United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge
the Court is Defendant's Emergency 3582(c)(1)(A)(i)
Motion for Compassionate Relief (Dkt. 48), in which he
requests that the Court release him so that he can care for
his ailing mother. Also before the Court is the
Government's Motion to Dismiss Petitioner's Request
for Compassionate Release (Dkt. 52) due to his failure to
exhaust his administrative remedies. The motions are fully
briefed and at issue. For the reasons that follow, the Court
will grant the Government's motion to dismiss for failure
to fully exhaust his administrative remedies and will,
accordingly, deny Defendant's motion without prejudice to
it being refiled following the conclusion of any available
appeals in the Bureau of Prisons.
Aragon Bellamy Miller, was indicted on and pled guilty to one
count of possession of sexually explicit images of minors, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B). Dkt. 13. Miller
was sentenced to 57 months in prison. Dkt. 30. Miller alleges
that on July 26, 2019, he submitted a written request for
compassionate release to the Warden of FCI-Engelwood. Dkt. 48
at 2; Dkt. 49-1 at 4-5. Miller requests compassionate release
because his mother has Stage 4 cancer and he is her only
available caregiver. Dkt. 48 at 1, 9-11.
Government filed its motion to dismiss arguing that Miller
has not exhausted his administrative remedies. Miller's
request was not received by the Warden until August 28, 2019.
Dkt. 52-1. Miller's request was denied by the Warden on
September 13, 2019. Dkt. 52-1 at 2-3. An appeal of that
denial is available to Miller, and he has not taken advantage
of that process.
brings his motion under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c), which
allows the Court to modify a term of imprisonment for
extraordinary and compelling reasons either upon a motion of
the Director of the Bureau of Prisons or on motion of the
defendant. The statute provides, in relevant part,
that the Court
upon motion of the defendant after the defendant has fully
exhausted all administrative rights to appeal a failure of
the Bureau of Prisons to bring a motion on the
defendant's behalf or the lapse of 30 days from the
receipt of such a request by the warden of the
defendant's facility, whichever is earlier, may reduce
the term of imprisonment
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A).
evidence in the record shows that Miller's request was
received by the warden on August 28, 2019 and was denied on
September 13, 2019. The Warden's denial notified Miller
that if he was unsatisfied with the denial he may file an
appeal within 20 days. Dkt. 52-1 at 3. There is no evidence
in the record that Miller has filed an appeal or otherwise
attempted to exhaust his administrative remedies.
See 28 C.F.R. § 571.63.
Government argues that Miller's motion should be
dismissed because the Warden denied his request on September
13, 2019 and Miller has failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies. Dkt. 52 at 1-2. Miller argues that the Government
misreads the statute, and that the Court should be able to
consider his motion 30 days after the Warden received his
request, even if the Warden denied that request. Dkt. 53.
relies on United States v. Morgan, 2019 WL 1427538
(D. Nev. Mar. 29, 2019), United States v. Heromin,
2019 WL 2411311 (M.D. Fla. June 7, 2019), and United
States v. York, 2019 WL 3241166 (E.D. Tenn. July 18,
2019) to support his argument. In Morgan, the
defendant appears to have exhausted his administrative
remedies prior to bringing his motion for compassionate
release and the court did not address exhaustion. 2019 WL
1427538, at *1. In Heromin, the court noted that the
defendant had likely not exhausted his administrative
remedies but chose to deny his motion for compassionate
release on the merits. 2019 WL 2411311, at *1.
York, did the Court actually determine that, despite
the warden's denial and the defendant's failure to
exhaust administrative remedies, it could still decide the
merits after 30 days had lapsed since the defendant submitted
his request to the warden. 2019 WL 3241166, at *5. However,
the court in York mischaracterized the language of
the statute by citing the language of Heromin.
Id. (“Other district courts have recognized
that the language of § 3582(c)(1)(A) … requires
the defendant to file an administrative request with the BOP
‘and then either ...