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Ryan v. United States

August 31, 2010

MICHAEL G. RYAN, PETITIONER,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. John E. Jones III

Hon. Thomas M. Blewitt

MEMORANDUM

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS MEMORANDUM IS AS FOLLOWS:

This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation ("R&R") of Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt (Doc. 5), filed on August 4, 2010, which recommends that Michael G. Ryan's ("Ryan") Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus*fn1 (Doc. 1) be summarily dismissed. Magistrate Judge Blewitt further recommends that Ryan's in forma pauperis Motion (Doc. 2) be denied since Ryan indicates that he has available resources to pay the requisite habeas petition filing fee. Ryan filed objections to the R&R on August 18, 2010. (Doc. 6). As this matter is before the Court on summary dismissal,*fn2 the Respondent is not required to respond to Ryan's objections at this point in time. Accordingly, this matter is ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will adopt the Magistrate Judge's R&R, deny Ryan's in forma pauperis Motion, and close this case.

I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On March 20, 1995, in the context of a federal criminal prosecution, Ryan executed a plea agreement with the United States government, which provided, inter alia, for the terms of the guilty plea to exclude the costs of prosecution, imprisonment, probation, or the supervised release order. On April 4, 1995, Ryan entered his guilty plea contingent on the condition that he sign an additional plea document, which incorporated portions of the original plea agreement. However, in order to induce Ryan to proceed with his guilty plea, certain portions of the document, which related to the costs of prosecution, imprisonment, probation, or the supervised release order, were redacted so that the new document was in accordance with the original plea agreement. Both parties initialed the excluded lines in acknowledgment that the alterations would constitute the final agreement upon which Ryan's plea was based. On July 6, 1995, Ryan was committed to the custody of the Bureau of Prison ("BOP") pursuant to the terms of the agreed upon sentence.

On March 18, 2010, Ryan was summoned to appear before an evaluation team of the BOP where he was advised that he had been recommended for Residential Re-entry Center ("RRC") placement. Ryan alleges that he was required to sign a Community Based Program ("CBP") Agreement to implement the placement. However, prior to signing, Ryan requested and received a copy of the CBP Agreement and was granted time to review the terms. Thereafter, on March 31, 2010, Ryan refused to sign the CBP Agreement, contesting that the agreement's requirement that he contribute to the residency cost conflicted with certain conditions of 1995 plea agreement, which expressly redacted and excluded provisions requiring Ryan to pay for costs of his imprisonment.

On May 11, 2010, Ryan alleges that he was summoned for a disciplinary hearing where it was determined that his refusal to sign the CBP Agreement had violated BOP Code 306, resulting in the loss of his prison job for one year. As a result, on July 7, 2010, Ryan filed, pro se, the instant action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201, alleging breach of his plea agreement and seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. (Doc. 1).

On August 4, 2010, after undertaking a preliminary review of the matter, Magistrate Judge Blewitt issued the instant R&R (Doc. 5), which is presently before the Court for review.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

When objections are filed to the report of a magistrate judge, the district court makes a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 674-75 (1980). The court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the magistrate judge's findings or recommendations. Id. Although the standard of review is de novo, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) permits whatever reliance the district court, in the exercise of sound discretion, chooses to place on a magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations. Raddatz, 447 U.S. at 674-75; see also Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 275 (1976); Goney v. Clark, 749 F.2d 5, 7 (3d Cir. 1984).

III. DISCUSSION

A. Correction of Factual Errors Contained in Magistrate Judge Blewitt's Report & Recommendation

In the main, Ryan's objections seek to correct certain alleged factual errors contained in the R&R. Ryan's corrections are not substantive, and thus, these small factual errors are of no moment to our analysis and conclusion. However, to the extent that Ryan is ...


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