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Brown v. United States Parole Commission

United States District Court, W.D. New York

October 30, 2014



FRANK P. GERACI, Jr., District Judge.


Before the Court for determination is a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus filed by pro se Petitioner Christopher Brown ("Petitioner"), who, at the time of this filing, was being held in custody at the Niagara County Jail, 5526 Niagara Street Extension, Lockport, New York.[1] Respondent has opposed the Petition. For the reasons set forth herein below, the Petition is denied.


The Petition is sparse, but the factual circumstances leading up to the commencement of this action are sufficiently detailed in exhibits[2] attached to Respondent's Answer & Return (Exs. 1-11, ECF No. 5), and in Respondent's Statement of Facts (Resp't Mem. 1-4, ECF No. 6). These factual circumstances are summarized as follows. Petitioner was sentenced by the District of Columbia Superior Court on January 4, 2005 to eight years of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for carjacking, and began service of the supervised release term on February 11, 2011. Ex. 1, ECF No. 5-2. On July 12, 2012, the U.S. Parole Commission[3] ("Commission") issued a warrant charging Petitioner with violating the conditions of supervision. Ex. 2, ECF No. 5-2. Following revocation proceedings, the Commission revoked Petitioner's term of supervised release, and ordered him to serve a new term of imprisonment of 14 months, to be followed by 22 months of supervised release. Ex. 3, ECF No. 5-2. Petitioner was released to the 22-month supervised release term on August 2, 2013, to remain under supervision until September 28, 2013. Ex. 4, ECF No. 5-2. The Certificate of Supervised Release signed by Petitioner stated that he was subject to 22 months of supervision from his release from imprisonment and that he was to remain within the limits of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, the boundaries of which were specified on the face of the Certificate of Supervised Release. Id.

On August 11, 2013, Petitioner was detained at the Peace Bridge by Canadian border officers, after an apparent attempt to enter Canada. Ex. 5, ECF No. 5-2. On August 12, 2013, the Commission issued a Warrant Application charging Petitioner with violating the conditions of supervision by leaving the district of supervision without permission and failing to report to his supervising officer as directed. Ex. 6, ECF No. 5-2. Acting on the Commission's instructions to assume custody of Petitioner as soon as possible (Ex. 7, ECF No. 5-2), the United States Marshals Service took Petitioner into custody on August 12, 2013 and transported him to the Niagara County Jail in Lockport, New York. Ex. 8, ECF No. 5-2.

On August 13, 2013, the Commission requested the United States Probation Office for the Western District of New York to conduct a Preliminary Interview for Petitioner. Ex. 9, ECF No. 5-2. The summary report of the Preliminary Interview reflects that on August 19, 2013, a United States Probation Officer interviewed Petitioner, and Petitioner refused to acknowledge the charges or to sign the Preliminary Interview Form, indicating that he wished to postpone his Preliminary Interview. Ex. 10, ECF No. 5-2. Petitioner, however, executed two CJA-22 forms requesting that counsel be appointed. Id.

On August 20, 2013, counsel was assigned from the Federal Public Defender's Office. Counsel met with Petitioner and scheduled the Preliminary Interview for September 6, 2013. Id. At the Preliminary Interview conducted on that date, Petitioner denied both charges against him and requested a local revocation hearing. Id. On September 30, 2013, the Commission informed Petitioner that it had found probable cause to believe that he had violated the conditions of supervision as charged and had ordered a local revocation hearing. Ex. 11, ECF No. 5-2.


Initially, Petitioner filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on August 27, 2013, alleging that he was being "unlawfully detained and restrained of his liberty" by Respondent and held on a federal parole violation warrant at the Niagara County Jail located in Lockport, New York. ECF No. 1. Specifically, Petitioner alleged that (1) he was "treated hostile, " "detained unlawfully and kidnapped, " "after properly identifying himself as a Free-Man, Sovereign Moorish American with Diplomat status under Apostill Declaration and Certificate of Sovereign Status and Sovereign Oath of Renunciation, (sui juris)"; (2) "CHRISTOPHER BROWN by the way of Certificate of Live Birth was and still is being trespassed against' without written permission of [his] Authorized Representative Christopher: Brown-Bey which both parties are governed by Uniform Commercial Code 1-104, 10-104"[4]; and (3) this detention was unlawful due to Respondent's failure to hold a timely probable cause hearing pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 2.101(a), following his arrest on August 12, 2013, thereby entitling him to release. Id. ¶¶ 1-6.

Thereafter, by Decision & Order dated September 11, 2013, United State District Judge John T. Curtin, upon review of the Petition, and relying on Heath v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 788 F.2d 85, 89-90 (2d Cir. 1986) and Powell v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, No. 05-CV-782S, 2007 WL 2283990, at *3 (W.D.N.Y. Aug. 6, 2007), reclassified "the action from a habeas petition to a mandamus petition." ECF No. 2. Judge Curtin directed Respondent, no later than October 4, 2013, to file and serve a response to this Order as to why the Court should not grant the petition for a writ of mandamus, and also to file and serve a memorandum of law addressing each of the issues raised in the petition, including citations of relevant supporting authority. Id. Additionally, the Court granted Petitioner the opportunity to file a written response within 60 days of receipt of Respondent's answer and memorandum of law. Id.

On October 2, 2013, this Court issued an Order (ECF No. 4), granting Respondent's Motion for Stay of Proceedings until 30 days after the Department of Justice Employees are Permitted to Resume Civil Litigative Functions ("Motion to Stay") (ECF No. 3). On October 10, 2013, the Court received from Petitioner a letter expressing his opposition to the granting of Respondent's application for a stay and requesting his immediate release from custody and extinguishment of the remainder of the supervised release term and/or immediate release from custody until a date is set for a hearing.[5] On October 25, 2013, Respondent filed its Answer and Return ("Answer & Return") (ECF Nos. 5, 5-1), with attached Exhibits 0-11 (ECF No. 5-2), and an accompanying Memorandum of Law ("Resp't Mem.") (ECF No. 6), therein, opposing the Petition on the ground that the continued detention was in accordance with the law. Respondent also submitted proof of service of those documents on Petitioner. ECF No. 5-3.

On October 10, 2013, the Court received from Petitioner written notification that he was now in custody in a Northern Ohio prison, as well as a notarized five-page document styled in three parts, a "Cover Letter, " "Commercial Hasbeas Corpus, " and "Memorandum." Therein he requested immediate release from custody and the remainder of supervised release due to the Respondent's default in responding in a timely manner to the Order of Judge Curtin and the lack of jurisdiction of the Commission[6] over Petitioner, "Nunc Pro Tune to May 12, 1969, " ostensibly because of his status as a "Moorish American (Sovereign), National and Secured Party/Creditor" who has a "Notarized Security Agreement, Hold-harmless and Indemnity Agreement and Power of Attorney for DEBTOR CHRISTOPHER BROWN, " and holds an "Apostill, Declaration of Certificate of Sovereign Status, Apostill, Formal Sovereign Oath of Renunciation, Apostill, Affidavit of Proclamation of Nationality and Free National Name." ECF No. 10.

Thereafter, on November 4, 2013, the Court received a letter from Petitioner stating that it was written in response to the Respondent's Memorandum of Law, but now alleging the failure of the Commission to provide him a "revocation hearing" since August 12, 2013, the date he signed the unlawful warrant." He also stated the intention of "Christopher: Brown (attorney-infact for CHRISTOPHER BROWN, Ens Legis Trust, RE; Property, certificate of live birth document No XXX-XX-XXXXXX State of North Carolina, " to have a revocation hearing, provided the Commission give ...

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