United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. MESSITTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Plaintiff Raymond Brown has sued the United States
Department of Justice, the United States Parole Commission
(“Parole Commission”) and the Court Services and
Offender Supervision Agency (“CSOSA”)
(collectively, “Defendants”). In his Complaint
(ECF No. 1), Brown alleges that Defendants kept him on
supervised release for approximately ten months past his
expiration date. Defendants have filed a Motion to Dismiss,
or Alternatively, for Summary Judgment, disputing two
potential interpretations of Brown's Complaint: (1) that
his constitutional rights were violated under Bivens v.
Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics,
403 U.S. 388 (1971); and (2) that he has a tort claim under
the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C.
§ 1346(b). In his Opposition, Brown also suggests that
Defendants violated the Ex Post Facto Clause and the
Thirteenth Amendment when they continued his supervision past
his release date.
following reasons, the Court will GRANT WITH PREJUDICE
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 9) and therefore,
need not address their alternative Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 9).
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
1989, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
sentenced Brown to nine years in prison for unlawful use of a
vehicle, violating the Bail Reform Act, and destruction of
property. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, Exhibit A, ECF
No. 9-2 at 3. He was released on parole in 1992. ECF No. 9-2
at 6. When his parole was revoked for non-criminal
violations, he was immediately reparoled until August 30,
2004, the recalculated expiration date of his sentence. ECF
No. 9-2 at 7-8. Subsequently, while on parole, he was charged
with assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping while armed,
threats while armed, and contempt. ECF No. 9-2 at 1. But in
June 2001, Brown signed an expedited revocation proposal in
which he accepted responsibility for his violations. ECF No.
9-2 at 11. Pursuant to the proposal, the Parole Commission
revoked Brown's parole, forfeited all the time that he
had spent on parole, and continued him to the expiration of
the sentence, less credit for good time. ECF No. 9-2 at 16.
On March 23, 2001, the D.C. Superior Court sentenced Brown to
ten years and 180 days in prison, as well as nine years of
supervised release, for his parole violations. ECF No. 9-2 at
April 2010, Brown's counsel requested that the Parole
Commission reopen Brown's case and run his new parole
violation sentence concurrently with his original sentence
because Brown contended that he had been under the impression
that the sentences would run concurrently when he signed the
expedited revocation proposal. ECF No. 9-2 at 19. On July 7,
2010, the Parole Commission reopened the case and granted
Brown reparole effective nunc pro tunc to May 23,
2001, and began the running of the consecutive sentence on
that date, thereby allowing Brown to complete his new
sentence in a shorter amount of time. ECF No. 9-2 at 21.
13, 2010, Brown was released from prison under supervised
release, consistent with his revised nonparolable sentence.
See ECF No. 9-2 at 24. Brown was supervised by CSOSA
because his parolable sentence had expired while he was
serving the new sentence. See ECF No. 9-2 at 4.
Annual supervision reports in 2014 and 2015 from Brown's
CSOSA officer indicated that his supervised release term was
set to expire in July 2019, in accordance with the DC
Superior Court's nine year supervised release term
imposed following his July 2010 release. ECF No. 9-2 at 24,
27. The supervision reports recommended continued
supervision, and as late as September 2015, the Parole
Commission decided continued Brown's supervision. ECF No.
9-2 at 29.
25, 2016, Brown's counsel sent a letter to the Parole
Commission requesting immediate termination of his
supervision. ECF No. 9-2 at 30. He advised that in December
2009, the D.C. Superior Court had vacated his nine-year
period of supervised release in order to conform to D.C. law,
which limits supervised release to a maximum period of five
years. Id. at 30-31, 34. On May 27, 2016, the Parole
Commission instructed CSOSA to discontinue Brown's
supervision, noting that “[t]he BOP never received the
amended J & C and the sentence computation information
was not updated” so that his supervision should have
expired July 12, 2015. ECF No. 9-2 at 36.
October 25, 2016, Brown, pro se, filed the present
Complaint against Defendants, claiming that they
“knowingly, willingly, and intentionally” refused
to release him from supervised parole when his case expired,
which in effect placed him in a state of “involuntary
servitude until on or about [sic] May 27, 2016.” ECF
No. 1 ¶ 1. He also claims that Defendants violated 28
C.F.R. § 2.35(a), which states that “A prisoner
shall be mandatorily released by operation of law at the end
of the sentence imposed by the court…” Brown
seeks punitive damages of $5, 000, 000.
their Motion to Dismiss, Defendants infer two potential
interpretations of Brown's Complaint and dispute both. To
the extent Brown brings a Bivens claim alleging that
Defendants violated his constitutional rights by keeping him
on supervised release, they argue that the Court should
dismiss his claim for three reasons: (1) sovereign immunity
bars the claim, (2) he has not alleged the violation of a
specific constitutional right, and (3) a Bivens
claim does not lie against federal agencies. Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 9-1 at 5-8. To the extent Brown
seeks to bring an FTCA claim, Defendants cite six reasons why
the Court should dismiss his claim: (1) he failed to exhaust
administrative remedies before bringing this action; (2) an
FTCA claim does not lie against federal agencies; (3)
punitive damages are barred; (4) any constitutional tort
claim or claim arising from Defendants' alleged violation
of 28 C.F.R. § 2.35(a) is not cognizable; (5) any claims
of false imprisonment and abuse of process are not
cognizable; and (6) he has failed to state a negligence claim
under the FTCA. ECF No. 9-1 at 9-16. Defendants admit that
Brown's term of supervision was extended past the July
2015 expiration date. ECF No. 9-1 at 3-4.
Opposition, Brown also suggests that Defendants violated the
Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution, art. I, § 9,
cl. 3, when they increased his release date from July 2015 to
July 2016, which he claims was in direct violation of 28
C.F.R. § 2.200. He also claims that Defendants placed
him in compulsory service, creating a “climate of fear,
and threats of legal coercion” and violating the
Thirteenth Amendment. ECF No. 11 at 3.
STANDARD OF LAW
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule
12(b)(6) should be granted if the allegations in a complaint
do not “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A party may move for dismissal
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) where
the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claims
alleged in the complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). Federal
courts are courts of limited subject matter jurisdiction:
they “possess only the jurisdiction authorized them by
the United States Constitution and by federal statute.”
See United States ex rel. Vuyyuru v. Jadhav, 555
F.3d 337, 347 (4th Cir. 2009) (citing Bowles v.
Russell, 551 U.S. 205, 127 S.Ct. 2360, 2365, 168 L.Ed.2d
96 (2007)). As the party asserting jurisdiction, the
plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the district court
has subject matter jurisdiction. See Richmond,
Fredericksburg & Potomac R.R. Co. v. United States,
945 F.2d 765, 768 (4th Cir. 1991). When a governmental entity
is sued and Congress has not waived sovereign immunity as to
the claim, sovereign immunity deprives the court of
jurisdiction to hear the case. See Global Mail Ltd. v.
United States Postal Serv., 142 F.3d 208, 210 (4th
Cir.1998). When a district court determines that it lacks
subject matter jurisdiction over an action, it must dismiss
the action. Vuyyuru, 555 F.3d at 347 (citing
Arbaugh v. Y & H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 506-07,
126 S.Ct. 1235, 163 L.Ed.2d 1097 (2006)).