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Eaton v. Recktenwald

United States District Court, S.D. New York

May 27, 2014

CLIFFORD S. EATON, Petitioner,
v.
MONICA RECKTENWALD, Respondent.

OPINION & ORDER

KATHERINE B. FORREST, District Judge.

On June 25, 2013, pro se petitioner Clifford S. Eaton brought this petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241[1] against Monica Recktenwald, the current Warden of the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York ("FCI Otisville")[2] within the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"), to enjoin the BOP from collecting further restitution payments owed by Eaton because the judgment of requiring such payments does not contain a payment schedule. (See Petition at 4, ECF No. 1.)

Respondent, represented by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, opposed the petition on November 15, 2013 by filing a memorandum of law ("Opp.") as well supporting declarations from Brandon Cowart ("Cowart Decl."), Dawn Ferdula ("Ferdula Deel."), and Lisa Warwick ("Warwick Deel."). (ECF Nos. 10-13.) Eaton submitted a reply in further support of his petition on December 13, 2013 (ECF No. 18), and his petition was fully briefed at that time.

For the reasons set forth below, Eaton's petition is DENIED.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The relevant history of Eaton's criminal convictions, sentences, and subsequent motion practice is complicated and spans more than fifteen years.

A. 1999 Restitution Order

On September 10, 1998, in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Eaton pleaded guilty to violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 2314 & 2, which prohibits the interstate transportation of stolen securities with a value in excess of $5, 000.00. (See Cowhart Deel. Ex. 2 at ECF No. 5.) On December 7, 1999, United States District Judge Rudolph T. Randa sentenced Eaton to four and one-half months' imprisonment, three years' supervised release, $23, 700.00 in restitution, and a $100.00 special assessment. (Id. Ex. 3.) Eaton's restitution obligation was to be paid jointly and severally by Eaton and two other co-defendants, and was due "in full immediately" with any remaining balance when Eaton started his term of supervised release to be paid "at a rate of no less than $50.00 per month" (the "1999 Restitution Order"). (Id.) Judge Randa ordered restitution pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act ("MVRA"), because Eaton pleaded guilty to an offense against property under Title 18. 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(c)(1)(A)(ii).

Eaton did not appeal any aspect of his sentence, including the 1999 Restitution Order (see Coward Deel. Ex. 2), and his right to appeal has long since expired. See Fed. R. App. P. 4(b) (providing that a defendant has 14 days from the date of entry of judgment within which to file a notice of appeal).

On July 8, 2002, responsibility for monitoring Eaton's supervised release was transferred to the District of North Dakota. (Cow hart Deel. Ex. 4 at ECF No. 1.) Shortly thereafter, on November 27, 2002, United States District Judge Rodney S. Webb in the District of North Dakota revoked Eaton's supervised release and sentenced Eaton to an additional term of imprisonment of one year and one day for violating his supervised release. (Id. Ex. 4 at ECF Nos. 9, 10.)

B. 2010 Conviction

On September 1, 2010, also in the District of North Dakota, Eaton pleaded guilty to another crime-conspiracy to possess with intent to distribution and to distribute a controlled substance in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. See United States v. Eaton, No. 09 Cr. 103, ECF No. 53 (D.N.D. Sept. 1, 2010). Eaton was sentenced to 223 months' imprisonment, 120 months' supervised release, and a special assessment of $100 (the "2010 Sentence"). See United States v. Eaton, No. 09 Cr. 103, ECF No. 75 (D.N.D. Dec. 14, 2010). No restitution was ordered. Id.

C. The IFRP

The BOP's inmate financial responsibility program ("IFRP, " or the "Program") is a program maintained to encourage inmates to meet the financial obligations of their sentence. 28 C.F.R. § 545.10. Under the Program, BOP officers assist inmates to develop a financial plan to pay enumerated obligations, such as fines or restitution, while incarcerated. Id . § 545.11(a). The BOP determines the appropriate payment amount based on the inmate's financial profile, including "the inmate's specific obligations, institution resources, and community resources." Id . § 545.11(b)(1). The BOP uses a formula to calculate the appropriate amount of such IFRP payments. (See Ferdula Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. A at 7-8.) An inmate's participation and/or progress in the IFRP is subject to ...


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