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 Julius Calvin
Christopher, then a federal prisoner housed at FMC-Fort
Worth, 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
BACKGROUND/CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Christopher informs that he was convicted in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Texas in
case number 2:16-cr-366-01. Pet. 3, ECF No.1. A review of the
records of the Southern District shows that Christopher was
convicted of transportation of an undocumented alien in
violation of 8 U.S.C. §§ 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) and
1324(a)(1)(B)(ii) and was sentenced to a term of 41
months' imprisonment. J., United States v.
Christopher, No. 2:16-cr-366-01 (S.D. Tex. Oct. 21,
2016), ECF No. 35. Christopher recently filed a letter/motion
asking the convicting court to recalculate his sentence
pursuant to the First Step Act of 2018, that was denied
without prejudice in an order entered on March 29, 2019.
Order, United States v. Christopher, No.
2:16-cr-366-01 (S.D. Tex. March 29, 2019), ECF No. 66. At
this time, the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) shows
Christopher's projected release date as unknown. See
www.bop.gov/inmate locator (last visited April 18,
petition, Christopher alleges that he is eligible for a
recalculation of the award of good time credits as a result
of the First Step Act of 2018. Pet. 3, ECF No. 1. Christopher
seeks an “order directing the [BOP] to immediately
recalculate my Good Conduct Time (GCT) credits pursuant to
the First Step Act.” Pet. 7, ECF No. 1.
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
Christopher'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 Christopher'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, Christopher's petition under
§ 2241 must be dismissed without prejudice.
reasons discussed herein, Petitioner Julius Calvin
Christopher's petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. §
2241 is DISMISSED without prejudice.
pending motions are DISMISSED.