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Hayes v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

August 31, 2007

DONALD O. HAYES, PETITIONER
v.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, ET AL., RESPONDENTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Conaboy

MEMORANDUM

Background

This pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 was initiated by Donald O. Hayes. Named as Respondents are the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and LSCIAllenwood Warden Jonathan C. Minor. Service of the petition was previously ordered.

Hayes states that following his entry of a guilty plea to a drug related offense, he was sentenced on July 24, 1998, to a forty-six (46) month term of imprisonment in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. While serving that sentence, Hayes completed a five hundred (500) hour classroom portion of the BOP's Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program (RDAP).*fn1 He was transferred to a halfway house on December 22, 1999 for the purpose of completing the transitional service component of the RDAP. According to the Petitioner, "[a]lmost all of the time allowed for RDAP completion was removed from his sentence, as well as the mandatory 6-month halfway house the award requires." Doc. 1, p. 2.

On the last day of his six (6) month halfway house placement, the Petitioner was arrested on new federal drug charges. Hayes was transferred to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina pursuant to a writ ad prosequendum.*fn2 He subsequently entered a guilty plea in his North Carolina case. On June 21, 2002, Hayes was sentenced in the Eastern District of North Carolina to a ninety-seven (97) month term of incarceration.

Petitioner states that during the Summer of 2002 he learned that the BOP had revoked the one year RDAP award. Hayes' present petition partially contends that as a result, his North Carolina prosecution was clouded because neither the court, prosecution or defense were aware of the RDAP revocation at the time his North Carolina sentence was imposed. He concludes that his North Carolina sentence is illegal "due to the false beliefs of all parties. Id. at p. 3. Hayes elaborates that because it was everyone's understanding that the original sentence was discharged, the North Carolina sentencing court denied his request for application of United States Sentencing Guidelines § 5G1.3 (i.e., imposition of a concurrent sentence) or alternatively for a downward departure adjustment for double counting. Petitioner next asserts that although the BOP eventually "returned' the one year RDAP award, it was applied towards service of his North Carolina sentence instead of his original sentence, "the one it was earned on." Id.

The second portion of the petition regards the collateral consequences of an LSCI-Allenwood disciplinary proceeding. Shortly after his March 25, 2004 transfer to LSCI-Allenwood, Hayes was issued an institutional misconduct charging him with possession of a weapon, specifically, a sharpened steel rod was found hidden in the cell that he shared with two other inmates. Hayes contends that the homemade knife could have belonged to any number of inmates. He notes that his two (2) cellmates were also charged and found guilty of the same offense. Following a disciplinary hearing Petitioner was found guilty of the alleged misconduct and received sanctions including a loss of forty (40) days of good conduct time.

See id. at p. 5. The second claim of Hayes' present action generally contends that as a result of the finding of guilt reached at his disciplinary hearing, Petitioner is no longer eligible to receive the RDAP benefit with respect to his second federal sentence. He concludes that the BOP lacked "sufficient grounds or provocation" to warrant this punishment.*fn3 Id.

Although the Petitioner's claims are difficult to decipher, it appears that they are twofold. First, Hayes contends that the BOP acted improperly when it revoked the one year RDAP award against his original federal sentence. It appears that Hayes is maintaining that his RDAP credit had already vested prior to his arrest on a second federal charge. Moreover, he is claiming that the revocation of his RDAP credit undermines the legality of his subsequently imposed North Carolina federal sentence.

The second portion of the petition revolves around the purported decision of the BOP to restore his RDAP credit and apply it towards service of his North Carolina sentence. Once again, Hayes claims that this action was improper because the RDAP award vested prior to the imposition of his North Carolina sentence and must be applied towards service of his original Pennsylvania federal sentence. In a related argument, Petitioner is also apparently arguing that the BOP improperly revoked the restored RDAP credit against his North Carolina sentence because the finding of guilt on the LSCI-Allenwood misconduct charge was unfounded.

Discussion

Sentence Calculation

Petitioner initially argues that he is entitled to habeas corpus relief on the grounds that a one (1) year RDAP award which he earned while serving his original sentence should have been credited towards service of that sentence. According to the Respondents, Hayes was ineligible for RDAP credit because he failed to complete the RDAP's transitional service component due to his arrest on a new drug charge on June 16, 2000. See Doc. 13, pgs. 2-3.

The parties acknowledge that Hayes completed the 500 hour classroom portion of the RDAP while serving his original Pennsylvania federal sentence. A sworn declaration by LSCIAllenwood Drug Treatment Specialist Susan Eisner states that "Hayes did not completed [sic] the transitional services portion because of his second arrest." See Doc. 13, Exhibit 3, ΒΆ 7. Eisner adds that even if Petitioner had successfully completed the RDAP program, his subsequent disciplinary misconduct charge which ...


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