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Naranjo-Delgado v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

May 2, 2019



          Gary M. Purcell, Judge

         Petitioner, a federal inmate appearing pro se, brings this habeas action under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging the Bureau of Prison's calculation of his federal sentence. The matter has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for initial proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). Respondent has filed a document purporting to be an alternative Motion to Dismiss or Motion for Summary Judgment Doc. No. 18. The document in question is construed as a Response to Petitioner's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. The undersigned Magistrate Judge entered an Order on March 25, 2019, advising Petitioner that he could reply to the Response. Doc. No. 19. On April 10, 2019, Petitioner filed Doc. No. 20, that is construed as a Reply to the Response to his habeas Petition. Thereafter, Respondent responded to Petitioner's Reply. Doc. No. 23.

         I. Background

         The material facts included in the Petition are sparse. Petitioner, an alien who illegally reentered the United States after prior removal, contends he is entitled to credit towards discharge of his federal sentence for every day beginning April 21, 2017 until May 22, 2018, the date he was sentenced in federal court, having been charged with and convicted of violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a), Reentry of a Removed Alien. Doc. No. 1 at 6; Doc. No. 18 at 5. Respondent adds additional details, supported by exhibits, that clarify the undisputed sequence of events. On February 23, 2016, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol arrested Petitioner and incarcerated him in the Pontotoc County Jail. Petitioner was tried and convicted on two of the four state charges for which he had been arrested, and he was sentenced to two, five-year sentences to be served concurrently. Petitioner entered the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (“ODOC”) and began serving his state sentences on April 6, 2017. The State of Oklahoma gave Petitioner credit towards discharge of his state sentence for the jail time he spent in pretrial custody-from February 23, 2016, the date of his arrest, to April 6, 2017, the date of his state conviction.

         On April 21, 2017, while Petitioner was still in state custody, an officer working for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (“ICE”) lodged an allegedly civil detainer against Petitioner-a detainer purporting to be for civil, administrative removal processing. On November 29, 2017, ODOC paroled Petitioner to ICE pursuant to the detainer. On December 13, 2017, however, the United States filed an indictment charging Petitioner with one count of Reentry of a Removed Alien, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a). ICE formally arrested Petitioner on this criminal charge on December 15, 2017, and transferred him to the custody of the United States Marshals Service (“USMS”). Petitioner pled guilty to the federal criminal charge on January 19, 2018. He was sentenced on May 22, 2018, to incarceration for 48 months. He began serving his federal sentence on the day it was imposed. The Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) computed Petitioner's sentence and credited him with 160 days towards discharge of his federal sentence. Those dates represent the time period beginning on December 13, 2017, the date of Petitioner's formal arrest by ICE on federal charges, and May 21, 2018, the day before he began serving his federal sentence. Doc. No. 1-2.

         In his Reply, Petitioner demonstrates that he filed two Inmate Request to Staff forms to his case manager at Great Plains Correctional Facility (“GPCF”)[2] seeking the address of the federal sentencing court and a printout of credits applied to his sentence by the federal court. In Response, the case manager, S. Rodgers, provided both. Doc. No. 20-1 at 1-2. Petitioner claims he discussed the printout of the form with Case Manager Rodgers who told him that the form was incorrect because it did not show the No. of credits the federal court had awarded. The case manager further told him, according to Petitioner, that neither the facility nor the BOP could help him with resolving the credits issue and that he must, instead, write to the sentencing court. Doc. No. 20. Petitioner took no further steps to exhaust the BOP remedies available to him before filing this habeas action. See Doc. No. 18-1 (Declaration of Deborah A. Locke).

         In his Reply, Petitioner again asserts he is entitled to credits towards discharge of his federal sentence from the date ICE filed the detainer on April 21, 2017, to the date of his federal sentencing. Doc. No. 20 at 1. Petitioner contends the official who served the ICE detainer told him the detainer was not based on the need for civil deportation proceedings:

On April 21, 2017, I encountered an ICE official while at the Department of Oklahoma Correction. He told me that I do not fall under the provisions at 8 U.S.C. § 1252 pending a final determination of deportability because I had already been deported by an immigration judge in the past. There was only an order of Removal. He then read me my Miranda rights, and told me I was being held for “possible prosecution” upon being released from state custody. Since I had been a deported alien found illegally in the U.S. and did not have the consent of the attorney general, that, I believe, puts me in “official detention.” I also believe this falls under Binford, [436] F.3d at 1255[3] also 18 U.S.C. 3585(a) (a federal sentence “commences on the date the Defendant is received in custody awaiting transportation to the official detention facility of which the sentence is to be served.”


         II. Analysis

         Respondent raises two grounds to support the denial of habeas relief: (1) that Petitioner did not exhaust administrative remedies before filing this Petition and (2) that awarding the time credit Petitioner seeks is precluded by federal law. In this case, Respondent has provided sufficient evidence for this Court to conclude that Petitioner did not exhaust his administrative remedies before filing this action. Thus, the Court will not address the merits of Petitioner's claim.

         Like all federal inmates, Petitioner was required to fully exhaust his administrative remedies before seeking federal habeas relief. As the Supreme Court explains,

[b]ecause exhaustion requirements are designed to deal with parties who do not want to exhaust, administrative law creates an incentive for these parties to do what they would otherwise prefer not to do, namely, to give the agency a fair and full opportunity to adjudicate their claims. Administrative law does this by requiring proper exhaustion of administrative remedies, which “means using all steps that the agency holds out, and doing so properly (so that the agency addresses the issues on the merits).

Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 90 (2006) (citation omitted). Under “the BOP's administrative remedy protocol, a prisoner must first seek informal redress for his grievance and then he can proceed through the formal administrative appeal process, which includes, in sequence, institutional, regional, and national (central) levels of review. See 28 C.F.R. §§ 542.13-19.” Acosta v. Daniels, 589 Fed. App'x. 870, 872 (10th Cir. 2014). “The exhaustion of available administrative remedies is a prerequisite for § 2241 habeas relief . . ..” Garza v. Davis, 596 F.3d 1198, 1203 (10th Cir. 2010). Petitioner does not contend that he attempted to resolve the credits issue through the BOP administrative process, and Respondent has demonstrated that Petitioner did not, in fact, attempt to do so. Doc. No. 18-1 at 6-8. Liberally construed, however, Petitioner's Reply could be interpreted as alleging he was prevented from properly ...

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