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Dhafir v. Grondolsky

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

February 7, 2017

RAFIL DHAFIR Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN JEFFREY GRONDOLSKY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, AND LORETTA LYNCH, Respondents,

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ALLISON D. BURROUGHS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         On December 12, 2016, petitioner Rafil Dhafir, a prisoner incarcerated at FMC Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts, filed a petition for mandamus or alternatively a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 with an incorporated memorandum in support. Dhafir claims that respondent has improperly determined that he is ineligible for compassionate release under 18 U.S.C § 3582(c). For the reasons stated below, the petition for habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is hereby DENIED and this action is hereby DISMISSED.

         II. Background

         The Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) maintains eligibility qualification criteria for Reduction in Sentence (“RIS”) requests by inmates for implementation of 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). See Bureau of Prisons Program Statement 5050.49, Compassionate Release/Reduction in Sentence: Procedures for Implementation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 3582(c)(1)(A) and 4205(g) (March 25, 2015). Pursuant to PS 5050.49(4)(c), one criteria for RIS eligibility relates to elderly inmates as follows:

c. Other Elderly Inmates. Inmates age 65 or older who have served the greater of 10 years or 75% of the term of imprisonment to which the inmate was sentenced.

PS 5050.49(4)(c). On April 30, 2016, Dhafir filed an internal grievance at FMC-Devens, requesting that BOP file an RIS motion because he believed that he qualified because of his age and having served more than ten years of his 22-year sentence. [ECF No. 1-1 at 1-2]. Dhafir argued that the 75% requirement was applicable to inmates who have less than a ten year sentence. Id.

         On May 16, 2016, FMC Devens' Unit Manager denied Dhafir's grievance responding:

You state that you meet the criteria for a RIS because you have served over 13 years of your prison sentence, which is greater than the stated 10 years which are required. However, this does not completely satisfy the requirement because it states that you must be over the age of 65 and having served the greater of 10 years or 75% of your sentence. You have not yet served 75% of your sentence so you do not qualify at this time for RIS.”

[ECF No. 1-1 at 2 (emphasis in original)].

         On May 18, 2016, Dhafir filed a Request for Administrative remedy appealing the Unit Manager's decision to FMC Devens' Warden Jeffrey Grondolsky. [ECF No. 1-1 at 3]. Dhafir argued, again, that the 75% requirement was applicable to inmates who were serving a sentence of less than ten years. Id. On June 16, 2016, Warden Grondolsky denied the appeal, concurring with the Unit Manager's assessment of Dhafir's ineligibility. Id. Specifically, the Warden stated that Dhafir had failed to make a proper request, but that he did not meet the criteria for a reduction in sentence because he had not served the greater of 10 years or 75% of his sentence. Id.

         On October 11, 2016, Dhafir's further appeal of the denial of his RIS request was denied. Consistent with the Warden and Unit Manager, BOP's National Inmate Appeals Administrator wrote:

Title 18 of the United States Code, §3582(c)(1)(A), allows a sentencing court, on motion of the Director of BOP, to reduce a term of imprisonment for extraordinary and compelling reasons. Pursuant to Program Statement No. 5050.49., Compassionate Release/Reduction in Sentence: Procedures for Implementation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 3582(c)(1)(A)…consideration for a RIS may be given to an inmate who is age 65 or older and who has served the greater of 10 years or 75 percent of the term of imprisonment to which he was sentenced….[Y]ou were sentenced to a 264 month (22 years) sentence by the U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York. Your projected Good Conduct Time release date is April 26, 2022. You are 68 years old and have served over 13 years and ...

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