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Reed v. Wolfe

United States District Court, D. Maryland

September 19, 2019

ROBERT ANDREW REED, Petitioner
v.
JOHN WOLFE and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND Respondents

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          PETER J. MESSITTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is self-represented Petitioner Robert Andrew Reed’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, alleging that his term of confinement was incorrectly calculated, causing his illegal incarceration beyond the term of his sentence and seeking his release. Respondents have filed an Answer seeking dismissal of the Petition, arguing that it is unexhausted and without merit. Reed filed a Reply with his affidavit. Having considered the submitted materials, the Court finds that no hearing is necessary. See D. Md. Local R. 105.6. For the reasons set forth in this Memorandum Opinion, the Court will deny and dismiss the Petition.

         BACKGROUND

         Reed was convicted in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Maryland of second degree sex offense and assault and battery. State v. Reed, No. CT922030X (Cir. Ct. Prince George’s Cty. 1993). On April 27, 1993, the Circuit Court sentenced Reed to twenty-years of incarceration with all but 12 years suspended to begin on November 15, 1992, pursuant to his conviction for second degree sex offense. Additionally, the Circuit Court imposed a 3-year sentence to run consecutively to the 12 year sentence for assault and battery. Further, the Court imposed a probation for five years upon Reed’s release. Reed’s term of confinement had a maximum expiration date of November 15, 2007. ECF No. 11-1 at p. 2; ECF 11-2 at p. 7; see also Maryland Judiciary Case Search website; http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us (viewed on September 18, 2019). Reed was released on mandatory supervision on May 16, 2007. ECF No. 11-4 at 2.

         In 2008, Reed was charged in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County with violating his probation, and on November 13, 2008, the case was dismissed and he was directed to “report to the District of Columbia.”[1] ECF No. 11-2 at p. 27. In 2009, Reed was charged in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia with first degree child sex abuse, stalking, threat to injure or kidnap a person, and obstructing justice. On May 21, 2010, Reed was sentenced to serve concurrent terms totaling five years for stalking, threat to kidnap or injure and obstruction of justice. See United States v. Reed, No. CF1 015815 (D.C. Superior Ct.).[2]

         On September 8, 2016, the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County determined that Reed had violated his probation and sentenced him to serve 10 years to begin on June 1, 2010, accounting for six-years, 99 days of time spent incarcerated prior to sentencing under Md. Code Ann., Crim. Pro. Art. § 6-128. ECF No. 11-5; ECF No. 11-8 at p. 2. Reed’s 10-year term of confinement expires on June 1, 2020. ECF No. 11-8.

         Reed alleges his sentence was incorrectly calculated because he is “under the old 1/3 law” and his mandatory release date was August 31, 2016. ECF No. 1 at p. 8. Reed, however, does not explain or cite authority to identify this law, nor does he provide facts to substantiate his purported release date. Reed also claims that he “can only do 6 years and 4 months on 10 years.” Id.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Exhaustion

         Before seeking federal habeas corpus relief, Petitioner must exhaust each claim presented by pursuing remedies available in state court. See Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 521 (1982). Each claim must be fairly presented to the state courts; this means presenting both the operative facts and controlling legal principles. See Baker v. Corcoran, 220 F.3d 276, 289 (4th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted). Exhaustion includes appellate review in the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland and, where appropriate, the Court of Appeals of Maryland. See Granberry v. Greer, 481 U.S. 129, 134-35 (1987). The state courts must be afforded the first opportunity to review federal constitutional challenges to state convictions in order to preserve the role of the state courts in protecting federally guaranteed rights. See Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 491 (1973).

         A petitioner may challenge the calculation of his term of confinement by pursuing both administrative and judicial remedies. He may file a grievance with the Inmate Grievance Office. See generally Adamson v. Corr. Med. Servs., Inc., 753 A.2d 501 (Md. 2000); Md. Code Ann., Corr. Servs. § 10-206(a). If the grievance is not found wholly lacking in merit on its face, it is referred to the Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”) for a hearing before an administrative law judge. Id. at § 10-207(c). An order of the OAH finding that an inmate’s complaint is lacking in merit constitutes the final decision of the Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services (“Secretary”) for purposes of judicial review. Id. at § 10-209(b)(1)(ii). If the OAH finds that the grievance is meritorious, an order is forwarded to the Secretary. The Secretary may affirm, reverse, or modify the order of the OAH. Id. at § 10-209(c).

         An appeal of the Secretary’s decision lies with the “circuit court of the county in which the complainant is confined.” Id. at § 10-210(b)(2). Petitioner may thereafter seek review in the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland by application for leave to appeal, id. at § 10-210(c)(2), and, if the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland grants the application for leave to appeal but denies relief on the merits, he may then seek review in the Court of Appeals of Maryland by petition for writ of certiorari. See Williams v. State, 438 A.2d 1301 (Md. 1981); Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 12-202.

         A prisoner who “alleges entitlement to immediate release and makes a colorable claim that he or she has served the entire sentence less any mandatory [diminution] credits” may seek relief directly from Maryland courts by petition for a writ of habeas corpus. See Maryland House of Corr. v. Fields, 703 A.2d 167, 175 (Md. 1997) (abrogated on other grounds by Moats v. Scott, 751 A.2d 462 (Md. 2000)). The inmate may appeal a circuit court’s decision denying habeas corpus relief to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland and may thereafter seek certiorari in the Court of Appeals of Maryland. See generally Stouffer v. Pearson, 887 A.2d 623 (Md. 2005); Stouffer v. Staton, 833 A.2d 33 (Md. 2003); Jones v. Filbert, 843 A.2d 908 (Md.App. 2004).

         When Reed filed this Petition on October 17, 2016, he provided no evidence that he had exhausted his claims administratively or before the state courts. ECF No. 1 at pp. 3-5, 7; ECF No. 11-2 at pp. 2, 16. Reed states in his Reply that on November 2, 2016, he sent a petition to the state court, which was “forwarded to the U.S. federal Court.” ECF No. 12 at p. 12. He does not address the issue of exhaustion or explain the ...


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