendation is
ADOPTED, Grondolsky’s Motion to Dismiss is ALLOWED with prejudice,
and the remaining motions are DENIED AS MOOT.
/s/ Richard G. Stearns
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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