Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Siemsen v. Goetz

United States District Court, D. Colorado

April 23, 2019

CLAY DOUGLAS SIEMSEN, Applicant,
v.
C.R. GOETZ, Warden, Respondent.

          ORDER ON APPLICATION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          Michael E. Hegarty United States Magistrate Judge.

         Applicant, Clay Douglas Siemsen, has filed an Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (ECF No. 1), and a Memorandum in Support (ECF No. 3), challenging a decision by the United States Bureau of Prisons (BOP) denying him eligibility for early release. Respondent has filed a Response to Order to Show Cause (ECF No. 25) addressing the merits of the claims raised in the Application and Applicant has filed a Reply (ECF No. 28). The parties have consented to determination of this case by a United States Magistrate Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (ECF No 20). For the reasons discussed below, the Application is DENIED.

         I. Background

         In 1990, Applicant was convicted of four counts of distributing methamphetamine in District of Montana Case No. CR90-4-BLJ-JFB-JMB. (Declaration of Robert A. Martinez, ECF No. 25-1, at ¶ 9; ECF No. 25-2 at 23). See also United States v. Siemsen, 107 F.3d 18 (9th Cir. 1997). He was sentenced to an aggregate 160-month term of imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release on three of the four counts. (Id.). Applicant's projected statutory release date via good conduct time was October 10, 2001. (Martinez Decl., at ¶ 9). Applicant completed the BOP's Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) in October 1999 and was released from custody in October 2000, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e). (Id.; see also ECF No. 25-1, attach. 1).

         On September 14, 2017, Applicant was convicted pursuant to his guilty plea of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841, in District of Montana Case No. CR-15-138-BLG-SPW-1. (Martinez Decl., at ¶ 10; ECF No. 25-2, attach. 4). See also U.S. v. Siemsen, No. 15-CR-00138-BLG-SPW, 2017 WL 6997001, at *1 (D. Mont. Sept. 15, 2017). He was sentenced to 72-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by four years of supervised release. (Id.). Applicant's projected statutory release date via good conduct time credits is December 23, 2022. (Martinez Decl., at ¶ 10; ECF No. 25-1, attach. 1).

         On March 14, 2018, a Drug Abuse Program Coordinator interviewed Applicant to assess whether he should participate in the RDAP. (ECF No. 1-1 at 2, 8). Applicant was informed during this interview that if he successfully completed the program he would not be eligible for early release pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 550.55(b)(7) and BOP Program Statement 5331.02. (Id. at 2, 8, 13). However, Applicant's ineligibility for early release does not preclude him from participating in the RDAP. (Id. at 13).

         On November 5, 2018, Applicant filed a § 2241 Application in which he claims that the federal regulation prohibiting prisoners from earning more than one sentence reduction for successfully completing the RDAP is arbitrary and capricious. (ECF No. 1 at 2; No. 3 at 1). Applicant asks the Court to invalidate 28 C.F.R. § 550.55(b)(7), or, in the alternative, “direct the BOP to consider his particular facts, and allow him the opportunity to earn a second sentence reduction.” (ECF No. 3 at 17).

         Respondent filed a Preliminary Response to the Application stating that Respondent did not intend to raise the affirmative defense of failure to exhaust administrative remedies. (ECF No. 10).[1] The merits of the claims raised in the Application have been fully briefed by the parties and are ripe for determination.

         II. Legal Standards

         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.” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973); see also McIntosh v. United States Parole Comm'n, 115 F.3d 809, 811 (10th Cir. 1997). A federal prisoner's challenge to the BOP's decision to deny early release upon the prisoner's successful completion of the RDAP is properly raised in a 2241 application. See, e.g., Wilson v. Kastner, No. 09-6060, 385 Fed.Appx. 855, 856 n.2 (10th Cir. 2010) (noting that a petition challenging RDAP eligibility determination is appropriately brought under § 2241 “because [the] challenge relates to the execution of [a] sentence rather than the validity of [the] conviction.”).

         The Court must construe Applicant's filings liberally because he is not represented by an attorney. Trackwell v. United States, 472 F.3d 1242, 1243 (10th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted); see also Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520B21 (1972). However, a pro se litigant's “conclusory allegations without supporting factual averments are insufficient to state a claim on which relief can be based.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). An applicant's pro se status does not entitle him to an application of different rules. See Montoya v. Chao, 296 F.3d 952, 957 (10th Cir. 2002).

         III. Analysis

         A. Statutory and Regulatory Framework

         The RDAP is a program implemented by the BOP pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e)(1), which directs the BOP to provide substance abuse treatment for inmates with substance abuse problems. Upon successful completion of the RDAP, the BOP may reduce the sentence of a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.