United States District Court, D. Maryland
Frederick Motz United States District Judge.
following federal criminal and parole history is culled from
an opinion written by United States District Judge Rosemary
M. Collyer in a prior habeas corpus petition filed by James
Edward Ramsey ("Ramsey") in the United States
District Court for the District of Columbia when he was
confined at the District of Columbia Jail in November of
6, 1984, Ramsey was sentenced to a five to 15 year term of
imprisonment on his conviction for assault with intent to
commit rape in the Superior Court of the District of
Columbia. See Ramsey v. Faust, et al., Civil Action
No. RMC-12-1818 (D. D.C.) at ECF No. 22. At the time of
sentencing, Ramsey was serving a prison term in Virginia.
Upon his parole by the Virginia authorities on April 7, 1988,
he was returned to the District of Columbia to begin to serve
the sentence imposed by the Superior Court. Id. The
former District of Columbia Board of Parole ("Parole
Board") released Ramsey on August 27,
1992. Ramsey was to remain under supervision
until April 11, 2003. See Ramsey v. Faust, et al.,
Civil Action No. RMC-12-1818 (D. D.C.) at ECF No. 22.
December 1, 1997, the Parole Board issued a warrant for
Ramsey's arrest on charges of having violated two
administrative conditions of his parole release.
Specifically, Ramsey had not kept his parole officer informed
of his address and employment, and he otherwise had not
followed his parole officer's instructions. Id.
The Parole Board was not aware that Ramsey had been convicted
and sentenced to a 15-year term of imprisonment for armed
robbery and aggravated vehicle hijacking/weapon in the
Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, in November 1996.
Upon receipt of this information, the United States Parole
Commission ("USPC"), which by then had assumed
parole authority with respect to District of Columbia Code
offenders, directed that the Parole Board's warrant be
lodged as a detainer with Illinois authorities. In addition,
the USPC charged Ramsey with an additional violation of the
conditions of his parole release: a law violation arising
from his arrest and conviction in Illinois for armed robbery
and aggravated vehicular hijacking with a weapon.
Id. Upon Ramsey's release by the Illinois
authorities, the Parole Board's warrant was executed on
February 21, 2003.
USPC conducted a parole revocation hearing on April 21, 2003,
at which Ramsey was represented by counsel. Ramsey admitted
the Illinois convictions and thereby admitted his guilt for
the law violations with which he was charged. The USPC
revoked parole. Id. When Ramsey was re-paroled on
August 26, 2003, he was to remain under supervision until
October 2, 2013. See Ramsey v. Faust, et a.l, Civil
Action No. RMC-12-1818 (D. D.C.), at ECF No. 22.
2003 and 2009, the USPC issued three letters of reprimand to
Ramsey, imposed additional conditions of release because of
his continued drug use, revoked parole in 2008, and reparoled
Ramsey in 2009, to a Maryland detainer warrant. Id.
In addition, as recommended by the Court Services and
Offender Supervision Agency ("CSOSA"), the USPC
made Ramsey "subject to the Special Sex Offender
Aftercare Condition, " which could require in-patient or
out-patient mental health treatment "with special
emphasis on long-term sex offender testing and
treatment." As of the date of Ramsey's release to
the custody of Maryland authorities, Ramsey was to remain
under USPC supervision until July 12, 2018. Following a
revocation hearing on October 1, 2012, the USPC revoked
petitioner's parole yet again, directing him to remain in
custody until the December 26, 2016 expiration date of his
petition for habeas relief, raising a challenge to the
USPC'S authority to supplement the Parole Board's
1997 warrant to revoke his parole in 2003 and to whether he
can be required to register as a sex offender, was denied by
Judge Collyer on May 6, 2013.
2, 2016, Ramsey, who is now housed at the Volunteers of
America, Residential Re-Entry Center in Baltimore, Maryland,
filed the above-captioned petition for writ of mandamus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1651. Ramsey claims that he has
been falsely imprisoned since 2003, as the USPC delayed in
issuing a parole violation warrant within a reasonable time
after his 1996 Illinois conviction, relied on false
information to issue the warrant, and he was given an unjust
revocation hearing, primarily through inadequate
representation of counsel. He claims the USPC is without
jurisdiction to continue his parole. ECF No. 1, pp. 3 & 9-15.
He seeks the issuance of a writ of mandamus to vacate the
USPC 2003 decisions to revoke his parole and asks that the
court immediately order his unconditional release.
Id., pp. 16-20. The petition was accompanied by a
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. ECF No. 2.
Because he appears indigent, Ramsey's pauperis motion
shall be granted.
seeks mandamus relief citing to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1651(a). The Supreme Court has held on numerous
occasions that such authority is to be used "
'sparingly and only in the most critical and exigent
circumstances.' " Ohio Citizens for Responsible
Energy, Inc., v. NRC, 479 U.S. 1312, 1313 (1986),
quoting Fishman v. Schaffer, 429 U.S. 1325,
1326(1976). The All Writs Act is properly employed only where
"necessary or appropriate in aid of [a court's]
jurisdiction[ ], " and where the legal rights at issue
are " 'indisputably clear.' " Wisconsin
Right to Life, Inc. v. Federal Election Commission, 542
U.S. 1305, 1306 (2004), quoting Brown v. Gilmore,
533 U.S. 1301, 1303 (2001). Even where these prerequisites
are met, the issuing court in the exercise of its discretion
must be satisfied that a writ of mandamus is appropriate
under the circumstances. Cheney v. Unites States District
Court for the District of Columbia, 542 U.S. 367 (2004).
Here, petitioner fails to establish that the extraordinary
remedy of mandamus is appropriate in this case. Therefore, 28
U.S.C. § 1651 is unavailable for the relief Ramsey
light of the liberality with which self-represented filings
are to be interpreted, this petition also could be viewed as
having been filed pursuant to the federal mandamus statute,
28 U.S.C. § 1361 which grants the federal district
courts "original jurisdiction of any action in the
nature of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of the
United States or any agency thereof to perform a duty owed to
the plaintiff." However, mandamus is a "
'drastic' " remedy, which is "reserved for
'extraordinary situations' " in which the
petitioner "has 'no other adequate means to attain
the reliefhe desires.' " United-States exrel.
Rahman v. Oncology Assocs., P.C., 198 F.3d 502, 511 (4th
Cir. 1999) (quoting Kerr v. U.S. Dist. Ct.fortheN. Dist.
ofCal, 426 U.S. 394, 402-03, 96 S.Ct. 2119, 48 L.Ed.2d
725 (1976)). A party seeking a writ of mandamus must
(1) he has a clear and indisputable right to the relief
sought; (2) the responding party has a clear duty to do the
specific act requested; (3) the act requested is an official
act or duty; (4) there are no other adequate means to attain
the reliefhe desires; and (5) the issuance of the writ will
effect right and justice in the circumstances.
Rahman, 198 F.3d at 511.
conditions necessary for issuance of a writ of mandamus
against federal officials are clear. Ramsey must show that:
he has the clear and indisputable legal right to the relief
sought; the respondents have a legal duty to do the
particular act requested; the act requested is an official
act or duty; there are no other adequate means to attain the
relief Ramsey seeks; and the issuance of the writ will effect
right and justice in the circumstances. See Kerr,
426 U.S. at 403. The failure to show any of these
prerequisites defeats a district court's jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. § 1361. See National
Association of Government Employees v. Federal Labor
Relations Authority, 830 F.Supp. 889, 898 (E.D.Va.
fails to allege any facts suggesting that he has a clear
right to the relief requested and that he has no other means
to obtain the relief he is seeking. The petition for writ of
mandamus shall be dismissed without prejudice. The court
declines to ...