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Buckner v. Bishop

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

August 21, 2013

DORIAN BUCKNER,
v.
FRANK BISHOP, et al.

MEMORANDUM

CATHERINE C. BLAKE, District Judge.

Petitioner Dorian Buckner filed the above-captioned petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. In January of 2010, petitioner returned to the Division of Correction ("DOC"), following commitment to the custody of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ("DHMH"), where he received substance abuse treatment. Petitioner complains that he was issued a new DOC identification number which adversely impacted his security level classification and sentence computation. He alleges he is entitled to credit against his sentence for time spent in substance abuse treatment and challenges his security level classification. ECF No. 1. This relief has subsequently been granted. ECF No. 13, Exs. 2 & 3.

A chronology of petitioner's present custody informs this case. On November 21, 2007, a ten year sentence, commencing June 15, 2006, was imposed by the Circuit Court for Prince George's County following petitioner's conviction for distribution of CDS. ECF No. 13, Ex. 1. Petitioner's maximum expiration date for this sentence is June 15, 2016. See Md. Code Ann., Corr. Servs., § 3-701(1) and COMAR 12.02.06.01(B)(12).

On June 19, 2009, petitioner was released from confinement in the DOC and committed to the custody of the DHMH to receive substance abuse treatment. Id., Ex. 2. He returned to DOC custody on October 2, 2009, and was assigned a new inmate identification number. Subsequently, he received credit toward his sentence for the 105 days he underwent substance abuse treatment. Id., Ex. 2.

Under Maryland law an inmate serving a term of confinement in the DOC may earn diminution of confinement credits. Upon earning sufficient diminution of confinement credits an inmate serving a term of confinement over 18 months is released from confinement on mandatory supervision. See Md. Code Ann., Corr. Servs., §§ 3-701-711 and § 7-501(a).

As of the date of filing of Respondent's Answer, Petitioner had been awarded a net total of 795 diminution credits from the June 15, 2016 maximum expiration date, yielding a mandatory supervision release date of April 12, 2013. Id., Ex. 3.

Before a petitioner may seek habeas relief in federal court, he or she must exhaust each claim presented to the federal court through remedies available in state court. See Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 518 (1982); see also Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 490-91 (1973). A prisoner challenging the calculation of his release date has two possible avenues for relief in Maryland's state courts; by way of administrative proceeding and, in certain instances, by way of petition to the state courts.

Regardless of whether he believes he is entitled to an immediate release, a prisoner may challenge the calculation of his sentences and/or diminution credits through administrative proceedings by:

1. Filing a complaint with the Inmate Grievance Office, ("IGO");
2. Appealing a final decision of the IGO to the Circuit Court;
3. Filing an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Special Appeals from the decision of the Circuit Court; and
4. If the Court of Special Appeals grants the application for leave to appeal, but denies relief on the merits, seeking certiorari to the Court of Appeals.

A prisoner claiming an entitlement to an immediate release can also seek relief directly ...


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