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Goldberg v. Ortiz

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

February 2, 2018

MARK GOLDBERG, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN ORTIZ, Respondent.

          Mark Goldberg, No. 67605-054 Federal Correctional Institution - Fort Dix Petitioner Pro se

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         This matter comes before the Court upon Petitioner's Motions for Reconsideration of this Court's Opinion and Order dismissing his Petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. See ECF Nos. 7, 8.[1] For the reasons explained below, the Court will deny reconsideration.

         BACKGROUND

         Petitioner initially filed the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to challenge the Bureau of Prisons' refusal to file a motion on his behalf for a compassionate release/sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A).[2] See ECF No. 1. The Court summarily dismissed the Petition by Opinion and Order entered May 24, 2017, because the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear challenges regarding the BOP's decisions pursuant to § 3582(c)(1)(A). See ECF Nos. 5 (Opinion), 6 (Order). In so concluding, the Court relied on a recent decision of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Fields v. Warden Allenwood USP, 684 F. App'x 121 (2017), and also cited case law from the Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits. ECF No. 5 at 4-5.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A court may grant a motion for reconsideration if the moving party shows one of the following: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court issued its order; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice. Johnson v. Diamond State Port Corp., 50 F. App'x 554, 560 (3d Cir. 2002) (quoting Max's Seafood Café v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). Local Rule 7.1 provides that motions to reconsider shall be filed within fourteen (14) days from the date of the entry of the order or judgment to be reconsidered unless otherwise provided by statute.[3] See D.N.J. Loc. R. 7.

         1. DISCUSSION

         In his Motion for Reconsideration, Petitioner first argues that the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, § 1B1.13, permit the Court to consider whether compassionate release should be granted. ECF No. 7 at 1-2. Petitioner's second argument is that the holding in Woodall v. Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d 235 (3d Cir. 2005), would support jurisdiction over his § 2241 claim. Id. at 2. Neither argument represents an intervening change in the law nor the availability of new evidence.

         At best, Petitioner seeks reconsideration based on a clear error of law. As to his first argument, although the Court has the authority to consider and grant compassionate release, it lacks the authority to move for or sua sponte consider such a request, which, as the Court detailed in its Opinion, lies solely with the Bureau of Prisons pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). As to Petitioner's second argument, the holding in Woodall applies only to a statutorily mandated provision regarding community confinement pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b), enacted to prepare a prisoner for re-entry into the community. As such, there is no clear error of law to correct as to either argument, and the Motion must be denied.

         CONCLUSION

         For the reasons set forth above, the Motion for Reconsideration will be denied. An appropriate Order follows.

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