United States District Court, D. Maryland
MICHAEL S. OWL FEATHER-GORBEY Petitioner
STATE OF MARYLAND Respondent
RICHARD D. BENNETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254 was received by this Court on March 13,
2019. Self-represented Petitioner Michael Gorbey, an inmate
committed to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and
incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in
Cumberland, Maryland, following his criminal conviction in
the District of Columbia, seeks to challenge the validity of
his transfer across State lines into the State of Maryland.
ECF 1. In essence, he is asserting that § 24-201.26 of
the D.C. Code is unconstitutional and otherwise illegal.
Id. Gorbey raises six grounds for relief:
1. D.C. State Prisoners have no avenue of relief in D.C.
Federal Courts or directly to other Federal Courts.
2. Transporting or extraditing of State prisoners across
State lines resorts (sic) in the same constitutional
violations, due process, equal protection of law.
3. D.C. Superior Court prisoners are State prisoners
entitle[d] to State law review.
4. D.C. State Code or laws have no binding effect on the
State of Maryland.
5. Under Maryland and Federal law D.C. Code § 24.201.26
allowing D.C. State prisoners to be transported or extradited
across state lines is illegal and unconstitutional making
those prisoners fugitives from justice entitling them to
Maryland State habeas relief.
6. Transporting or extraditing D.C. State prisoners outside
of D.C. territorial jurisdiction gives them irrevocable
asylum in the receiving State.
ECF 1 at p. 3.
majority of the 17 page petition contains Gorbey's legal
argument and conclusions regarding whether his incarceration
in a federal prison in Maryland confers on him the right to
seek habeas relief in the Maryland courts. Gorbey relies on
his legal theories to conclude that the Maryland state courts
improperly summarily dismissed his habeas corpus petitions
because his remedy is appropriately sought in the District of
Columbia courts. ECF 1 at pp. 11-12. Gorbey denies that he
has an available remedy in the D.C. courts and seeks an order
remanding his habeas petition to the Maryland State Circuit
Courts where they were dismissed. Id. at p. 12.
Gorbey also seeks immediate release from custody,
"irrevocable asylum in the State of Maryland," and
a hearing. Id.
petition must be dismissed. Gorbey's entire claim is
premised on his assertion he is in the custody of the State
of Maryland; he is not. It is well settled law that
defendants convicted of criminal offenses in the D.C. courts
are in the legal custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. As
the Fourth Circuit observed:
District of Columbia offenders ... are placed in the
BOP's custody by statutory authority, not as a matter of
convenience. Section 24-201.26 of the D.C. Code provides that
'[a] 11 prisoners convicted in the District of Columbia
for any offense ... shall be committed. .. to the
custody of the Attorney General of the United States or
his authorized representative, who shall designate the places
of confinements where the sentences of all such persons shall
be served.' D.C. Code §24-201.26.
Congress' enactment of the National Capital
Revitalization and Self Government Improvement Act of 1997,
111 Stat. 251; Pub.L. 105-33, (the "Revitalization
Act") confirms to us that D.C. Code § 24-201.26
places D.C. offenders into the legal custody of the Attorney
General for the duration of his sentence, no matter where the
prisoner may be housed. The Revitalization Act effectively
closed the District of Columbia Department of Corrections and
"transferred [all D.C. felons] to a penal or
correctional facility operated or contracted for by the
Bureau of Prisons." D.C. Code § 24-101(b). Not only
did the Revitalization Act place D.C. offenders in the
physical custody of the BOP, but by further
"subject[ing] [D.C. offenders] to any law or
regulation applicable to persons committed forviolations of laws of the United States consistent
with the sentence imposed, and [by ...