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United States v. Harris

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
Jul 20, 2020
973 F.3d 170 (3d Cir. 2020)

Summary

holding that a movant may file a motion for compassionate release with the district court "thirty days after the warden receives his request" for home confinement, even if the movant did not further appeal the denial of any such request

Summary of this case from United States v. Jeter

Opinion

No. 20-1723

07-20-2020

UNITED STATES of America v. Walter Vance HARRIS, Appellant

Lisa B. Freeland, Federal Public Defender, Renee Pietropaolo, Assistant Federal Public Defender, 1001 Liberty Avenue, 1500 Liberty Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, Counsel for Appellant Scott W. Brady, United States Attorney, Laura Schleich Irwin, Assistant United States Attorney, 700 Grant Street, Suite 4000, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, Counsel for Appellee


Lisa B. Freeland, Federal Public Defender, Renee Pietropaolo, Assistant Federal Public Defender, 1001 Liberty Avenue, 1500 Liberty Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, Counsel for Appellant

Scott W. Brady, United States Attorney, Laura Schleich Irwin, Assistant United States Attorney, 700 Grant Street, Suite 4000, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, Counsel for Appellee

BEFORE: SHWARTZ, RESTREPO and GREENBERG, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

PER CURIAM

Walter Harris, a federal prisoner, appeals the District Court's order denying his motion for compassionate release for failure to exhaust his administrative remedies. As the Government concedes error, we will vacate the District Court's order and remand the matter for further proceedings.

In February 2019, Harris filed a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in the District Court. The petition was recharacterized as a motion for compassionate release. The Government argued that Harris had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, and the District Court agreed. After filing a motion for reconsideration which the District Court denied, Harris filed a timely notice of appeal. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291.

The Government concedes that its argument regarding exhaustion was in error. It asks that we reverse the District Court's judgment and remand the matter for further proceedings on the merits of Harris's motion. We agree that the District Court erred. A prisoner may file a motion for compassionate release with the sentencing court "after [he or she] 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 ." 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) (emphasis added). The Government argued, and the District Court agreed, that because the Warden denied Harris's request within thirty days, he was required to completely exhaust the administrative remedy process. However, the statute states that the defendant may file the motion thirty days after the warden receives his request. See United States v. Raia, 954 F.3d 594, 595 (3d Cir. 2020) ("But before they [file a compassionate-release motion], defendants must at least ask the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to do so on their behalf and give BOP thirty days to respond.").

Accordingly, based on the Government's concession of error, we will vacate the District Court's order and remand the matter for further proceedings on the merits of Harris's motion.

The Government asks that we instruct the District Court to allow Harris time to obtain his medical records in order to file a supplement addressing the merits of his motion. We trust that the District Court will handle the matter on remand appropriately and expeditiously without specific instructions from us. Given the delay in this case caused by the Government's error, we urge the Government to do what it can to expedite resolution of the matter without further delay.

Harris asks that we grant him release. However, we have held that we cannot decide a compassionate-release motion in the first instance. Raia, 954 F.3d at 596.
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Summaries of

United States v. Harris

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
Jul 20, 2020
973 F.3d 170 (3d Cir. 2020)

holding that a movant may file a motion for compassionate release with the district court "thirty days after the warden receives his request" for home confinement, even if the movant did not further appeal the denial of any such request

Summary of this case from United States v. Jeter

concluding that the lapse of 30 days satisfies the exhaustion requirement even if the Warden previously denied the defendant's request

Summary of this case from United States v. Freed

reversing a district court that held that the defendant was required to fully exhaust his administrative remedies because the Bureau of Prisons responded to his request for compassionate release within the thirty day period and emphasizing that "the statute states that the defendant may file the motion thirty days after the warden receives his request"

Summary of this case from United States v. Martin

reversing district court's dismissal for failure to exhaust after government conceded that defendant was not required to completely exhaust the administrative remedy process after warden denied his compassionate release request

Summary of this case from United States v. Vega

reversing district court's dismissal for failure to exhaust after government conceded that defendant was not required to completely exhaust the administrative remedy process after warden denied his compassionate release request

Summary of this case from United States v. Contreras

reversing district court's dismissal for failure to exhaust after government conceded that defendant was not required to completely exhaust the administrative remedy process after warden denied his compassionate release request

Summary of this case from United States v. Pelichet

reversing district court's dismissal for failure to exhaust after government conceded that defendant was not required to completely exhaust the administrative remedy process after warden denied his compassionate release request

Summary of this case from United States v. Pelichet

reversing district court's dismissal for failure to exhaust after government conceded that defendant was not required to completely exhaust the administrative remedy process after warden denied his compassionate release request

Summary of this case from United States v. Jerry Med. Horn

reversing district court's dismissal for failure to exhaust after government conceded that defendant was not required to completely exhaust the administrative remedy process after warden denied his compassionate release request

Summary of this case from United States v. Goltz

rejecting the argument that a defendant is required to completely exhaust the administrative remedy process if the warden denies a request within thirty days of receiving it, primarily because "the statute states that the defendant may file the motion [before a district court] thirty days after the warden receives his request"

Summary of this case from United States v. Brown

rejecting the argument that a defendant is required to completely exhaust the administrative remedy process if the warden denies a defendant's request within thirty days of receiving it, primarily because "the statute states that the defendant may file the motion [before a district court] thirty days after the warden receives his request"

Summary of this case from United States v. Hoover

accepting the government's concession that its argument regarding exhaustion was in error, and noting that the "statute states that the defendant may file the motion thirty days after the warden receives his request."

Summary of this case from United States v. Cochran

In Harris, there had been lengthy administrative consideration of the inmate's requests for release based on his medical condition and the issue was interpretation of the "30-day lapse" provision in the statute.

Summary of this case from United States v. Trammel

In Harris, there had been lengthy administrative consideration of the inmate's requests for release based on his medical condition and the issue was interpretation of the "30-day lapse" provision.

Summary of this case from United States v. Mendoza

In Harris, the court held that a defendant may file a compassionate release motion with the court 30 days after the warden receives his initial request.

Summary of this case from United States v. Hopson

In Harris, the court of appeals held that a defendant may file a compassionate release motion with the court 30 days after the warden receives his initial request.

Summary of this case from United States v. Evans

In Harris, there had been extensive administrative consideration of the inmate's medical condition and the inmate's appeal to the BOP regional director had been pending for approximately 3 months when he filed his motion for relief in the court.

Summary of this case from United States v. Grasha

In Harris, there had been lengthy administrative consideration of the inmate's requests for release based on his medical condition.

Summary of this case from United States v. Grasha
Case details for

United States v. Harris

Case Details

Full title:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. WALTER VANCE HARRIS, Appellant

Court:UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT

Date published: Jul 20, 2020

Citations

973 F.3d 170 (3d Cir. 2020)

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