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Watson v. Hazelton

United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Elkins

May 11, 2017




         On this day, the above-styled matter came before the Court for consideration of the Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) of United States Magistrate Judge James E. Seibert. Pursuant to this Court's Local Rules, this action was referred to Magistrate Judge Seibert for submission of a proposed R&R. Magistrate Judge Seibert filed his R&R on April 5, 2017 [Doc. 28]. In that filing, the magistrate judge recommended that this Court grant respondent's Motion to Dismiss, or In the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. 14], deny petitioner's 28 U.S.C. § 2241 motion [Doc. 1], and dismiss this action from the docket.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c), this Court is required to make a de novo review of those portions of the magistrate judge's findings to which objection is timely made. However, the Court is not required to review, under a de novo or any other standard, the factual or legal conclusions of the magistrate judge as to those portions of the findings or recommendation to which no objections are addressed. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985). In addition, failure to file timely objections constitutes a waiver of de novo review and the right to appeal this Court's Order. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Snyder v. Ridenour, 889 F.2d 1363, 1366 (4th Cir. 1989); United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d 91, 94 (4th Cir. 1984).

         Here, objections to Magistrate Judge Seibert's R&R were due within fourteen (14) days of receipt, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The petitioner timely filed his objections [Doc. 30] on April 17, 2017. Accordingly, this Court will conduct a de novo review of the portions of the magistrate judge's R&R to which the petitioner objects. The remainder of the R&R will be reviewed for clear error.

         I. Background

         A. Procedural History:

         On September 19, 2016, petitioner Curtis Lee Watson (“Watson”), an inmate at FCI Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, filed an Application for Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (“2241"), seeking an Order directing the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) to “ISSUE [his] IMMEDIATE RELEASE!” [Doc. 1 at 8]. On November 23, 2016, the respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. 14]. On December 12, 2016, Watson filed a Response in Opposition [Doc. 21] to the Respondent's dispositive motion. The instant R&R [Doc. 28] and Watson's Objections [Doc. 30] followed.

         B. Factual Background:

         As Magistrate Judge Seibert did well to outline lengthy factual background of Watson's cases in his R&R, the same does not bear repeating at length herein. Of note, on August 10, 1978, in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, Watson was sentenced an aggregate term of 30 years to life for assault with intent to kill; carrying a pistol without a license; first degree murder while armed; first degree burglary while armed (two counts); and assault while armed [Doc. 15-1 at 2-5]. However, Watson escaped D.C. D.O.C. custody while incarcerated at Lorton Penitentiary on August 30, 1988. He remained on escape status until October 30, 1995, and accrued a total 2, 618 days total inoperative time [Doc. 15-6 and 15-8]. Petitioner received a federal one-year consecutive sentence for this escape [Doc. 15-6 and 15-3].[1] The BOP failed to compute Watson's escape time as inoperative time in a 2004 computation, which, in turn, showed his parole eligibility date as being on February 25, 2005, although this error was corrected in a 2007 re-computation which showed his parole eligibility as May 27, 2012. The 2004 mis-computation seems to form the basis of Watson's complaints herein.

         II. Legal Standard

         A. Motion to Dismiss:

         A complaint must be dismissed if it does not allege “‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.' Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007) (emphasis added).” Giarratano v. Johnson, 521 F.3d 298, 302 (4th Cir. 2008). When reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court must assume all of the allegations to be true, must resolve all doubts and inferences in favor of the plaintiffs, and must view the allegations in a light most favorable to the plaintiffs. Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243-44 (4th Cir. 1999).

         When rendering its decision, the Court should consider only the allegations contained in the Complaint, the exhibits to the Complaint, matters of public record, and other similar materials that are subject to judicial notice. See Anheuser-Busch, Inc. v. Schmoke, 63 F.3d 1305, 1312 (4th Cir. 1995). In Twombly, the Supreme Court, noting that “a plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitlement to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do, ” Id. at 1964-65, upheld the dismissal of a complaint where the plaintiffs did not “nudge[ ] their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible.” Id. at 1974.

         B. ...

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