United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
OPINION AND ORDER
O'CONNOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under
U.S.C. § 2241 filed by Petitioner William Earl Johnson,
Jr., a federal prisoner presently assigned to a community
confinement center in Fort Worth, Texas. After considering
the petition and relief sought by Petitioner and the
applicable law, the Court concludes that the § 2241
petition must be dismissed.
BACKGROUND/CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Johnson informs that he was convicted in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in case
number 6:07-CR-095-02. Pet. 1-2, ECF No.1. A review of the
records of the Eastern District shows that Johnson was
convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in
violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and use and carrying
a firearm during a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 924(c) and was sentenced to an aggregate term
of 197 months' imprisonment. J., United States v.
Johnson, No. 6:07-CR-095-002 (E.D. Tex. May 11, 2009),
ECF No. 1035. His sentence was reduced to 152 months by
order granting a motion to reduce sentence under 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c)(2). Order, United States v. Johnson,
No. 6:07-CR-095-002 (E.D. Tex. October 14, 2015), ECF No.
1430. At this time, the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”)
shows Johnson's projected release date as July 17, 2019.
See www.bop.gov/inmate locator (last
visited April 10, 2019).
petition, Johnson alleges that his good time credits are
being awarded in an incorrect manner. Pet. 7, ECF No. 1.
Johnson writes: “I was deprived of about 88 days good
time credit. The First Step Act ordered the BOP to correct my
sentence on December 21st 2018. They have fail [sic] to do so
as of today.” Id. Johnson seeks an order from
this Court to the BOP to correct his sentence immediately and
award him the good conduct time credit he calculates he
should receive. Id. at 8. Johnson argues that his
projected release date should be in April 2019 rather than
July 2019 if he receives the calculation of good time credit
under the First Step Act of 2018. Id. at 11.
102(b)(1) of the First Step Act of 2018, Public Law No.
115-391, amended 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b) to permit federal
inmates to earn 54 days of good conduct time for each year of
the prisoner's sentence imposed by the court, rather than
for each year of the sentence served, effectively abrogating
Barber v. Thomas, 560 U.S. 474, 476 (2010)
(upholding the BOP's method of awarding good time credit
at the end of each year the prisoner served). See
Public Law 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194, § 102(b)(1). But the
good time calculation provisions of the FSA 2018 amending
§ 3624(b) did not become effective when the law was
signed on December 21, 2018. See Banegas v. Wilson,
No. 4:19-CV-178-A (N.D. Tex. Mar. 26, 2019); Roy v.
Bureau of Prisons, No. 2:19-CV-59-RMP, 2019 WL 1441622,
at *1 (E.D. Wash. April 1, 2019). Rather, the
good-time-credit change will not take effect until the
attorney general completes the “risk and needs
assessment system” required to be completed within 210
days after the December 21, 2018 enactment, as provided by
§§ 101(a) and 102(b)(2) of the FSA 2018. See
Schmutzler v. Quintana, No.5:19-046-DCR, 2019 WL 727794,
at *2 (E.D. Ky. Feb. 20, 2019). Therefore, § 102(b)(1)
will not take effect until approximately mid-July 2019.
Id.; Banegas, No. 4:19-CV-178-A (doc. 7.)
courts are limited under Article III of the Constitution to
deciding “cases” and “controversies.”
U.S. Const. art. III, § 2. “In order to give
meaning to Article III's case-or-controversy requirement,
the courts have developed justiciability doctrines, such as
the standing and ripeness doctrines.” Sample v.
Morrison, 406 F.3d 310, 312 (5th Cir. 2005) (citing
United Transp. Union v. Foster, 205 F.3d 851, 857
(5th Cir. 2000) and Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife,
504 U.S. 555, 650 (1992)). The ripeness doctrine is designed
“to prevent the courts, through avoidance of premature
adjudication, from entangling themselves in abstract
disagreements over administrative policies, and also to
protect the agencies from judicial interference until an
administrative decision has been formalized and its effects
felt in a concrete way by the challenging parties.”
Id. (quoting Nat'l Park Hosp. Ass'n v.
Dep't of Interior, 538 U.S. 803, 807-08
(2003)(internal citations omitted).
the BOP does not presently have the authority to recalculate
Johnson's good time credit until the relevant provisions
of the FSA 2018 take effect in approximately mid-July 2019,
the question of whether the BOP has erred in the calculation
of Johnson's sentence is premature. Accord
Banegas, No. 4:19-CV-178-A (dismissing § 2241
petition seeking recalculation of good time credits as
premature); Gossman v. Underwood, No.3:19-CV-351-G
(BK) (N.D. Tex. April 1, 2019) (adopting findings,
conclusions, and recommendation to dismiss § 2241
petition seeking recalculation of good time without prejudice
as premature); Roy, 2019 WL 1441622 at *2
(discussing “ripeness” doctrine and finding that
§ 2241 petition challenging good time under the FSA was
premature). Accordingly, Johnson's petition under §
2241 must be dismissed without prejudice.
reasons discussed herein, Petitioner William Earl Johnson,
Jr.'s petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is
DISMISSED without prejudice.