Martin v. Fikes, Case No. 20-cv-2280 (SRN/ECW)

CourtU.S. District Court — District of Minnesota
Writing for the CourtELIZABETH COWAN WRIGHT United States Magistrate Judge
PartiesLeon Martin, Petitioner, v. J. Fikes, Respondent.
Decision Date27 May 2021
Docket NumberCase No. 20-cv-2280 (SRN/ECW)

Leon Martin, Petitioner,
J. Fikes, Respondent.

Case No. 20-cv-2280 (SRN/ECW)


May 27, 2021


This matter is before the Court on Leon Martin's ("Petitioner") Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Dkt. 1) ("Petition") and Petitioner's Motion for Leave to Supplement (Dkt. 7). The case has been referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for a report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.1. For the reasons discussed below, the Court grants the Motion for Leave to Supplement and recommends that the Petition be denied.


A. Factual Background

On October 23, 1997, Petitioner was arrested by federal authorities pursuant to a fugitive warrant issued by the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, for the D.C. Code offense of Murder committed on August 27, 1997. (Dkt. 16 ¶ 5; Dkt. 16-2 at 2.) Petitioner was detained by federal authorities until October 31, 1997, and then transferred to the primary custody of the District of Columbia, where he was held pending disposition. (See Dkt 16-2; Dkt. 16-3.)

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Pursuant to Paragraph 19 of the "Post Sentence Report Case No. 98-00209-A, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Court," Petitioner was named in a single count Criminal Information on June 2, 1998, charged with Using and Carrying a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime.1 (Dkt. 16 ¶ 6.)

On June 2, 1998, pursuant to a writ, Petitioner was transferred from the custody of the District of Columbia to the Eastern District of Virginia. (Id. ¶ 7; Dkt. 16-2 at 3.)

On the same day, Petitioner was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to a 60-month term of imprisonment for Use and Carry a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Crime in Case No. 1:98-CR00209-001. (Dkt. 16 ¶ 8; Dkt. 16-4 at 2.) The court also ordered that the sentence imposed shall run consecutive to any other state or federal sentence. (Dkt. 16-4 at 2.) Petitioner was returned to the District of Columbia following sentencing. (Dkt. 16-2 at 3.)

On June 2, 2000, Petitioner was also sentenced in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia to a life term of imprisonment with a 20-year minimum term, for the D.C. Code felony offense of Murder II While Armed with Pistol (Count G), and a 5-to-15-year term of imprisonment, for Possession of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence (Count C), in Case No. F-8768-97. (Dkt. 16 ¶ 9; Dkt. 16-5.) The D.C. Superior Court ordered Counts G and C to run concurrent with each other and consecutive to any other sentence. (Id.)

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Pursuant to BOP Program Statement 5880.33, District of Columbia Sentence Computation Manual; BOP Program Statement 5880.28, Sentence Computation Manual (CCCA of 1984); and 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a), the sentence for Petitioner's D.C. Code conviction commenced on June 2, 2000, the date of his sentencing given that he was already in custody. (See Dkt. 16 ¶¶ 10-11; Dkt. 16-1 at 2-3; Dkt. 16-6 at 5; Dkt. 16-7 at 1-2.)

Because Petitioner's D.C. Code offenses were committed after June 22, 1994, but before August 5, 2000, it was determined by the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") that Petitioner was not eligible to receive D.C. Institutional Good Time on his D.C. Code sentence. (Dkt. 16 ¶¶ 12-13; Dkt. 16-6 at 7-9.) However, Petitioner was eligible for and did receive 35 days of educational good time credit, as well as 953 days of credit for time spent in custody from October 23, 1997 (the date of his arrest) through June 1, 2000 (the day before his D.C. sentence commenced). (Dkt. 16 ¶¶ 14-16; Dkt. 16-1 at 3; Dkt. 16-6 at 3, 6; Dkt. 16-8.)

Based on the commencement of the sentence and the credits assessed, Petitioner's parole eligibility date was initially calculated as September 17, 2017, based on a term of 20 years commencing on June 2, 2000, less 953 days of jail time credit and 35 days of educational good time earned. (Dkt. 16 ¶ 17.)

Petitioner was paroled from his D.C. offense sentence by the U.S. Parole Commission ("USPC") effective on May 22, 2018, to the consecutive 60-month federal sentence he is currently serving. (Dkt. 16 ¶¶ 18-19; Dkt. 16-9.) Petitioner's projected release date is August 24, 2022, via a good conduct time release. (Dkt. 16 ¶ 4; Dkt. 16-1

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at 1.)

Subsequently, the D.C. Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, effective August 19, 2020, amended D.C. Code § 24-403.01a to allow for D.C. Omnibus inmates to be retroactively awarded good time credits under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b). (Dkt. 16 ¶ 20; Dkt. 16-10.) Pursuant to this amendment, the BOP retroactively applied 1,080 days of good time credit (20 years times 54 days credit) toward Petitioner's D.C. sentence. (Dkt. 16 ¶¶ 20-21.) As a result of this additional credit, Petitioner's parole eligibility date was recalculated to October 3, 2014. (Dkt. 16 ¶ 20; Dkt. 16-1 at 3.)

There is no indication in the record that the USPC has issued an earlier parole effective date nunc pro tunc.2

B. Petition and Supporting Materials

Based on the Petition, Petitioner's Supplemental Brief, and Petitioner's Reply, the Court discerns that Petitioner is arguing that the commencement date of his federal sentence has been miscalculated given the 1,080 days of retroactive good time credit afforded to him under D.C. Code § 24-403.01a. (Dkt. 1 at 6-8; Dkt. 6; Dkt. 18 at 1-3.) Petitioner also asserts as a part of his supplemental brief3 that he is entitled to relief with

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respect to the credits at issue because he could not have been paroled effective on May 22, 2018 as asserted by Respondent, because he was never provided with a parole certificate as required by law. (Dkt. 6 at 1-2.) In sum, Petitioner asserts that based on the good time credits he "should have been granted parole in 2015" as opposed to May 22, 2018.4 (Dkt. 18 at 3.)


"Writs of habeas corpus may be granted by the Supreme Court . . . the district courts and any circuit judge within their respective jurisdictions." 28 U.S.C. § 2241(a). "The writ of habeas corpus shall not extend to a prisoner unless . . . [h]e is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." Id. § 2241(c)(3).

On August 5, 1997, Congress enacted the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act, Pub. L. No. 105-33, § 11,231, 111 Stat. 251 (1997) ("Revitalization Act"). "'The Revitalization Act abolished the D.C. Parole Board and directed the USPC to conduct parole hearings for D.C. Code offenders pursuant to the parole laws and regulations of the District of Columbia.'" Fisher v. Fulwood, 774 F. Supp. 2d 54, 55-56 (D.D.C. 2011) (emphasis added) (quoting Sellmon v. Reilly, 551 F. Supp. 2d 66, 68 (D.D.C. 2008) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted)); see also D.C. Code §...

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