United States District Court, D. Maryland
WALTER PORTER, No. 364-169, Petitioner,
DPSCS COMMISSIONER OF MD CORRECTION, WARDEN Y CAMPBELL, COMMITMENT DEPT., and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND, Respondents
L. Hollander, United States District Judge
Walter Porter, a Maryland Division of Correction
(“DOC”) prisoner confined at the Central Maryland
Correctional Facility in Sykesville, Maryland
(“CMCF”), filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus against a host of Respondents, alleging he is being
held beyond his prison release date. Porter claims DOC
officials failed to credit the time he served prior to
sentencing that had been awarded by the Circuit Court for
Baltimore County. ECF 1. Because Porter is attacking the
manner in which a sentence is executed, the Petition is
deemed filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241(a). See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475
have filed a Response (ECF 6), with numerous exhibits, as
supplemented. ECF 10. Porter has filed a reply (ECF 11) as
well as a supplemental reply. ECF 12.
hearing is necessary to resolve this matter. Local Rule
105.6. For the reasons set forth herein, the Petition shall
be denied and dismissed.
parties do not contest that on July 22 2010, Porter was
sentenced to ten years' imprisonment in the DOC,
commencing March 20, 2010, following his conviction for
third- degree burglary ECF 6-1. See State v. Porter,
Case No. 03-K-10-001972 (Balto. Co. Cir. Ct.).This sentence
resulted in a term of confinement with a maximum expiration
date of March 20, 2020. ECF 6-2; see Md. Code, Corr.
Servs. (“C.S.”) Article § 3-701(1) (defining
“term of confinement” as the length of a sentence
for a single sentence); Code of Maryland Regulations
(“COMAR”) 12.02.06.01(B)(12) (defining maximum
expiration date as the date of expiration of a prisoner's
term of confinement). The parties' disagreement stems
from subsequent convictions and sentences imposed by the
Circuit Court for Baltimore County.
16, 2011, following Porter's conviction for third-degree
burglary, the Circuit Court for Baltimore County sentenced
Porter in Case No. 03-K-10-003953 to a term of ten years of
incarceration, with all but six years suspended for Count 2.
The court also imposed a consecutive sentence of one year as
to Count 4, in which Porter was found guilty of a
fourth-degree sexual offense. ECF 6-3. Respondents contend
that these sentences, totaling seven years, were to run
consecutive to the last sentence to expire of all
“outstanding and unserved Maryland sentences, ”
with credit for 332 days of time served prior to sentencing,
giving Porter a maximum expiration date of April 22, 2026.
See C.S. § 3-701(2)(iii).
February 22, 2016, the Circuit Court for Baltimore County
modified Porter's sentence in Count 2 of Case No.
03-K-10-003953, reducing it from ten years with all but six
years suspended, to nine years with all but six years
suspended. See ECF 6-4. The consecutive, one-year
sentence as to Count 4 remained unchanged. The total time to
be served, seven years, remained “consecutive to the
last sentence to expire of all outstanding and unserved
Maryland sentences.” ECF 6-4. A subsequent commitment
record issued on December 21, 2016, indicated the court
awarded 2, 047 days' credit for time served prior to
sentencing. See ECF 6-5. But, the most recent
commitment record, issued on January 26, 2017, indicates an
award of 335 days of credit for time served prior to
sentencing. ECF 6-6. The commitment record of January 26,
2017, provided that the total time of seven years runs
consecutive to Case K-10-1972, and concurrent with any other
outstanding sentence, and beginning on July 16, 2010. ECF 10
at 2 (citing ECF 6-6).
May 26, 2017, Porter has been allowed a total of 2, 633
diminution of confinement credits. See ECF 6-7; C.S.
§§ 3-701 to 3-711. According to Respondents, these
credits, when subtracted from the maximum expiration date for
Porter's term of confinement - April 20, 2026 - results
in a current mandatory supervision release date of February
1, 2019. ECF 6 at 4; see ECF 6-7.
staff sought clarification from the Circuit Court for
Baltimore County as to the staring date of the seven-year
term in Case 03-K-10-003953. In response, on June 30, 2017,
the circuit court issued another amended commitment record in
the case, stating that the six-year sentence in count 2 of
Case No. 03-K-10-003953 runs consecutive to the ten-year
sentence in Case No. 03-K-10-001972, and that the one-year
sentence in count 4 runs consecutive to the six-year
sentence, resulting in a total period of incarceration of
seven years. See ECF 10-1. The amended commitment
record also states that Porter was to receive 335 days'
credit for time served prior to sentencing, and that the
total time to be served (seven years) runs consecutive to the
sentence imposed in Case No. 03-K-10-001972. Therefore, the
maximum expiration date of confinement remains April 20,
2026. See ECF 10-2.
contend, in any event, that before the propriety of these
calculations can be examined in this court, Porter must meet
a threshold requirement showing that he has exhausted his
remedies in the State system. See ECF 6 at 4-7.
Neither the Petition nor the Reply indicates that Porter has
sought to challenge any alleged miscalculation, either
administratively or in the Maryland courts. Absent the
exhaustion of such challenges, the Petition is subject to
dismissal, without prejudice. See Braden v. 30th Judicial
Circuit Court of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 490-91 (1973).
Maryland prisoner challenging the way the DOC calculates his
sentence computation has two possible avenues for relief.
First, a prisoner may challenge the calculation of his
sentence and/or diminution credits through administrative
proceedings by filing a request under the administrative
remedy procedure, DOC Directive 185-001 et seq., to
the Warden of the institution where he is confined; appealing
a denial of the request by the Warden to the Commissioner of
the DOC; filing a complaint with the Inmate Grievance Office
(“IGO”); appealing a final decision of the IGO to
the circuit court; and, if necessary, filing an application
for leave to appeal to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
If the Court of Special Appeals grants the application for
leave to appeal, but denies relief on the merits, the
prisoner must also seek permission to appeal to the Court of
Appeals of Maryland.
a prisoner claiming entitlement to immediate release can also
bypass administrative remedies and proceed directly to the
state courts by filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus
in a circuit court. See Maryland House of Correction v.
Fields, 348 Md. 245, 261 (1997) (prisoner presenting a
colorable claim of entitlement to immediate release based
upon the calculation of diminution credits was entitled to
seek habeas corpus relief without first exhausting his
administrative remedies); see also Md. Rule
15-302(a) (1). If unsuccessful, the prisoner may appeal the
circuit court decision to the Court of Special Appeals.
See Frost v. State, 336 Md. 125, 132 n.5, 647 A.2d
106 (1994); Merritt v. Corcoran, 105 Md.App. 109,
111, 658 A.2d 1153 (1995). Thereafter, he may seek permission
for further review from the Court of Appeals.
in the pleadings suggests that Porter has pursued either
avenue of relief. Therefore, dismissal is appropriate.
district court dismisses a habeas petition solely on
procedural grounds, a certificate of appealability
(“COA”) will not issue unless the petitioner can
demonstrate both “(1) 'that jurists of reason would
find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim
of the denial of a constitutional right' and (2)
'that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether
the district court was correct in its procedural