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Perez-Lordoy v. Warden, LSCI Butner

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

April 28, 2018

MANUEL SALVADOR PEREZ-LORDY, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN, LSCI BUTNER, Respondent.

          ORDER

          TERRENCE W. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on respondent's motion to dismiss, or in the alterative, for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56[1] (DE 13). The motion was fully briefed. In this posture, the issues raised are ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons, the court grants respondent's motion.

         BACKGROUND

         On June 25, 2008, petitioner was sentenced to a term of 235 months imprisonment and transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prison's ("BOP") custody to serve his sentence. (Spells Decl.[2]Attach. 1). At some point, petitioner was transferred to the Low Security Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina ("LSCI Burner"). On July 12, 2016, petitioner applied for a reduction in sentence under the "elderly inmates with medical conditions" section of the BOP Program Statement § 5050.49. (Id. ¶ 5). Former LSCIButner Warden Stephanie Hollembaek denied petitioner's request stating that petitioner was an "alien" and was subject to an United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") detainer upon release. (Pet. p. 9). Petitioner also was ineligible for a reduction in sentence pursuant to the BOP Program Statement § 5050.49, because he had not yet completed 50% of his sentence as required by the program statement. (Id. ¶ 7).

         After petitioner filed the instant action, prison officials conducted a second review of petitioner's request for a reduction in sentence because petitioner had met BOP Program Statement § 5050.49.'s 50% sentence completion requirement. (Spells Decl. ¶¶ 9-10). As part of their second review, prison officials contacted petitioner's medical team to determine whether petitioner also met the medical requirements for eligibility. (Id¶ 10). Petitioner's medical team reported that petitioner was able to ambulate independently without difficulties and was able to perform activities of daily living without assistance. (Id. and Attach. 2). On August 18, 2017, Warden Donna Smith denied petitioner's request for a reduction in sentence due to petitioner's stable medical condition. (Id.) Petitioner's projected release date is November 17, 2023. (Id. Attach. 1).

         On April 6, 2017, petitioner, acting pro se, filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner asserted that the warden arbitrarily denied his request for a reduction in sentence on the invalid ground that petitioner was subject to an ICE detainer. Respondent subsequently moved for summary judgment, arguing that petitioner is not entitled to the relief he requests. The motion was fully briefed.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         Summary judgment is appropriate when there exists no genuine issue of material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby. 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986). The party seeking summary judgment bears the burden of initially coming forward and demonstrating an absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party has met its burden, the nonmoving party then must affirmatively demonstrate that there exists a genuine issue of material fact requiring trial. Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp.. 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). There is no issue for trial unless there is sufficient evidence favoring the non-moving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party. Anderson. 477 U.S. at 250.

         B. Analysis

         Petitioner seeks compassionate release pursuant to 18U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A), which allows the sentencing court, upon motion of the Director of the BOP, to reduce an inmate's term of imprisonment. See 18U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). Compassionate release may be awarded under rare circumstances, one of which is elderly inmates with medical conditions. See BOP Program Statement § 5050.49.[3] Specifically, BOP Program Statement § 5050.49 provides for the opportunity of early release pursuant to § 3582(c)(1)(A) for inmates who meet the following criteria:

• Age 65 and older.
• Suffer from chronic or serious medical conditions related to the aging process.
• Experiencing deteriorating mental or physical health that substantially diminishes their ability to function in ...

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