GONZALEZ v. HOLLINGSWORTH
OPINION FILED. Signed by Judge Robert B. Kugler on 4/24/17. (js)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civ. No. 16-2946 (RBK)
WARDEN J. HOLLINGSWORTH,
ROBERT B. KUGLER, U.S.D.J.
Petitioner is a federal prisoner currently incarcerated at F.C.I. Fort Dix, in Fort Dix, New
Jersey. He is proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241. Petitioner claims that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) has improperly calculated his
sentence by forty-seven days. For the following reasons, the habeas petition will be denied.
On December 5, 2013, petitioner was sentenced to 121 months1 of imprisonment in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of New York of conspiracy to distribute
cocaine. The sentencing court ordered petitioner to surrender to the BOP for service of his
sentence by 2:00 p.m. on January 21, 2014.
The BOP calculated petitioner’s sentence as commencing on January 21, 2014. He was
awarded prior custody credit for the period of time he was incarcerated following his arrest –
from February 19, 2013 (the date of his arrest) until March 8, 2013 (the date he was released on
Petitioner’s sentence was later reduced to 120 months.
bond to home confinement). Petitioner is currently projected to be released from federal
incarceration on September 19, 2022.
In May 2016, petitioner filed this habeas petition. He claims that the BOP has improperly
calculated his sentence. More specifically, petitioner claims that the BOP has refused to credit
him with forty-seven days credit towards his sentence. This forty-seven days constitutes the
period of time between when petitioner was sentenced on December 5, 2013 and when he
surrendered to begin his sentence on January 21, 2014. During this time, petitioner was placed
under home confinement.
Respondent2 filed a response in opposition to the habeas petition. Subsequently,
petitioner filed a reply in support of his habeas petition.
Determining a term of imprisonment comprises two steps as described by the applicable
(a) Commencement of sentence. – A sentence to a term of
imprisonment commences on the date the defendant is received in
custody awaiting transportation to, or arrives voluntarily to
commence service of sentence at, the official detention facility at
which the sentence is to be served.
(b) Credit for prior custody. – A defendant shall be given credit
toward the service of a term of imprisonment for any time he has
spent in official detention prior to the date the sentence commences
(1) as a result of the offense for which the sentence
was imposed; or
(2) as a result of any other charge for which the
defendant was arrested after the commission of the
offense for which the sentence was imposed;
that has not been credited against another sentence.
David Ortiz is currently the warden of F.C.I. Fort Dix. Therefore, the Clerk will be ordered to
replace J. Hollingsworth with David Ortiz as the respondent in this action pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 25(d).
18 U.S.C. § 3585(a), (b); see also Nieves v. Scism, 527 F. App'x 139, 140–41 (3d Cir. 2013) (“In
calculating a sentence, the BOP determines (1) when the federal sentence commenced, and (2)
whether there are any credits to which the prisoner may be entitled.”) (citing 18 U.S.C. § 3585).
In Reno v. Koray, 515 U.S. 50 (1995), the United States Supreme Court examined
whether a defendant was entitled to sentence credit during the time he spent at a community
treatment center. In that case, the defendant pled guilty on June 18, 1991. See id. at 52. On June
25, 1991, a Federal Magistrate Judge entered a release order pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(c) that
required defendant be confined to the premises of a Volunteers of America community treatment
center without authorization to leave for any reason unless accompanied by a Government
special agent. See id. at 52-53. The defendant in Koray was sentenced on October 22, 1991 to
forty-one months imprisonment. See id. at 53. He remained at the Volunteers of America facility
until November 25, 1991, when he reported to the BOP to serve his sentence. See id.
In Koray, the defendant argued that the BOP should have credited his sentence from June
25, 1991 until November 25, 1991. Ultimately, the Supreme Court held as follows:
the time spent at the Volunteers of America community treatment
center while “released” on bail pursuant to the Bail Reform Act of
1984 was not “official detention” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C.
§ 3585(b). Respondent therefore was not entitled to a credit against
his sentence of imprisonment.
Koray, 515 U.S. at 65. Since Koray, courts within this Circuit have similarly held that a
petitioner is not entitled to prior custody credit for time spent in home confinement. See, e.g.,
Snyder v. Attorney General of United States, 612 F. App’x 645, 646 (3d Cir. 2015); United
States v. Garcia, 362 F. App’x 293, 296 n.3 (3d Cir. 2010).
In his reply brief, however, petitioner argues that he is still entitled to forty-seven days of
credit because his home confinement occurred after he was sentenced as opposed to prior to
sentencing. This Court finds petitioner’s argument unpersuasive.
The petitioner in Koray was seeking credit for the time he spent at the community center
both before and after he was sentenced on October 22, 1991. Petitioner points out that the
Supreme Court in Koray stated as follows, “[u]nlike defendants ‘released’ on bail, defendants
who are ‘detained’ or ‘sentenced’ always remain subject to the control of the Bureau.” 515 U.S.
at 63 (emphasis in original) (citation omitted). However, as indicated above, the petitioner in
Koray was seeking credit for time spent at the Volunteers of America both pre and postsentencing. Ultimately, the Supreme Court held that he was not entitled to this credit. See id. at
65. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, numerous cases decided after Koray have also
held that a petitioner is not entitled to credit time for home confinement after sentencing, but
prior to surrendering to the BOP.3 See Munoz v. Maye, 485 F. App’x 699, 699 (5th Cir. 2012)
(holding that time spent in a community corrections center/halfway house after sentencing but
prior to date he reported to BOP facility was properly not credited to petitioner’s sentence);
Schaefer v. Bezy, 199 F. App’x 548, 551 (7th Cir. 2006) (petitioner’s confinement for forty-one
days in halfway house after sentencing but prior to when he surrendered to the federal prison was
properly not credited to petitioner’s sentence); United States v. Tuner, Crim. No. 11-20117, 2015
Respondent cites to the following cases in its brief in support of its position that petitioner is
not entitled to credit – Snyder, 612 F. App’x 646; Garcia, 362 F. App’x at 296; Iqbal v. United
States, No. 12-2156, 2013 WL 3514384, at *4 (D.N.J. July 11, 2013); Gullinese v. Zickefoose,
No. 11-7565, 2012 WL 4490562, at *2 (D.N.J. Sept. 27, 2012); Santiago v. Shartle, No. 114957, 2011 WL 4073506, at *4 (D.N.J. Sept. 13, 2011); O’Shea v. United States, No. 04-5016,
2005 WL 3440628, at *4 (D.N.J. Dec. 13, 2005). However, these cases appear to relate to claims
by petitioners seeking sentence credit for time spent in home confinement prior to sentencing.
Therefore, this Court does not necessarily find these cases controlling on the precise issue that
petitioner raises most specifically in his reply brief.
WL 7450398, at *1 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 24, 2015) (“Any period of time that defendant was subject
to wearing an ankle bracelet or on home confinement, whether prior to sentencing or postsentencing, is not a term of ‘official detention’ entitling her to credit her term of imprisonment.”)
(citations omitted); Steeples v. Augustine, No. 07-0384, 2008 WL 660335, at *2 (N.D. Fla. Mar.
7, 2008) (petitioner not entitled to credit as time spent in official detention for seventeen months
of house arrest, three of which was after she was sentenced). Thus, this Court is unmoved by
petitioner’s attempt to distinguish his claim for sentence credit for time spent in home
confinement post-sentencing. Accordingly, petitioner fails to show that he is entitled to federal
For the foregoing reasons, the habeas petition will be denied. An appropriate order will
DATE: April 24, 2017
s/Robert B. Kugler
ROBERT B. KUGLER
United States District Judge
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