United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Crow, U.S. District Senior Judge
September of 2005, the court sentenced Ms. Wetzel-Sanders on
her conviction for one count of bank robbery to a term of
imprisonment of 151 months followed by a three-year term of
supervised release. ECF# 32. This sentence was the bottom of
sentencing guideline range calculated under the applicable
career offender guidelines. ECF# 30. The most recent pro
se filing by Ms. Wetzel-Sanders is titled, “Motion
for Show Cause 28 U.S.C. § 2241.” ECF# 77. She
asks the court to order the Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”) to grant her prerelease custody pursuant
to 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c) and to place her at the Hope
Center in Topeka, Kansas. She indicates that she has served
most of her sentence and wants the BOP to show cause why she
should not be released immediately. Her mailing
envelope's return address and the enclosures indicate Ms.
Wetzel-Sanders is currently incarcerated at FCI-Tallahassee
movant also details her medical condition (severe breathing
problems, cystic mass and splenic vein aneurysm) and attaches
supporting medical reports that indicate they were produced
from three different federal correction facilities. She
complains that FCI-Tallahassee is unable to meet her medical
care needs and that it has refused her a medical transfer.
She also asserts her medical conditions qualify her for
compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) and
related BOP regulations. Finally, the movant recommends
without explanation that the court extend her period of
supervised release from 3 to 10 years. As this juncture, the
court summarily denies the movant's recommendation for
longer supervised release as premature and without any
factual or legal support.
the movant's argued grounds for relief come within this
court's limited authority. The court looks first at her
request for compassionate release. By statute, 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c), “the court may not modify a term of
imprisonment once it has been imposed except” in three
limited circumstances. The motion refers to the circumstance
of compassionate release. By statute, “the court, upon
motion of the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, may reduce
the term of imprisonment (and may impose a term of probation
or supervised release with or without conditions that does
not exceed the unserved portion of the original term of
imprisonment), after considering the factors set forth in
section 3553(a)” and if the court finds that “(i)
extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant such a
reduction; or (ii) the defendant is at least 70 years of age,
has served at least 30 years in prison ..., and a
determination has been made by the Director of the [BOP] that
the defendant is not a danger to the safety of any other
person or the community as provided under section
3142(g).” 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). Under
BOP's regulations, the inmate's request for a motion
for sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)
is first submitted to the Warden of the institution where the
inmate is confined. 28 C.F.R. § 571.61(a). The request
must set forth the “extraordinary or compelling
circumstances” and proposed release plans. Id.
If the Warden determines that the request warrants approval,
the Warden refers the matter in writing with a recommendation
to the Office of General Counsel, who then must determine
whether the request warrants approval. 28 C.F.R. §
571.62(a)(1). If the General Counsel determines that the
request warrants approval, the General Counsel forwards the
request to the Director of BOP for final decision. 28 C.F.R.
§ 571.62(a)(2). “If the Director, Bureau of
Prisons grants a request under 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(1)(A), the Director will contact the U.S. Attorney in
the district in which the inmate was sentenced regarding
moving the sentencing court on behalf of the Director of the
Bureau of Prisons to reduce the inmate's term of
imprisonment to time served.” 28 C.F.R. §
571.62(a)(3). Because this court has no pending motion for a
sentence reduction filed on behalf of the Director of the
BOP, the court is without authority to consider this request
for compassionate release under § 3582(c)(1)(A).
Wetzel Sanders' motion primarily challenges the BOP's
handling of her prerelease custody. This would be the proper
subject of a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 as an
attack on the execution, not the validity, of her sentence.
See Brace v. United States, 634 F.3d 1167, 1169
(10th Cir. 2011). This court currently is without
jurisdiction to consider such a petition, “as
jurisdiction lies in only one district: the district of
confinement.” Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S.
426, 443, 447 (2004) (“Whenever a § 2241 habeas
petitioner seeks to challenge his present physical custody
within the United States, he should name his warden as
respondent and file the petition in the district of
confinement.” (citation omitted)); see Hale v.
Fox, 829 F.3d 1162, 1165 (10th Cir. 2016), cert.
denied, 137 S.Ct. 641 (2017). Because Ms. Wetzel-Sanders
is presently incarcerated at FCI in Tallahassee, Florida, she
must bring her action in the Northern District of Florida.
movant refers to the court's authority to transfer an
action to another federal court, and the court can do so to
cure “a want of jurisdiction” when “it is
in the interest of justice.” 28 U.S.C. § 1631. The
court is not persuaded that the interests of justice favor a
transfer. “The exhaustion of available administrative
remedies is a prerequisite for § 2241 habeas relief . .
. .” Garza v. Davis, 596 F.3d 1198, 1203 (10th
Cir. 2010). The plaintiff alleges no circumstances indicating
her pursuit of the applicable administrative remedies or the
futility of her doing so. Nor has the plaintiff alleged facts
showing the denial of a constitutional right. See
Greenholtz v. Inmates of Neb. Penal & Corr.
Complex, 442 U.S. 1, 7 (1979)(“There is no
constitutional or inherent right of a convicted person to be
conditionally released before the expiration of a valid
sentence.”); Fristoe v. Thompson, 144 F.3d
627, 630 (10th Cir. 1998) (“The Constitution does not
itself afford appellant a liberty interest in a reduced
sentence.”). “A necessary predicate for the
granting of federal habeas relief to respondents is a
determination by the federal court that their custody
violates the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United
States, 28 U.S.C. § 2241; . . . . “ Rose v.
Hodges, 423 U.S. 19, 21 (1975). The court, therefore,
finds that dismissal rather than a transfer serves the
interests of justice here. United States v.
Martinez-Duarte, 2008 WL 4704921, at *2 (D. Kan. Oct.
to the extent that Ms. Wetzel-Sanders is seeking a transfer
to a different BOP facility and is challenging the conditions
of her federal confinement, she must bring this claim as a
separate Bivens action. Palma-Salazar v.
Davis, 677 F.3d 1031, 1035 (10th Cir. 2012)
(“'[A] request by a federal prisoner for a change
in the place of confinement is properly construed as a
challenge to the conditions of confinement and, thus, must be
brought pursuant to [Bivens].'” (quoting
United States v. Garcia, 470 F.3d 1001, 1003 (10th
Cir. 2006)). The court is without authority to address her
request for relief.
THEREFORE ORDERED that the Ms. Wetzel-Sanders'
“Motion for Show Cause 28 U.S.C. § 2241”
ECF# 77 is denied on its request for a longer term of
supervised release, is dismissed on its request for
compassionate release for lack of jurisdiction, is dismissed
on its § 2241 prerelease custody claim for lack ...