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Ramirez v. Goetz

United States District Court, D. Colorado

January 24, 2018

ADAN RAMIREZ, Petitioner,
v.
C.R. GOETZ, Acting Warden, FCI Florence, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          NINA Y. WANG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the court on Petitioner Adan Ramirez's (“Petitioner” or “Mr. Ramirez”) Amended Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (the “Application”). [#4, filed Aug. 7, 2017]. The undersigned considers the Application pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and the Order of Reference dated October 3, 2017 [#18]. The court has reviewed the Application and associated briefing, the entire case file, and the applicable law, and has concluded that oral argument will not materially assist in the resolution of this matter. For the reasons stated herein, this court DENIES the Application.

         BACKGROUND

         The record reveals the following facts. On June 10, 2014, officers of the Greeley Police Department arrested Mr. Ramirez for Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and for violating his parole in three prior state criminal cases-2008CR606, 2009CR3254, and 2009CR3274. See [#17-1 at ¶ 7; #17-3 at 3, 11-13; #17-4 at 2-6, 11]. The arrest and parole violation resulted in the Colorado Department of Corrections (“CDOC”) revoking Mr. Ramirez's parole on July 8, 2014. [#17-1 at ¶ 7; #17-3 at 3; #17-4 at 8]. Mr. Ramirez's parole violation carried a three-year prison sentence (the “state sentence”), which the CDOC commenced as of March 13, 2014, his original parole date. [#17-1 at ¶ 7; #17-4 at 8-10]. With earned time credited to this sentence, Mr. Ramirez's state sentence was to discharge on July 1, 2016. See [#17-1 at ¶ 10; #17-4 at 8-10, 11, 13].

         On July 9, 2014, while in state custody, federal authorities arrested Mr. Ramirez on four counts of drug-related offenses and one count for possession of a firearm, all in violation of federal law. See United States of America v. Ramirez, Criminal No. 14-cr-00249-2-PAB, [ECF Nos. 1, 3, 21]; see also [#17-1 at ¶ 8; #17-2 at 3; #17-3 at 2-3; #17-4 at 11]. Pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum, the United States Marshals took Mr. Ramirez into temporary federal custody and transported him from Weld County Correction Facility to the United States District Court for the District of Colorado for his initial appearance. See [#17-1 at ¶ 8; #17-3 at 3; #17-4 at 11; #17-5 at 2, 4-5]; see also United States v. Ramirez, Criminal No. 14-cr-00249-2-PAB, [ECF Nos. 17, 19, 20]. Mr. Ramirez remained in federal custody until his federal sentencing on March 3, 2016. See [#17-1 at ¶ 9; #17-5 at 2-3; #17-6].

         Based on the federal charges, Mr. Ramirez received a total of 144 months imprisonment (the “federal sentence”) to run concurrently with his state sentence. See [#17-6 at 4]. Following sentencing in the federal matter, the United States Marshals inquired as to whether Mr. Ramirez was to be returned to state custody until the discharge of his state sentence. [#17-1 at ¶ 10; #17-4 at 13; #17-5 at 2]. The CDOC responded that Mr. Ramirez's state sentence was still set to discharge on July 1, 2016, but should the BOP release him before that date he would need to serve the rest of his state sentence at a CDOC facility. See [#17-1 at ¶ 10, #17-4 at 13].

         Mr. Ramirez is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution (“FCI”) in Florence, Colorado; his projected release date is August 16, 2026. See [#4 at 5; #17-1 at ¶¶ 4, 9; #17-2 at 3]. He filed the instant Application on July 13, 2017, which he subsequently re-submitted on the proper form on August 7, 2017. See [#1; #4]. In the Application, Mr. Ramirez argues the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) never credited him for the time spent in custody from his initial arrest on June 10, 2014, to his federal sentencing on March 3, 2016, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b) and his Fifth Amendment due process rights.[1] [#4]. According to Mr. Ramirez, he is entitled to a 572-day[2] reduction in his federal sentence, based on his presentence confinement. [Id.].

         Respondent C.R. Goetz (“Respondent” or “Warden Goetz”) filed a Response on October 3, 2017. [#17]. Though advised of his right to file a Reply by October 24, 2017, see [#19], no Reply was ever received. The Application is now ripe for disposition, and the court considers the Parties' arguments below.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         An application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 “is an attack by a person in custody upon the legality of that custody, and . . . the traditional function of the writ is to secure release from illegal custody.” McIntosh v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 115 F.3d 809, 811 (10th Cir. 1997) (quoting Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973)); see also Bradshaw v. Story, 86 F.3d 164, 166 (10th Cir. 1996) (noting an application under § 2241 attacks the execution of a sentence, not its validity). This includes challenges to the computation of a prisoner's sentence. See Atkins v. Garcia, 816 F.Supp.2d 1108, 1110-13 (D. Colo. 2011). Habeas corpus relief is warranted only if Mr. Ramirez “is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3).

         Because Mr. Ramirez proceeds pro se the court liberally construes his filings, but, in doing so, does not act as his advocate. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). Moreover, the court applies the same procedural rules and substantive law to Mr. Ramirez as to a represented party. See Murray v. City of Tahlequah, 312 F.3d 1196, 1199 n.2 (10th Cir. 2008); Dodson v. Bd. of Cty. Comm'rs, 878 F.Supp.2d 1227, 1236 (D. Colo. 2012).

         ANALYSIS

         As mentioned, Petitioner asserts he is entitled to 572 days of presentence credit for his time spent in custody from his arrest on June 10, 2014, to his federal sentencing on March 3, 2016. [#4 at 2, 5, 6]. Mr. Ramirez argues the BOP should have credited all of this time towards his 144-month federal sentence, but did not do so in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b). [Id.]. Mr. Ramirez continues that the BOP was required to credit this time, because the “federal government never filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequemdum [sic] with the state requesting [his] person for the purpose of the judicial proceedings had in relation to the federal case, ” and “the State of Colorado/[CDOC], lodged a ‘detainer' with the federal authorities requesting his person at the conclusion of the federal matter/proceedings.” [Id. at 6]. According to Mr. Ramirez, he is now required to serve “a term of incarceration that exceeds the sentence imposed by the court[.]” [Id.].

         Warden Goetz responds that Petitioner's Application is premised on “a misconception of how his state sentence affected his federal sentence[, ]” such that the BOP applied the 572 days of presentence confinement to Mr. Ramirez's state sentence. [#17 at 2-3]. Respondent explains that federal authorities held Petitioner pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum, meaning Mr. Ramirez was still serving his state sentence under state custody despite being held by federal authorities. [Id. at 3]. Thus, the BOP applied the 572-day credit to his state sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. ยง ...


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