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Claros-Bey v. Shartle

United States District Court, D. Arizona

September 16, 2016

Brian O. Claros-Bey, Petitioner,
v.
J.T. Shartle, Warden, Respondent.

          ORDER

          Honorable Bruce G. Macdonald United States Magistrate Judge

         Currently pending before the Court is Petitioner Brian Claros-Bey's pro se Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 for a Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in Federal Custody (“Petition”) (Doc. 1). Respondent has filed his Return and Answer (“Answer”) (Doc. 10). Petitioner did not file a Reply, but rather filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 16). Respondent filed a Response to Petitioner's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 17).

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Petitioner is an inmate currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary (“USP”) in Tucson, Arizona, serving a 500 month sentence. See Fed. Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) Inmate Locater, https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/ (last visited September 16, 2016); Answer (Doc. 10), Huband Decl. (Exh. “1”), Superior Ct. of the Distr. of Columbia, Judgment in a Criminal Case (Attach. “2”) at 1. At sentencing, the Superior Court for the District of Columbia ordered Petitioner to pay $500 pursuant to the Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Act of 1996. Id. The Judgment indicates that these costs “ha[d] not been paid” at the time of sentencing. Id.

         On October 19, 2015, Petitioner filed his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in this Court. Petition (Doc. 1). Petitioner contends that “[b]y being subjected to the lowest score on ‘Responsibility' on the Custody Classification Form (BP-338) in accordance with the United States Bureau of Prisons' (‘BOP') Security Designation and Custody Classification Manuel [sic] Program Statement, and receiving poor ‘program reviews' for not participating in the BOP's Inmate Financial Responsibility Program (‘IFRP') violates [sic] the treaty and/or contract that the District of Columbia has with the BOP (D.C. Code 24-101).” Petition (Doc. 1) at 4. Petitioner further asserts that Section 24-101(b), of the District of Columbia code, gives “BOP authority to subject District of Columbia prisoners . . . ‘to any law or regulation applicable to persons committed for violations of laws of the United States CONSISTENT with the sentenced [sic] imposed.'” Petition (Doc. 1) at 4. Petitioner asserts that because BOP Program Statement Number P5380.08 regarding the Inmate Financial Responsibility Program “does not include the Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Act of 1996 (“VVCCA”) . . . [a]ssessments under the VVCCA is [sic] not an applicable IFRP assignment.”

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Jurisdiction

         “Federal courts are always ‘under an independent obligation to examine their own jurisdiction, ' . . . and a federal court may not entertain an action over which it has no jurisdiction.” Hernandez v. Campbell, 204 F.3d 861, 865 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting FW/PBS, Inc. v. City of Dallas, 493 U.S. 215, 231 (1990)). “Generally, motions to contest the legality of a sentence must be filed under § 2255 in the sentencing court, while petitions that challenge the manner, location, or conditions of a sentence's execution must be brought pursuant to § 2241 in the custodial court.” Id. at 864. Therefore, before proceeding to any other issue a court must establish whether a habeas petition is filed pursuant to § 2241 or § 2255 to determine whether jurisdiction is proper. Id. at 865.

         Here, Petitioner does not claim that the sentencing court imposed an illegal sentence; rather, he seeks relief with respect as to how the ordered criminal monetary penalties are being collected while he is incarcerated at a federal facility. Thus, Petitioner is challenging the manner, location, or condition of the execution of his sentence. When a petitioner challenges the “manner in which his sentence was executed, ” the action is “maintainable only in a petition for habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.” Tucker v. Carlson, 925 F.2d 330, 331 (9th Cir. 1991); see also Ward v. Chavez, 678 F.3d 1042 (9th Cir. 2012) (considering whether the district court impermissibly delegated its authority to BOP under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (“MVRA”) under § 2241); United States v. Lemoine, 546 F.3d 1042 (9th Cir. 2008) (considering validity of IFRP requiring restitution payments at a greater rate than specified by the sentencing court under § 2241). Challenges brought pursuant to § 2241 must be brought in the custodial court. At the time of filing the Petition, Petitioner was incarcerated at USP- Tucson in Arizona. Accordingly, this Court has jurisdiction over this matter. See Francis v. Rison, 894 F.2d 353, 354 (9th Cir. 1990).

         B. Exhaustion

         The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has stated:

[28 U.S.C. § 2241] does not specifically require petitioners to exhaust direct appeals before filing petitions for habeas corpus. [Footnote omitted.] However, we require, as a prudential matter, that habeas petitioners exhaust available judicial and administrative remedies before seeking relief under § 2241.

Castro-Cortez v. INS, 239 F.3d 1037, 1047 (9th Cir. 2001), abrogated on other grounds by Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales, 548 U.S. 30, 126 S.Ct. 2422, 165 L.Ed.2d 323 (2006). “The requirement that federal prisoners exhaust administrative remedies before filing a habeas corpus petition was judicially created; it is not a statutory requirement.” Brown v. Rison, 895 F.2d 533, 535 (9th Cir. 1990), overruled on other grounds by Reno v. Koray, 515 U.S. 50, 54-55, 115 S.Ct. 2021, 2023-24, 132 L.Ed.2d 46 (1995). “Nevertheless, ‘[p]rudential limits like jurisdictional limits and limits on venue, are ordinarily not optional.'” Puga v. Chertoff, 488 F.3d 812, 815 (9th Cir. 2007) (alterations in original) (quoting Castro-Cortez v. INS, 239 F.3d 1037, 1047 (9th Cir. 2001), abrogated on other grounds by Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales, 548 U.S. 30, 126 S.Ct. 2422, 165 L.Ed.2d 323 (2006)).

         “Courts may require prudential exhaustion if ‘(1) agency expertise makes agency consideration necessary to generate a proper record and reach a proper decision; (2) relaxation of the requirement would encourage the deliberate bypass of the administrative scheme; and (3) administrative review is likely to allow the agency to correct its own mistakes and to preclude the need for judicial review.'” Id. (quoting Noriega-Lopez v. Ashcroft, 335 F.3d 874, 881 (9th Cir. 2003)). “When a petitioner does not exhaust administrative remedies, a district court ordinarily should either dismiss the petition without prejudice or stay the proceedings until the petitioner has exhausted remedies, unless exhaustion is excused.” Leonardo v. Crawford, 646 F.3d ...


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