United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
TERRENCE W. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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 (DE 13). The motion was
fully briefed. In this posture, the issues raised are ripe
for adjudication. For the following reasons, the court grants
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.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).
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).
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.
Standard of Review
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.
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. Specifically, BOP Program Statement §
5050.49 provides for the opportunity of early release
pursuant to § 3582(c)(1)(A) for inmates who meet the
• 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 ...