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Carter v. Marques

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

July 1, 2019

Jermaine Carter, Plaintiff,
v.
R. Marques, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          LEO I. BRISBOIS U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter comes before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to a general referral in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.1, as well as, upon Petitioner Jermaine Carter's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [Docket No. 1].

         For the reasons set forth herein, the Court recommends that the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, [Docket No. 1], be DENIED, and this action be DISMISSED without prejudice.

         I. Background

         On November 21, 2008, Petitioner Jermaine Carter pled guilty to a single count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) (See, No. 08-cr-00042 (JAJ/TJS) (S.D. Iowa) [Docket No. 39-2]). On April 24, 2009, Petitioner was sentenced to a term of natural life imprisonment, with the caveat that if released he would be subject to ten years of supervised release. (See, Id. [Docket No. 49]). On November 23, 2016, Petitioner received an executive grant of clemency that converted his term of natural life to a term of 180 months imprisonment to be followed by 10 years of supervised release (See Id. [Docket No. 58 at 2]).

         Petitioner is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minnesota (hereinafter “FCI Sandstone”). (Petition [Docket No. 1]). He has a projected release date of June 28, 2020, via the current good time conduct calculation. (See, https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc and searching Petitioner's Prison Id. No. 08718-030).

         II. Discussion

         Petitioner argues that the Bureau of Prisons (hereinafter “BOP”) should immediately recalculate his good conduct credit in accordance with the First Step Act of 2018's amendments to 18 U.S.C. § 3264(b) affecting the calculation of good time credits to expedite his release date. (See, Petition [Docket No. 1]).

         A. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

         It is well established that a federal prisoner seeking relief through a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 must first exhaust the administrative remedies available to him. See, Mathena v. United States, 577 F.3d 943, 946 (8th Cir. 2009) (“A prisoner may bring a habeas action challenging the BOP's execution of his sentence only if he first presents his claim to the BOP.”); Willis v. Ciccone, 506 F.2d 1011, 1015 (8th Cir. 1974) (“If grievance procedures provide an adequate means for impartial review, then a federal prisoner must exhaust available administrative remedies within the correctional system prior to seeking extraordinary relief in federal court.”). In the present case, the Petition indicates that Petitioner has not exhaust the administrative remedies available to him. (Petition, [Docket No. 1], at 2-3).

         The exhaustion requirement is not jurisdictional. See, Lueth v. Beach, 498 F.3d 795, 797 n.3 (8th Cir. 2007). It is, however, generally enforced absent circumstances which justify an exception. See, e.g., Masri v. Watson, No. 16-cv-4132 (MJD/FLN), 2017 WL 1131891 (D. Minn. Feb. 17, 2017) (denying habeas petition for failure to exhaust all available administrative remedies); Knox v. United States, No. 16-cv-879 (WMW/KMM), 2016 WL 6022940 (D. Minn. Oct. 13, 2016) (same); Aguilar v. United States, No. 15-cv-487 (SRN/JSM), 2015 WL 5719166, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept. 29, 2015) (noting that “habeas petitioners can be excused from the exhaustion requirement if proceeding through the administrative remedy process would undoubtedly be an exercise in futility that could serve no useful purpose”). The Eighth Circuit has held that a Federal District Court may err by considering the merits of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus when the petitioner “failed to demonstrate he had” properly exhausted his administrative remedies prior to seeking habeas corpus relief. See, United States v. Thompson, 297 Fed.Appx. 561, 562 (8th Cir. 2008).

         There are exceptions, however, to the exhaustion requirement for habeas petitioners, including when requiring a habeas petitioner to exhaust all available administrative remedies would be futile and serve no useful purpose. See, Aguilar, 2015 WL 5719166, at *2. Courts have also excused the exhaustion requirement when the issues raised in the action are time-sensitive and may become moot without expeditious judicial resolution. See, Simon v. L. LaRiva, No. 16-cv-146 (ADM/TNL), 2016 WL 1626819, at *3-4 (D. Minn. March 10, 2016).

         In the present case, the undersigned is cognizant that Petitioner contends that he may be improperly denied an earlier release date via good time credit if the present matter is not resolved in a timely manner. The time-sensitive nature of Petitioner's claim, combined with the relative ease of resolution, persuades the undersigned to recommend that the Court excuse the exhaustion requirement and address Petitioner's claims.

         B. ...


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