United States District Court, S.D. New York
February 10, 2004.
MICHAEL COHN, Petitioner, Plaintiff, -against- THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, HARLEY G. LAPPIN, in his official capacity as Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and FREDRICK MENIFEE, in his official capacity as the Warden of Federal Correctional Institution Otisville, Respondents-Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM PAULEY, District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Petitioner-plaintiff Michael Cohn moves for a preliminary injunction,
pursuant to Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1331, 2241(a), (c)(1), and 2243, against respondents-defendants
the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Harley G. Lappin, in his official
capacity as director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and Frederick
Menifee, in his official capacity as Warden of the Federal Correctional
Institution Otisville ("FCI Otisville") (collectively, the
"BOP"). Cohn seeks to enjoin defendants from enforcing a BOP directive
limiting pre-release community confinement to the lesser of ten percent
(10%) of the offender's sentence or six months. For the reasons set
forth below, Cohn's application is denied.
Cohn was arrested on February 10, 2000, and charged in a six-count
indictment with, inter alia, conspiracy to commit securities
fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud, as well as the underlying substantive
offenses (the "Indictment"). (Compl. ¶ 12.) On March 13, 2001, Cohn
was convicted, after a guilty plea, of conspiracy to commit securities
fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, in satisfaction of the
Indictment. (Declaration of Patrick W. Ward, dated January 21, 2004
("Ward Decl."), Ex. C: Judgment of Conviction.) On October 30, 2002,
District Judge Robert W. Sweet sentenced Cohn to a twenty-one month term
of incarceration, followed by a three year term of supervised release.
(Ward Decl. Ex. C.)
On December 13, 2002, then-Deputy Attorney General Larry D. Thompson
was advised by the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel
("OLC") that the BOP's long-standing policy of interpreting the term
"imprisonment" to encompass community confinement was unlawful (the "OLC
Memorandum"). (Declaration of Lara K. Eshkanazi, dated January 28, 2004
("Eshkanazi Decl."), Ex. A: OLC Memorandum, at 1 ("When an offender has
received a sentence of imprisonment, the [BOP] does not have general
authority . . . to place such an offender in community confinement at
the outset of his sentence or to transfer him from prison to community
confinement at any time BOP
chooses during the course of his sentence.").) Among other things,
the OLC Memorandum sought to redefine the BOP's practices under
18 U.S.C. § 3624(c), which provides that, with respect to pre-release custody,
often referred to as "back end placement":
The Bureau of Prisons shall, to the extent
practicable, assure that a prisoner serving a term
of imprisonment spends a reasonable part, not to
exceed six months, of the last 10 per centum of
the term to be served under conditions that will
afford the prisoner a reasonable opportunity to
adjust to and prepare for the prisoner's re-entry
into the community.
18 U.S.C. § 3624(c).
Prior to December 2002, the BOP followed a practice that permitted it
to transfer inmates to a community confinement center ("CCC") for up to
the last six months of their sentences, regardless of whether the time in
the CCC exceeded ten percent of the underlying sentence. (Declaration of
Fredrick Menifee, dated January 21, 2004 ("Menifee Decl.") ¶¶ 4, 6.)
With respect to this practice, the OLC Memorandum asserted that:
The authority conferred under section 3624(c) to
transfer a prisoner to a non-prison site is
clearly limited to a period "not to exceed six
months, of the last 10 per centum of the time to
be served," 18 U.S.C. § 3624, and we see no
basis for disregarding this time limitation.
(Eshkanazi Decl. Ex. A at 6 n.6.)
On December 16, 2002, Deputy Attorney General Thompson adopted the
OLC's opinion, and forwarded it to Kathleen Hawk
Sawyer, Director of BOP, with a memorandum (the "Thompson
Memorandum") stating that:
[W]hile BOP does have limited statutory authority
in 18 U.S.C. § 3624 (c) to transfer an
offender to a CCC prior to his release so as to
"afford the prisoner a reasonable opportunity to
adjust to and prepare for the prisoner's re-entry
into the community," there are firm restrictions
on such transfers. Specifically, the transfer may
not exceed the lesser of (i) the last
ten percent of the sentence imposed on the
offender, i.e., the period of time in which the
offender was committed to the custody of the BOP,
or (ii) six months. The OLC opinion concludes that
there are no bases for disregarding these time
(Eshkanazi Decl. Ex. B: Thompson Memorandum, at 2.) In light of the
Thompson Memorandum, on December 30, 2002, Warden Menifee issued a
Memorandum for Inmate Population of FCI Otisville advising that,
effective December 20, 2002, BOP had changed its procedures for
designating inmates to CCCs. (Eshkanazi Decl. Ex. C: Memorandum for
Inmate Population.) Specifically, Warden Menifee advised that
"pre-release CCC designations are now limited in duration to the
last 10% of an inmate's prison term to be served, not to exceed six
months. This limitation complies with 18 U.S.C. [§] 3624(c)."
(Eshkanazi Decl. Ex. C.)
On January 2, 2003, Cohn began serving his sentence at FCI Otisville.
(Ward Decl. Ex. B.) Assuming Cohn receives all available good conduct
credits, his projected release date is July 10, 2004. (Ward Decl. Ex. B.)
Applying the lesser of six
months or 10% of his sentence yields a pre-release CCC transfer
date of no sooner than May 17, 2004. (Ward Decl. Ex. G.)*fn1
On January 9, 2004, Cohn filed this action, arguing that under
18 U.S.C. § 3621 (b), the BOP has discretion to designate him to serve
more than 10% of his sentence of imprisonment in a CCC. On January 21,
2004, this Court issued an order to show cause why a preliminary
injunction should not be granted. (Order to Show Cause, dated January 21,
2004.) By Stipulation and Order dated January 30, 2004, the parties
agreed that Cohn's motion and petition would resolve the entire matter.
(Stipulation and Order, dated January 30, 2004.)
Cohn argues that the OLC's December 2002 interpretation, as applied by
the BOP: (1) is based on an erroneous interpretation of the statute; (2)
violates the Administrative Procedure Act (the "APA"),
5 U.S.C. § 551, et seq., because the BOP failed to provide a 30-day notice
and comment period; and (3) violates the ex post facto clause
of the United States Constitution, U.S. Const. Art. I, § 10, because
it constitutes an impermissible retroactive punishment. Cohn
employs a potpourri of procedural mechanisms including a
motion for a preliminary and permanent injunction, a writ of
mandamus, and/or a declaratory judgment to secure an
order directing the BOP to review his eligibility for designation to a
CCC "pursuant to the BOP's pre-December 20, 2002 statutes, rules,
regulations, policies, practices, procedures, and criteria." (Compl. at
I. Subject Matter Jurisdiction
As a threshold matter, the BOP argues that this Court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction to entertain Cohn's petition. Specifically, the BOP
argues that writs of habeas corpus and mandamus are
"extraordinary remedies" that are to be reserved for situations in which
a court, in the case of a habeas petition, perceives a severe
restraint on petitioner's liberty, or, in the case of a
mandamus petition, in which the government has clearly usurped
power or abused its discretion. The BOP's arguments are without merit. A
petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241
is the proper vehicle for challenging the execution of the sentence of a
person in federal custody, or a person sentenced for violating a federal
criminal statute.*fn2 See, e.g.,
Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 493 (1989); Villanueva
v. United States, 346 F.3d 55, 63 (2d Cir. 2003); Chambers v.
United States, 106 F.3d 472, 474-75 (2d Cir. 1997). Indeed, a number
of courts in this district and elsewhere have permitted challenges to the
BOP's 10% policy under § 2241. See, e.g., Zucker v.
Menifee, No. 03 Civ. 10077 (RJH), 2004 WL 102779, at *3 (S.D.N.Y.
Jan. 21, 2004); Adler v. Menifee, 293 F. Supp.2d 363, 366-67
(S.D.N.Y. 2003); Benton v. Ashcroft, 273 F. Supp.2d 1139, 1143
(S.D. Cal. 2003). Therefore, this Court's exercise of subject matter
jurisdiction under § 2241 is appropriate.*fn3
II. Standards For Injunctive Relief
"[P]reliminary injunctive relief is an extraordinary remedy and should
not be routinely granted." Patton v. Dole, 806 F.2d 24, 28 (2d
Cir. 1986); accord No Spray Coalition, Inc. v. City of New
York, 252 F.3d 148, 150 (2d Cir. 2001). Normally,
"[a] party seeking a preliminary injunction in this Circuit must
show: (1) irreparable harm in the absence of the injunction and (2)
either (a) a likelihood of success on the merits or (b) sufficiently
serious questions going to the merits to make them a fair ground for
litigation and a balance of hardships tipping decidedly in the movant's
favor." Random House, Inc. v. Rosetta Books LLC, 283 F.3d 490,
491 (2d Cir. 2002). However, where the movant "seeks a preliminary
injunction that will affect `government action taken in the public
interest pursuant to a statutory or regulatory scheme, the injunction
should be granted only if the moving party meets the more rigorous
likelihood-of-success standard.'" No Spray Coalition, 252 F.3d
at 150 (quoting Beal v. Stern, 184 F.3d 117, 122 (2d Cir.
1999)); see also Rodriguez v. DeBuono, 175 F.3d 227, 233 (2d
Cir. 1999) (where an injunction "will alter rather than maintain the
status quo," movant must show "clear" or "substantial" likelihood of
success). Consequently, Cohn's motion must meet the more stringent
likelihood-of-success test. See No Spray Coalition, 252 F.3d at
III. The BOP's Interpretation of § 3624(c)
Where, as here, Congress has delegated authority to an agency to
administer a statute but not to issue rulings with the binding effect of
law, courts must afford that agency's
interpretations "some deference" where they constitute "a
permissible construction of the statute." Reno v. Koray,
515 U.S. 50, 61 (1995) (citing Chevron, U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural
Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 843 (1984)). As the
BOP is the agency charged by Congress with administering §§ 3621
and 3624, this Court must accord some deference to the BOP's revised
interpretation of that statute.
Under a plain reading of § 3624(c), the BOP's back end placement of
an inmate in a CCC prior to the end of an inmate's sentence is expressly
and unambiguously limited to a "reasonable part, not to exceed six
months, of the last 10 per centum of the term to be served. . . . "
See Adler, 293 F. Supp.2d at 367 ("Back End entry is clearly
controlled by 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c) . . . and the plain meaning of
that statute is obvious.") (See also Eshkanazi Decl. Ex. A, at
6 n.6 ("The authority conferred under section 3624(c) to transfer a
prisoner to a non-prison site is clearly limited to a period `not to
exceed six months, of the last 10 per centum of the time to be served,'
18 U.S.C. § 3624, and we see no basis for disregarding this time
The BOP's long-standing practice of placing inmates in CCCs for periods
of greater than 10% of their remaining sentence prior to the OLC
Memorandum offers Cohn no relief, as "[n]obody has a vested interest in
violation of the law no matter how long continued." Adler,
293 F. Supp.2d at 367; see also Rust v.
Sullivan, 500 U.S. 173, 186 (1991) ("This Court has
rejected the argument that an agency's interpretation `is not entitled to
deference because it represents a sharp break with prior interpretations'
of the statute in question.") (quotation omitted); Chevron, 467
U.S. at 863-64 (an agency must be allowed to consider "varying
interpretations and the wisdom of its policy on a continuing basis").
In arguing that this plain-meaning construction of § 3624(c) is
improper, Cohn relies on decisions by courts in this district and
elsewhere holding that the BOP's current interpretation of § 3624(c)
is violative of Congress' general grant of prisoner authority to the BOP
under 18 U.S.C. § 3621, and is therefore unlawful. See, e.g.,
Zucker, 2004 WL 102779, at *10; Cato v. Menifee, No. 03
Civ. 5795 (DC), 2003 WL 22725524 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 20, 2003). Cohn's
reliance is misplaced. Specifically, § 3621(b) provides that:
The [BOP] shall designate the place of the
prisoner's imprisonment. The Bureau may designate
any available penal or correctional facility that
meets minimum standards of health and habitability
established by the Bureau. . . . The Bureau may
at any time . . . direct the transfer of a
prisoner from one penal or correctional facility
18 U.S.C. § 3621 (b). Cohn argues that, under this general
grant of authority, the BOP has plenary authority to both designate and
transfer prisoners at any time, and therefore the BOP has the
authority to place a prisoner in a CCC at any point during that
inmate's prison term, regardless of the 10% limitation in § 3624(c).
For Cohn's argument to succeed, this Court must hold that a CCC is a
"place of the prisoner's imprisonment" under § 3621(b). However, the
Second Circuit has held that a CCC is not a "place of the prisoner's
imprisonment," and therefore § 3621(b)'s general grant of authority
is not applicable to back end CCC designation.
In United States v. Thomas, the Second Circuit held that
"confinement in a community correctional center was not `imprisonment.'"
135 F.3d 873, 875 n.3 (2d Cir. 1998) (citing United States v.
Adler, 52 F.3d 20, 21 (2d Cir. 1995)); accord Beniqno v. United
States, 285 F. Supp.2d 286, 294 (E.D.N.Y. 2003). While
Adler dealt with the difference between community confinement
and imprisonment under the United States Sentencing Guidelines §
5C2.1, the Second Circuit did not narrowly limit its holding that
"`[i]mprisonment' and community confinement' are not synonyms.
`Imprisonment' is the condition of being removed from the community and
placed in prison, whereas `community confinement' is the condition of
being controlled and restricted within the community." 52 F.3d at 21.
Adler is consistent with the law in other Circuits. See,
e.g., United States v. Serafini, 233 F.3d 758, 777 (3d Cir. 2000);
United States v. Horek, 137 F.3d 1226, 1228-29 (10th Cir.
1998); United States v. Swigert,
18 F.3d 443, 445 (7th Cir. 1994); United States v. Latimer,
991 F.2d 1509, 1513 (9th Cir. 1993). In light of this authority, the
BOP's interpretation that a CCC is not a place of imprisonment, and
therefore not subject Congress' general grant of discretion to the BOP
under § 3621(b), is at a minimum a permissible interpretation of the
statute. Under Koray and Chevron, this Court must
accord some deference to such an interpretation. See Koray, 515
U.S. at 61 (holding that courts must afford an agency's interpretations
"some deference" where they constitute "a permissible construction of the
statute"); see also Adler, 293 F. Supp.2d at 369;
Benton, 273 F. Supp.2d at 1144-46.
Even assuming arquendo that this Court held that a CCC is a
"place of the prisoner's imprisonment" for purposes of § 3621(b),
Cohn would still not prevail because under cannons of statutory
construction, the more-specific § 3624(c) operates as an express
limitation on § 3621(b)'s broad grant of general authority. To hold
otherwise would vitiate § 3624(c)'s 10% restriction, therefore
violating the fundamental principle of statutory construction that courts
"must be `reluctan[t] to treat statutory terms as surplusage' in any
setting." Duncan v. Walker, 533 U.S. 167, 174 (2001) (quoting
Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter, Cmtys. for Great Ore.,
515 U.S. 687, 698 (1995)); see also Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362,
404 (2000) (holding that it is a "cardinal principle of statutory
construction that courts
must give effect, if possible, to every clause and word of a
statute"); Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. 535, 551 (1974) ("[W]hen
two statutes are capable of co-existence, it is the duty of the
courts . . . to regard each as effective."); Market Co. v.
Hoffman, 101 U.S. 112, 115 (1879) ("As early as in Bacon's
Abridgment, sect. 2, it was said that `a statute ought, upon the whole,
to be so construed that, if it can be prevented, no clause, sentence, or
word shall be superfluous, void, or insignificant.'").
Further, holding that § 3621(b)'s general grant of authority
trumps § 3624(c)'s more specific limitation would violate another
canon of statutory construction, namely that "the specific governs over
the general." Varity Corp. v. Howe, 516 U.S. 489, 511 (1996);
see also Radzanower v. Touche Ross & Co., 426 U.S. 148, 153
(1976) ("It is a basic principle of statutory construction that a statute
dealing with a narrow, precise, and specific subject is not submerged by
a later enacted statute covering a more generalized spectrum.");
Mancari, 417 U.S. at 550-551 ("Where there is no clear
intention otherwise, a specific statute will not be controlled or
nullified by a general one, regardless of the priority of enactment.");
Montague v. Elec. Corp. of Am., 76 F. Supp. 933, 936 (S.D.N.Y.
1948) ("The settled rule of statutory construction is that, where there
is a special statutory provision affording a remedy for particular
cases and where there is also a general provision which is
comprehensive enough to include what is embraced in the former, the
special provision will prevail over the general provision, and the latter
will be held to apply only to such cases as are not within the former.").
This Court declines to ignore these pillars of statutory construction.
See, e.g., Adler, 293 F. Supp.2d at 369 ("This Court regards
it as a novel method of statutory construction to use the general
assignment of prisoners power granted in one statute to nullify an
express restriction imposed on that power by another act of Congress
limited to the Back End entry of prisoners into a CCC near the end of
Accordingly, this Court finds that the BOP's current interpretation of
§ 3624(c), and its interrelationship with § 3621(b), are
reasonable and permissible constructions of those statutes. Accordingly,
Cohn could not succeed on the merits of his claim that the BOP's current
policy is based on an erroneous interpretation of § 3624(c), and his
claim for injunctive relief on these grounds is denied.*fn4
IV. The Administrative Procedures Act
Cohn also contends that the BOP's current interpretation of §
3624(c) violates the APA, because the BOP did not provide for a 30-day
notice and comment period as required under the Act. It is Cohn's
contention that the BOP's interpretation of § 3621 falls within the
APA because it constitutes agency rule-making within the meaning of
5 U.S.C. § 551(4)-(5), while the BOP contends that the rule is
interpretative rather than substantive, and therefore exempt from the
notice and comment requirements of the APA under 5 U.S.C. § 553 (b)
When an agency promulgates substantive rules or regulations, the APA
requires prior notice and comment via publication in the Federal
Register. 5 U.S.C. § 553 (b), (c). Such notice and comment is not
required, however, for "interpretative rules, general statements of
policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice."
5 U.S.C. § 553(b)(3)(A). A rule is interpretive if "an agency is
exercising its rule-making power to clarify an existing statute or
regulation," and substantive if the agency is seeking to "create new law,
rights or duties in what amounts to a legislative act." White v.
Shalala, 7 F.3d 296, 303 (2d Cir. 1993). Further, "[a]n interpretive
rule changing an agency's interpretation of a statute is not magically
transformed into a legislative rule."
White, 7 F.3d at 304; accord Syncor Int'l Corp. v.
Shalala, 127 F.3d 90, 94 (B.C. Cir. 1997) (holding that an agency
may "change prior statutory interpretation . . . without notice and
comment" without "exercising authority to itself make positive law" or
making "a change in the legal norm"); Orenqo Caraballo v.
Reich, 11 F.3d 186, 195 (D.C. Cir. 1993) ("A statement seeking to
interpret a statutory or regulatory term is . . . the quintessential
example of an interpretive rule.").
Applying White's categorical maxims, it is clear that the
December 2002 BOP policy concerning back end placement is interpretive,
not substantive, because it merely clarifies § 3624(c). Therefore,
the 30-day notice and comment period under the APA was not required.
See Adler, 293 F. Supp.2d at 367("The opinion of the Beputy
Attorney General is no more than an interpretation to the effect that it
simply states the obvious, that this particular emperor had no clothes,
and the remedy, if any, lies with the Congress.") (internal citations
omitted); Benton, 273 F. Supp.2d at 1146 ("In this case, the
[OLC] policy statement is interpretative rather than substantive. The
interpretation does not create any new law or extra-statutory
obligation."); see also Koray, 515 U.S. at 61 (noting that the
BOP's policy that pre-imprisonment time in a CCC was not "official
detention . . . is akin to an `interpretive rule' that `do[es] not
require notice and comment'") (quoting Shalala v.
Guernsey Mem'l Hosp., 514 U.S. 87, 99 (1995));
Chrysler Corp. v. Brown, 441 U.S. 281, 302 n. 31 (1979) (noting
that the Attorney General's Manual on the APA defines an interpretative
rule as a rule issued by an agency "to advise the public of the agency's
construction of the statutes and rules which it administers.").
Accordingly, as there has been no violation of the APA, Cohn's
application for injunctive relief on that ground is also denied.
V. The Ex Post Facto Clause
Finally, Cohn argues that the BOP's interpretation of § 3624(c)
violates the ex post facto clause of the Constitution and
otherwise has an impermissibly retroactive effect. Laws, policies, and
other actions violate the ex post facto clause if they punish
behavior not illegal at the time it was committed, or increase punishment
beyond that which was authorized at the time of the offense. Garner
v. Jones, 529 U.S. 244, 249-50 (2000). The BOP's December 2002
interpretation of § 3624(c) does neither, as it merely corrects the
BOP's erroneous prior interpretation of pre-existing law. As the Second
Circuit held in Adler, such a correction does not violate the
ex post facto clause because "there was no change in the plain
meaning of the statute." 293 F. Supp.2d at 368; accord Caballery v.
United States Parole Comm'n, 673 F.2d 43, 47 (2d Cir. 1982) (no
ex post facto violation where agency corrected mistaken
interpretation of the
law regarding tolling of youth offenders' sentences, holding that
"an agency misinterpretation of a statute cannot support an ex post
facto claim"); see also Warren v. Bakersville,
233 F.3d 204, 208 (4th Cir. 2000) (in implementing parole and sentencing
procedures, agency must be able "to make policy adjustments without
raising the specter of constitutional litigation"); Stephens v.
Thomas, 19 F.3d 498, 500 (10th Cir. 1994) (finding no ex post
facto violation where agency stopped applying good time credit
statute to prisoners with life sentences); Glenn v. Johnson,
761 F.2d 192, 194-95 (4th Cir. 1985) (finding no ex post facto
violation where agency adopted Attorney General's opinion correcting
misapplication of statute limiting parole); Benton,
273 F. Supp.2d at 1146 ("Since Benton's sentence is not increased, there is no
violation of the ex post facto clause."); United States v.
Pena, No. 00-CR-170S-1, 2003 WL 21197024, at *3 (W.D.N.Y. May 16,
2003) (finding no ex post facto violation where the "BOP has
changed its placement policy to conform to its corrected interpretation
of the law").
For the foregoing reasons, petitioner-plaintiff Michael Cohn's motion
for a preliminary injunction and petition for a writ of habeas
corpus are denied. However, this Court recognizes that the OLC
Memorandum and the resultant BOP policy presents an issue that sharply
divides district courts across the country and within this district.
See, e.g., Adler, 293 F. Supp.2d at 366-67 (denying petitioner
relief and holding BOP policy lawful); Benton, 273 F. Supp.2d
at 1143 (same); Kennedy v. Winn, No. 03-CV-10568
(MEL), slip op. at 4 (D. Mass. July 9, 2003) (Eshkanazi Decl. Ex. I);
Pena, 2003 WL 21197024, at *3 (same); United States v. Kramer,
2003 WL 1964489 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 28, 2003) (same); United States v.
James, 244 F. Supp.2d 817 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 27, 2003) (same);
United States v. Gilbride, 2003 WL 297563 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 31,
2003) (same); but see, e.g., Zucker, 2004 WL 102779 (granting
petitioner relief and holding BOP policy unlawful); Cato, 2003 WL
22725524 (same); Greenfield v. Menifee, No. 03 Civ. 8205 (KMW)
(S.D.N.Y. Oct. 31, 2003) (bench decision) (Eshkanazi Decl. Ex. E) (same);
Monahan v. Winn, 276 F. Supp.2d 196 (D. Mass. 2003) (same);
Tipton v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 262 F. Supp.2d 633 (D. Md.
2003) (same); lacaboni v. United States, 251 F. Supp.2d 1015
(D. Mass. 2003) (same); Culter v. United States, 241 F. Supp.2d 19
(D.D.C. 2003) (same). Therefore, because of the unsettled nature of
the law, and because "liberty is at
stake," Adler, 293 F. Supp.2d at 363, this Court hereby
issues a Certificate of Appealability extending to all issues of law
raised in this motion and petition. The Clerk of Court is directed to
mark this case closed.