Loiseau v. Clarke

Filing 13

MEMORANDUM OPINION. READ OPINION for complete details. Signed by District Judge Robert E. Payne on 10/25/2017. Copy mailed to Petitioner as directed.(ccol, )

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA Richmond Division MICHAEL A. p 1 E OCT 2 6 20IT LOISEAU, Rir.HMOND. VA V. 3 :17CV177 Civil Action No. CLARKE, Respondent. MEMORANDUM OPINION Michael pro se, A. Loiseau, brings {"§ 2254 this Petition," a Virginia petition ECF No. 1) state pursuant prisoner to 28 proceeding U.S.C. § 2254 challenging the manner in which the Virginia Department of Corrections {"VDOC") is executing his sentence. Respondent has moved to dismiss. forth below, the Motion to Dismiss I. On March Spotsylvania 4, ("Circuit (ECF No. For the reasons set 9) will be granted. PROCEDURAL HISTORY 2010, continuing criminal the Circuit Court") Court for the County convicted Loiseau of enterprise and sentenced him of running a to an active prison terra of twenty (20) years. (Brown Aff. H 4, ECF No. 10- 1.) became "On May 5, Unit 2010, Loiseau (I^ offender . . . Correspondence [Jl —/ CLERK, U.S. 0;SiRiCT COURT Petitioner, HAROLD E. L 5.) sent a state "On September 8, Loiseau a letter in responsible 2015, the VDOC response to a written inquiry release date." regarding with conduct Loiseau filed a the alleged that time computation Circuit petition for a Court. In that projected writ of habeas petition, Loiseau the VDOC had "not appropriately awarded him good allowance credit to be applied towards sentence in accordance with Virginia law." The and (Id. H 9 .) Thereafter, corpus his Circuit Court found that Loiseau his active {ECF No. 10-2, H 1.) had "been appropriately credited with sentence reducing credit due to him for the time he has spent within the custody of VDOC." appealed. (Id. t 2.) Loiseau The Supreme Court of Virginia refused his petition for appeal. Loiseau v. Clarke, No. 160845, at 1 (Va. Jan. 3, 2017). On February 27, 2017, the Court received Loiseau's § 2254 Petition. II. APPLICABLE CONSTRAINTS UPON FEDERAL HABEAS REVIEW In order to obtain federal habeas relief, at a minimum, a petitioner must demonstrate that he is "in custody in violation of the Constitution 28 U.S.C. § or 2254(a). laws The or treaties of Antiterrorisra the and United States." Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA") of 1996 further circumscribed this Court's authority to grant Specifically, relief by way of a writ of habeas corpus. " [s]tate court factual determinations are presumed to be correct and may be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence." Gray v. (citing 28 U.S.C. Branker, 529 F.3d 220, § 2254(e)(1)). 228 Additionally, (4th Cir. 2008) under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) , a federal court may not grant a writ of habeas corpus based on any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in state court unless the adjudicated claim; (1) resulted involved an in a decision established Federal law, resulted unreasonable in a contrary of, to, or clearly determined by the Supreme or decision determination was application as Court of the United States; (2) that unreasonable that the of was facts based in on an light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1)-(2). The Supreme Court has emphasized that the question "is not whether a federal court believes the state court's determination threshold." determination was was incorrect unreasonable—a Schriro v. Landrigan, but whether substantially 550 U.S. 465, that higher 473 (2007) (citing Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 410 (2000)). III. A. December 2, 2 008 through May 5, "Loiseau Regional days) the . Jail for H 6.) was continuously from December 2, pre-trial . rate of confined 2008 and post-trial During this period, . ANALYSIS 2.25 2010 in the Rappahannock through May 5, confinement." 2010 (519 (Brown Aff. "Loiseau earned sentence credit at days credit for every 30 days served. Loiseau also received credit toward his sentence for the 519 days he spent in pre-trial and post-trial confinement at the Rappahannock Regional Jail." period, Loiseau earned a (Id.) Accordingly, for this total of 558 days of credit toward his twenty-year sentence. B. May 5, 2010 to January 30, 2014 "When Loiseau became a state responsible offender on May 5, 2010, he . . . began earning sentence credit as a VDOC offender under the Earned Sentence Credit (ESC) system." (Id. H 7.) In Class Level I of the ESC system, VDOC offenders earn the maximum of 4.5 days of ESC for every 3 0 days served. 2010, Loiseau was continued earning January 30, 2014 because was he assigned sentence ESC Level credit (Id.) I. in ESC On May 5, (Id.) Class "Loiseau Level I until when he was assigned to ESC Class Level II," convicted of two institutional charges. (Id. If 8.) C. January 30, 2 014 Until Present In ESC Class Level II, for every 30 days served. Loiseau earned only 3 (Id.) 2014 until May 10, 2 015. 2015, returned remained (Id.) Dismiss, at was least until the Contemporaneously the VDOC printed a to ESC filing with of ESC Loiseau remained in ESC Level II from January 30, Loiseau days the Class of the filing (I^) Level On May 10, I, Motion of the where to he Dismiss. Motion Legal Update which reflects a to "Good Time Release" as of May 18, earn ESCs at ESC Level I 2026 for Loiseau if he continues to for the remainder of his sentence. (ECF No. 10-1, at 6 (as paginated by CM/ECF).) D. As Loiseau's Claim he claimed in his petition for appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia, Loiseau asserts:^ Petitioner would show that 20 years from December 1, 2008 is December 1, 2028. [1] With the jail good time credit of 230 days which came to April 15, 2028. (If 365 days is one (1) year 365 days time[s] 20 years is 7300 days.) With 4.5 days of out of every thirty (30) days served is 3 years and 4 months earned sentencing credit from 20 years sentence.) So from April 15, 2028 out of 3 years and 4 months would put petitioner good time release date at January 15, 2025. (ECF No. decipher, . . 1-2, . at 9.) While Loiseau's claim is difficult to it is plainly wrong in several respects and he fails to demonstrate any error in the calculation of his sentence. First, days of contrary to Loiseau's assertion, good time credit for the 519 he did not earn 230 days he spent in the Rappahannock Regional Jail prior to becoming a state responsible offender. good For that period of time, time credit for every Loiseau earned 2.25 days of 30 days served, totaling approximately 3 9 days of good time credit. Second, Loiseau contends that he earns the maximum rate of 4.5 days of ESCs for every 30 days for the entire portion of his ^ Petition for Appeal 4, Loiseau v. Clarke, No. 160845 (Va. filed May 27, 2016). sentence after he became a state responsible offender. That is simply incorrect: ESCs accrue at various rates depending upon a prisoner's classification. Level I inmates earn the highest possible ESCs: 4.5 days for every 3 0 days served. Level II inmates earn 3 days for every 30 days served. Level III inmates earn 1.5 ESCs for every 30 days served. Level IV inmates do not earn ESCs. Puranda v. Va. Sept. Johnson, 30, No. 2009). 3:08CV687, 2009 WL 3175629, at *1 (E.D. Loiseau does not enjoy a protected liberty interest in earning the maximum amount of ESCs per 3 0 days. Id. at the *5. Furthermore, the period between January 30, record 2014 here reflects and May 10, that 2015, for Loiseau was assigned to ESC Level II and earned only 3 days of ESC for every 30 days served. Finally, he should sentence of earn rather Prisons, "awarding V. . is calculated than 412 credit fundamental . Loiseau's projection of the total amount of ESCs the time F.3d 526, for design of time the from actual the served. 532 (4th Cir. not served statute, total Yi 2005) would which length 390 F.3d 997, Fed. conflict is to his Bureau (observing . on account of the prisoner's good behavior" Scibana, v. of that with the award credit {citing White 1001 {7th Cir. 2004))). Loiseau has failed to demonstrate any error in the VDOC's execution of his sentence. Thus, the Supreme Court of Virginia acted reasonably § 2254(d) (1)-(2). in rejecting his claim. 28 U.S.C. Loiseau's claim will be dismissed. The Motion to Dismiss {ECF No. 9) will be granted. The § 2254 Petition will be denied and the action will be dismissed. A certificate of appealability will be denied. It is so ordered. /s/ Robert E. Payne Date: Richmond, Virginia V- ' T

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