Akande v. United States Marshal Service
Allegations that an inmate remained in federal custody an extra 35 days after he completed his prison sentence, and that his transfer to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement was delayed, may be insufficient to allege an Eighth Amendment violation. The government charged the plaintiff, Jason Akande, with passport fraud, conspiracy to commit passport fraud and making false statements to immigration authorities. The plaintiff was arrested in June 2005 and convicted in October 2009. He was sentenced to 41 months in January 2010. The plaintiff was informed that he had been held in federal custody for a time that exceeded his federal sentence. The government transferred the plaintiff to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Massachusetts. Allegedly, the conditions of confinement in Massachusetts were less stringent than conditions of confinement in federal custody. The plaintiff sued and alleged that the defendants were deliberately indifferent, in violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment, because he remained incarcerated in federal custody for an excessive period. The District Court found that the pertinent period began no earlier than Jan. 15, 2010, when the plaintiff was sentenced to 41 months, and ended no later than Feb. 18, 2010, when the plaintiff was transferred to the custody of ICE. "[D]epriving an inmate of physical liberty for this length of time after the completion of a prison sentence," wrote the court, "does not impose a harm of sufficient magnitude to violate the inmate's rights under the Eighth Amendment." The plaintiff's conclusory allegations that conditions of confinement at the ICE facility were less stringent than conditions at the federal facility were insufficient to state an Eighth Amendment claim. The plaintiff failed to allege that the defendants knew unmerited punishment was inflicted on the plaintiff and that the defendants failed to take corrective action in circumstances that indicated deliberate indifference. The plaintiff did not allege that any of the named defendants intentionally caused the delay, as required to allege a due-process claim. The court granted judgment to the defendants.