Davis v. Wilson

Filing 11

MEMORANDUM OPINION. SEE OPINION for complete details. Signed by District Judge Robert E. Payne on 12/05/2017. Copy of Memorandum Opinion mailed to Petitioner as directed.(ccol, )

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA u {L ~ Riclunond Division JOHN GUY DAVIS, III, ~ OEC -6 20\7 \ CLERK. U.S. DlSTR1CT COURT RICHMOND VA Petitioner, v. Criminal No. 3:17CV04 ERIC WILSON, Respondent. MEMORANDUM OPINION This matter is before the Court pursuant to John Guy Davis, III' s § Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S. C. 2241 ( "§ 2241 Petition," ECF No. Motion to Dismiss, has 1) . 1 Respondent has filed a or in the alternative, {"Motion for Summary Judgment, " Judgment. {ECF responded. No. 10.) The a Motion for Summary ECF No. matter 6) • is 2 Davis ripe for disposition. In his § 2241 Petition, Davis, a federal inmate incarcerated in Petersburg, Virginia, contends that he "is being barred from a reduced sentence based on an invalid agency policy [of) the [Davis) Bureau the 1 of Prisons 'one-year-off' Abuse Program] ( ("BOP")) . for completing (BOP) denied [the Residential Drug that participants usually receive." The Court employs the pagination submissions by the CM/ECF docketing system. 2 ~ assigned {§ 2241 Pet. to The Court employs the pagination assigned Government's submissions by the CM/ECF docketing system. Davis's to the 3.) As relief, [BOP] Davis requests that the Court through FCC Petersburg is relying on policy which {"APA")] violates [the [an] Administrative - to wrongfully bar [Davis] ''rule that the invalid agency Procedure Act from the one year reduction in sentence for which he should otherwise be eligible under 18 u.s.c. § § 3621." at 7.) 3 {Id. Respondent asserts that Davis's 2241 Petition should be dismissed because Davis lacks standing and because Davis's substantive Residential Drug Abuse Supp. Summ. Mot. reasons, J. Program s, 7, ( "RDAP") ECF Respondent's Motion for will be granted, and Davis's § challenge No. 7. ) is against the BOP's meri tless. For the Summary Judgment (Mem. following ( ECF No. 6) 2241 Petition (ECF No. 1) will be dismissed without prejudice because at this juncture, the action is not ripe for judicial disposition. I. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD Summary judgment must be rendered "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Civ. P. 56(a). and the Fed. R. The party seeking summary judgment bears the responsibility to inform the court of the basis for the motion, 3 Davis has attached to his § 2241 Petition a Memorandum in Support of his § 2241 Petition. (See ECF No. 1, at 7-15.) The Clerk docketed this Memorandum together with the § 2241 Petition. For ease of reference, the Court uses the pagination assigned by the CM/ECF docketing system for this submission and simply refers to it as part of the § 2241 Petition. 2 and to identify the parts of the record which demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. v. Catrett, 4 7 7 U. S . 31 7 , 323 ( 19 8 6} . See Celotex Corp. " [W] here the nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial on a dispositive issue, a summary reliance solely judgment on the motion may pleadings, properly be in answers depositions, made to interrogatories, and admissions on file." Id. at 324 quotation motion marks omitted} . When the (internal is properly supported, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and, by citing affidavits interrogatories, facts and "'depositions, or admissions on file, ' designate In draw reviewing all party." a justifiable Cir. 477 U.S. Inc., (4th 242, 1992} 255 judgment inferences United States v. 835 832, summary in (1986)}. Anderson However, evidence will not preclude summary judgment. 442, 251 (citing Improvement 448 judge, (1872)}. the of Carolina Transformer (citing Co. v. Munson, Id. (1986}). motion, favor to 'specific showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" (quoting former Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 (c} and 56 (e} at answers v. court the Co., "must nonmoving 978 Liberty F. 2d Lobby, a mere scintilla of Anderson, 477 U.S. 81 U.S. (14 Wall.) "' [T] here is a preliminary question for the not whether there is literally no evidence, but whether there is any upon which a jury could properly proceed to find a 3 verdict for imposed.'" In the party Id. support Program Deel. , " ECF No. the onus of proof is {quoting Munson, 81 U. s. at 448) . of Government submits a Abuse upon whom its Motion for summary Declaration of Scharles Coordinator at FCI Judgment, the Tinsley, Drug c. Petersburg Low {"Tinsley 7-1) , and several records pertaining to Davis's RDAP eligibility and participation {Tinsley Deel. Attach. 1-5, ECF No. 7-2 through 7-6). As a general rule, a non-movant must respond to a motion for summary judgment with affidavits or other verified evidence. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324. With his Reply, Davis submitted an Affidavit {"Davis Af f. , " ECF No. 10-1) . Davis also swore to the contents of his Reply under penalty of perjury. In light of the foregoing submissions and (Reply 11.) principles, the following facts are established for the purposes of the motion for summary judgment. All permissible inferences are drawn in Davis's favor. II. SUMMARY OF FACTS On June 10, 2014, Davis was sentenced by the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina to 60 months' 21 imprisonment for manufacturing marijuana in violation of u. s . c . at 3, §§ ECF No. 8 41 {a) {1) 7 - 2. ) and {b) {1) {B) . At sentencing, 4 {Tinsley Aff. Attach. 1 the district court adopted Davis's Pre-Sentence Investigation Report and accepted its recommendation of a two-level increase in Davis's base offense level pursuant to United States Sentencing Guideline (Tinsley Aff. a firearm) ~ was possessed" On November 7, Davis's were he conviction ~ Center qualified The of his offense. (Id. for the Pursuant to RDAP' s policy, 6.) to the ("DSCC") BOP's for early a release Designation and determination of upon successful (Id.; see Tinsley Aff. Attach. 3 at 2, ECF completion of RDAP. 7-4.) time Davis was found to qualify for submitted Computation whether the 7-3.) 2014, Sentence No. at (Tinsley Af f. records 2Dl .1, 5) , finding that "a dangerous weapon (including Attach. 2 at 2, ECF No. BOP' s RDAP. § DSCC "involved determined the that carrying, Davis's possession, current offense or use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon or explosive[]" and "by its nature or conduct [Davis's offense conviction), presents a serious potential risk of physical force against the person or property or another." 5.) (Tinsley Aff. Attach. 4 at 2, ECF No. 7- Therefore, the DSCC concluded that Davis was ineligible for early release even if he were to complete successfully RDAP. (Tinsley Aff. Attach. 4 at 3.) enrolled in RDAP. 4 Davis has neither completed nor (See Tinsley Aff. 4 ~ 7; Tinsley Aff. Attach. 5 Davis disputes whether he declined to participate in RDAP. In his Affidavit, Davis asserts, 5 at 3, ECF No. 7-6.) III. DAVIS'S STANDING TO BRING THIS § 2241 PETITION Essentially, Davis argues that RDAP's policy of disallowing early release for felons because of firearm who have been convicted or sentenced offenses violation of the APA. (§ is 224 l arbitrary Pet . 8 -15 . ) must consider his ability to bring this § and capricious However, in the Court 2241 Petition before it can reach the merits of Davis's argument. In its Judgment, Memorandum in Support its Motion the Government contends that Davis's is non-justiciable because Davis Mot . Summ. of J. 5- 7 . } lacks § standing. for Summary 2241 Petition (Mem. Supp. The Government argues that because Davis I never signed out of RDAP or declined to participate. Note the lack of my signature on the Respondent's exhibit for proof that I did not refuse to participate and still intend to participate with the hopes of receiving the one year off should the courts rule favorably in my § 2241 proceeding. I only told Dr. Woods that I would be appealing the eligibility denial regarding the year off incentive. (Davis Aff. , 4 (emphasis omitted).) A review of the Government's attachment that Davis references, however, reveals that although Davis's signature is indeed absent, Dr. Woods checked the box indicating that the "inmate refuses to sign." (Tinsley Aff. Attach. 5 at 3.} Further, the attachment shows that Dr. Woods commented "Inmate Davis declined RDAP as he was not eligible for early release. As such, his status was updated to reflect [RDAP] Decline." (Id.) Whether or not Davis refused to participate in the program is immaterial. The record conclusively establishes that Davis has neither sought to enroll in nor completed RDAP despite his eligibility to do so. 6 has not completed RDAP he is unable to show both that he has a redressable injury and that the action is ripe for disposition. (Id.) not As discussed below, ripe because RDAP and Davis thus, the the Court agrees that this action is has Court neither enrolled lacks review the merits of Davis's Article in nor completed III jurisdiction to 2241 Petition. § Article III of the Constitution limits the scope of federal court jurisdiction to "cases" and "controversies." art. III, § 2. U.S. Const. "[R]ipeness, along with standing, mootness, political question," are and "doctrines that cluster about Article III" of the United States Constitution. S.C. Citizens for Life, Inc. 220-21 v. Krawcheck, (quoting Allen v. is a doctrine 3 01 F. Wright, used controversy exists, to App' x 218, 468 U.S. evaluate 737, 750 whether (4th Cir. (1984)}. an 2008) Ripeness actual case or because a court cannot decide a claim that See Ohio Forestry Ass' n is not ripe for its review. Sierra Club, 523 U.S. 726, 732-34 (1998). Inc. v. The Supreme Court has recognized that " [t] he burden of proving ripeness falls on the party F. bringing App' x at suit." 220 s.c. (alteration Citizens in for original} Life, (quoting Inc., Miller 301 v. Brown, 462 F.3d 312, 319 (4th Cir. 2006}}. To determine disposition, issues for "a whether court judicial must a claim evaluate decision' and 7 is ( i} (ii} ripe 'the 'the for judicial fitness of the hardship to the parties of withholding court consideration.'" Id. at (quoting Abbott Labs. v. Gardner, 387 U.S. 136, 149 (1967)). 221 A claim for relief "is not ripe for adjudication if it rests upon contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, indeed may not occur at all." 296, 300 omitted); (1998) see (internal Miller, 462 or Texas v. United States, 523 U.S. quotation F.3d at marks 319 omitted) ("A case (citation is fit for judicial decision when the issues are purely legal and when the action in controversy is final and not dependent on future uncertainties."}. Davis's challenge to his eligibility for RDAP is not ripe for this court' s review because Davis has not completed RDAP, which is a precondition to being considered for early release under 18 U.S.C. § 362l(e} (2) (B}. of RDAP is a future contingency. 5 5 Davis's successful completion Hence, at this juncture, "the In his Reply, Davis argues that the action is ripe for review because he is identically situated with the habeas petitioner in Lopez v. Davis, 531 U.S. 230 (2001). (Reply 3-4, ECF No. 10.) However, Davis's argument lacks merit. Lopez was a case of first impression before the Supreme Court addressing whether 18 u.s.c. § 362l{e) (2) {B} is a permissible exercise of the BOP's discretion. Lopez, 531 U.S. 233. It does not appear that any party raised the issue of ripeness in Lopez. However, since Lopez, district courts have found that challenges to RDAP are not ripe for judicial disposition where an inmate has not completed the program. See King v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, C.A. No. 9:09-323-HMH-BM, 2009 WL 764948, at *5 (D.S.C. Mar. 23, 2009) {citation omitted), aff 'd, 329 F. App'x 504 {4th Cir. 2009); Holland v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, No. 0:08-3960, 2009 WL 2872835, at *1 (D.S.C. Sept.2, 2009). 8 duration release of is (Davis's] not a imprisonment controversy, based and the on possible length of early [Davis's] imprisonment would be unaffected by this court's dismissal of the petition without prejudice." see id. at *3 (concluding, inter alia, challenge APA King, to RDAP "not completed RDAP and was not therefore 2009 WL 764948, at *5; that habeas petitioner's ripe ha(d] because not been he had denied the early release benefit"}; see Gay v. LaManna, C.A. No. 2:08-3624GRA-RSC, 332 2009 WL 790336, App'x F. ("Plaintiff's 22 claim at *3 (4th will (D.S.C. Cir. not Mar. 2009) be 25, 2009}, (citations 'ripe' for aff'd, omitted} federal judicial review until he completes the RDAP and is denied early release credits, Sanchez if that scenario does in fact transpire."} . v. Ledezma, (holding petitioner standing to 422 F. faced challenge the App'x "the 735, 738 requisite regulation" (10th Cir. injury when But see he and had 2011} ha [d] not yet completed but was participating in RDAP); Torres v. Chapman, 359 Fed App'x 459, 461 (5th Cir. 2009) (holding petitioner had not completed the program, bring a facial challenge to RDAP) . 6 6 that, although she had standing to Because Davis has not Even if the action was ripe for the Court's review, it is likely that Davis's substantive challenge against the complained of RDAP policy is meritless. In sum, Davis alleges that RDAP's policy of disallowing early release for inmates who received sentencing enhancements for firearm offenses is arbitrary and capricious in violation of the APA. However, the supreme Court 9 successfully completed RDAP, this jurisdiction to consider Davis's Accordingly, Davis's § § Court lacks Article III 2241 Petition on the merits. 2241 Petition will be dismissed without prejudice. IV. For the foregoing reasons, Judgment Dismiss Petition ( ECF No. (ECF No. 6} 6) (ECF No. 1} CONCLUSION Respondent's Motion for Summary wil 1 be granted. Respondent's Motion to will be denied as moot. Davis's § 2241 and the action will be dismissed without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction. has held that the BOP may categorically exclude inmates with firearm sentencing enhancements from RDAP. Lopez, 531 U.S. at 244. Further, to the extent that Davis's APA argument may be read as a challenge to the BOP's individual decision to deny him eligibility for early release, this Court has already concluded that such judicial review is "excluded by the express terms of [18 U.S.C.] § 3625," Reed w. Wilson, No. 1:14CV652 (TSE/IDD), 2015 WL 5165125, at *3 (E. D. Va. Sept. 2, 2015) , and that "the decision to admit an inmate to RDAP or to its early release eligibility is reserved to the sole discretion of the BOP . Id. Although Davis seemingly believes that the Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 s. Ct. 2551 (2015), aids his argument, (see§ 2241 Pet. 14; Davis Aff. ~ 5), he is mistaken. In Johnson, the Supreme Court held "that imposing an increased sentence under the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act violates the Constitution's guarantee of due process." 135 S. Ct. at 2563. Johnson is irrelevant to the BOP' s authority to deny inmates with a two-point weapons enhancement the one-year sentence reduction upon successful completion of RDAP. 10 The Clerk is directed to send a copy of the Memorandum Opinion to Davis and counsel of record. It is so ORDERED. /sf J2U1 Robert E. Payne Senior United States District Judge D~te: !P~J-;~7 Richmond, Virginia 11

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