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Federal Probation, Halfway House and Community Supervision This forum is dedicated to information & discussions relating to U.S. Federal Probation & Community Supervision, including half-way houses.

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  #101  
Old 04-09-2010, 03:36 AM
Tipesh Tipesh is offline
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Default Early Termination Depends on Region

The district courts vary considerably in their policy. For example, it the Southern District of NY, there is a policy not to terminate early absent really amazing special circumstances. Doesn't happen. Across the Hudson, NJ generally terminates after the 50% mark based on factors the PO wrote about. While technically, it is up to the sentencing judge (who retains jurisdiction) and judges can do what they want, in practice, judges follow the local customs, except that certain judges have their own policies.
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  #102  
Old 05-21-2010, 11:18 AM
SoCalChlln SoCalChlln is offline
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Default S.R. Termination in Central District of California HELP

My problem is that my P.O. has told me that it their office's policy is to NOT initiate such requests even though she will not oppose, and will actually recommend termination.

I recently attempted to terminate my S.R. by sending my Judge a letter, as a courtesy, I wrote this letter in the 28 line legal format that judges are used to seeing. I also sent a courtesy copy to my P.O.

My first request was rejected and not filed for 'Lack of Proof of Service' I think the Clerk treated my request as a formal motion.

So I tried again, this time using the word "Motion to Terminate Supervised Release" in the pleading instead of request. I sent my P.O. and the D.A. copies and provided 'Proof of Service'
This time it was rejected under Local Rule 6.1 "Written Notice of Motion lacking or timeliness of Motion incorrect".

To file a Notice of Motion I need to have a hearing Place, Date, and Time. I thought the Judge sets it for hearing after reviewing the motion. I consider myself reasonably intelligent in normal circumstances, but I am very confused on how I am supposed to go about getting my request in the hands of my judge. How do I get a hearing date so I can file my 'Notice of Motion' and motion to terminate correctly?

Can anyone give me some advice or guidance on how to proceed with this process? I have attached the pleading that I am attempting to get in the hands of my judge.

Any and All help will be appreciated...
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File Type: doc TSR Pleading (working copy) post.doc (64.0 KB, 53 views)

Last edited by SoCalChlln; 05-21-2010 at 11:29 AM.. Reason: Mis-spelled 'Central' in Title
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  #103  
Old 05-21-2010, 11:42 AM
Tipesh Tipesh is offline
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Default Early Termination

Local Rules are just what they say; each court makes its own. In the Southern District of NY judges accept an informal letter but you have to copy the US Attorney and Probation. Very few probation offices ever recommend early termination. They like full employment. If you are a good person, then they take no position. There seems to be a national trend against early termination. Instead, they put folks on very low supervision, which essentially means you need to file your monthly reports but they don't otherwise bother you unless there is a problem. In NY and NJ judges almost never terminate early; they interpret the law as saying that early termination requires an extraordinary behavior on the part of the former inmate. And the bar is very high. Staying out of trouble, paying your taxes, supporting your family, and some volunteer work is considered normal and not extraordinary.
Such is life. You'll get through it and then it will be behind you. Good luck
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  #104  
Old 06-03-2010, 03:50 PM
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I have a 5 yr. supervised release term in the 9th district and have served 3, I asked my P.O. if he would consider early termination and he said " We would not initiate this but if you wanted to hire an attorney and submit this to the judge we would not oppose it." when I asked him if I needed an attorney he simply repeated himself.
I know my judge has "moved up" and another has taken her place, would I just write a letter to this new judge? and how would I go about finding out who the new judge is?
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  #105  
Old 06-03-2010, 11:26 PM
Tipesh Tipesh is offline
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The answer you received is Probation's standard policy for "good guys". It is nearly impossible to get Probation to go on record as ever being in favor of early termination. It doesn't happen. I think you should write a letter to the sentencing Judge, and copy Probation and the USAO. If the Judge has let go of the case (they usually keep them until retirement) then the Judge's clerk will forward it to the Judge who has taken over. The prospects for early termination are slim, the rewards not great, and an attorney adds little, so I would save your money.
If you do apply (by yourself), you need to prove that you went well beyond merely following the rules and staying out of trouble. The law requires a demonstration of extraordinary behavior for the judge to consider early termination.

Last edited by Tipesh; 06-03-2010 at 11:27 PM..
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  #106  
Old 06-08-2010, 11:07 AM
SoCalChlln SoCalChlln is offline
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Default Letter

The Court Clerk in the ninth circuit will not let a simple letter go through to the judge. I tried it... Try an ex parte apllication to terminate stating your reasons...
I'm still waiting to hear back on mine, the application has been lodged but not yet filed...
Good Luck...
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File Type: doc TSR Pleading (ex parte) postable.doc (68.5 KB, 116 views)

Last edited by SoCalChlln; 06-08-2010 at 11:18 AM.. Reason: Placed Attachment
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  #107  
Old 06-25-2010, 09:04 PM
JFL JFL is offline
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I had three years of SR, after 18 months or 1/2 of the SR....if filed for and got released. This was for a white collar offense and I owed a large restitution payment but had been making regular monthly payments on.....I used an attorney, we prepared a motion to take to the judge, sent it to the USA, he approved and the judge approved it in three days....if you have a decent attorney and can afford one, use an attorney. MY PO had to sign off and was fine as I had no issues.
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  #108  
Old 06-27-2010, 09:32 PM
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JFL, Did you have to prove you went way beyond just staying out of trouble, cooperating, following the law/rules of probation?, if you do not mind me asking about what did it cost you for the attorney?

Thanks, Gil
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  #109  
Old 06-28-2010, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalChlln View Post
The Court Clerk in the ninth circuit will not let a simple letter go through to the judge. I tried it... Try an ex parte apllication to terminate stating your reasons...
I'm still waiting to hear back on mine, the application has been lodged but not yet filed...
Good Luck...
Did you find the way to properly file the application? if so could you share that with me?
also have you heard back from them yet?
thanks for the info so far and any more would be greatly appreciated!
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  #110  
Old 06-28-2010, 10:55 PM
rawdeal rawdeal is offline
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I have heard that the early release in half way houses is not the greatest. Does one have to go there or can you just stay in prison to the end of your sentence?
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  #111  
Old 06-29-2010, 04:41 AM
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Default Halfway House - Must You Go

In short. Yes.
While the houses themselves are privately operated under contract to the BOP, it's the BOP's decision whether and where to send you. As a general rule, they send you to the one nearest your last place of residence. halfway houses save the BOP money, so if they decide to send you, that's where you go.
I had a horrible experience (in Newark). I know some in Brooklyn who had a good experience. Unfortunately, there is a lot of variability. I think it also depends where you are coming from and how long you stayed. As a general rule, those coming from the Minimum Security camps have a harder time than those coming from higher-security institutions. For those coming from minimums.it's weird. When you are outside working, it is almost like being free (except for the pesky calls). You also can get some furloughs to go home. On the other hand, when you get back from work, you are in a much less comfortable place than where you came from. Those coming from higher-level security institutions are used to the more intrusive environment, so they don't mind it as much.
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  #112  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:48 AM
boochase boochase is offline
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Need some advice: Was sentenced Nov 1, 2007. Sent personal letter to judge asking for early termination. Have completed all special requirements, fines, etc. Was halfway through my 4-year term. I never received a response from the judge. Sent it December 2009. PO was on board. His feedback was the following: He said the clerk and judge felt that the letter "was over the top." So strong, too personal. Plus, PO felt that the communication should have been in the form of a motion. Lastly, he mentioned that the clerk abhored my attorney--so there is a "grudge from a judge" situation. This coming from the southern district of ohio. I have prepared a proper motion and would like to retry. From your experiences, is it worth it? I obviously have completed 2/3 even though my PO was onboard after 1/2. I appreciate the responses.
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  #113  
Old 08-11-2010, 07:56 AM
Tipesh Tipesh is offline
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Default Early termination

I would forget it. The law is on your side, but the appellate courts are not. Essentially, their view is that a sentence is a sentence and just doing your thing does not qualify for early termination; it has to be "extraordinary" and they take a narrow view of that. So, if the judge said no one, he is likely to say no again, and you don't want to have it in the filings that you were twice turned down. An appeal would likely fail anyway, as I wrote. I would think that based on your PO's comments, the restriction on your parole are slight, but if there is something specific (other than filing monthly reports) which bothers you, maybe make a motion to relax the restrictions. If they are of a mind to help, that is a face-saving way for them to do it.

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Originally Posted by boochase View Post
Need some advice: Was sentenced Nov 1, 2007. Sent personal letter to judge asking for early termination. Have completed all special requirements, fines, etc. Was halfway through my 4-year term. I never received a response from the judge. Sent it December 2009. PO was on board. His feedback was the following: He said the clerk and judge felt that the letter "was over the top." So strong, too personal. Plus, PO felt that the communication should have been in the form of a motion. Lastly, he mentioned that the clerk abhored my attorney--so there is a "grudge from a judge" situation. This coming from the southern district of ohio. I have prepared a proper motion and would like to retry. From your experiences, is it worth it? I obviously have completed 2/3 even though my PO was onboard after 1/2. I appreciate the responses.
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  #114  
Old 08-11-2010, 08:09 AM
boochase boochase is offline
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Appreciate the response. My only "request" was the ability to travel freely--anywhere (return of my passport, go on a cruise, etc). BTW, I am on probation, not parole. According to my PO, parole is a different story. Two, I agree that appealing is a big waste of time. I got the message that the judge is "G-d" in the courtroom. Also, since the judge never formally responding to my letter, then there should be no record, correct? It would be as if I had never sent a request to begin with--that's my reasoning. Additional comments appreciated.
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  #115  
Old 08-11-2010, 08:41 AM
Tipesh Tipesh is offline
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Default Record of Requests to Judge

The definitive way to know is to look at the case on PACER. If you send me the case number to my private email (OTSeville@goodtimeprisonbook.com) I will be glad to look and send you what I find.
Also, you can request a modification to your travel (such as a wider area) without having all travel restrictions go away. That might be a better bet than asking for no travel restrictions.
There are differences between supervised release and probation in the federal system, but they are all supervised by the same people. Probation was abolished in the Federal System years ago. Before filing a request for modification of travel restrictions, I would file take a temperature reading with the PO.
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  #116  
Old 08-11-2010, 09:49 AM
boochase boochase is offline
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Again, I appreciate your comments. I do know the differences between parole and supervised release (everyone including the judge called my term probation; so, I still use it). As far as just requesting a wider area, I have that now, since my PO will automatically approve any US travel. I want to be rid of his visits, the monthly report, and I want the ability to travel out-of-country. I will await your comments. Thanks again.
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  #117  
Old 08-11-2010, 09:59 AM
Tipesh Tipesh is offline
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Out-of-country travel automatically goes to the judge for approval, but I have seen innumerable cases where it is granted. Unless the PO is bored and has nothing to do (something that never happens on the East Coast), Probation can put you on minimum supervision, which means that only travel restrictions and monthly reporting. I don't think that reporting can be waived. You may want to re-assess the situation in a year's time.
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  #118  
Old 08-11-2010, 10:24 AM
boochase boochase is offline
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In a year's time I will be done. They have a system here--in FL--for minimum supervision where one calls in and answers questions. I can't use it, for I am severely hearing impaired and can't use the phone.
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  #119  
Old 08-11-2010, 10:26 AM
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that's low supervision not minimal. Minimal is NO reporting, and just semi-annual visits and monthly reports. Hope the year goes fast. I feel your pain.
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  #120  
Old 08-11-2010, 01:39 PM
bellisq bellisq is offline
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It shouldn't cost much to hire a new attorney, so why don't you do that? Sounds like the paperwork is done, it should be a simple straightforward matter. Sometimes the fact that the hearing isn't scheduled can cause the request to slip through the cracks. and with the hearing issue, you aren't getting the ability to take advantage of something that would be available to you, which should strengthen your case.
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  #121  
Old 08-11-2010, 04:50 PM
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As usual, bellisq has good ideas.
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  #122  
Old 08-12-2010, 07:47 AM
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I have mixed feelings about hiring another attorney. Plus, I was sentenced in Ohio and live in South florida. Money is tight. Weighing the costs versus the results (yes or no) and the remaining constraints (international travel), I would just resubmit the Motion myself or sit tight for another year. BTW, I wish to post the body of the Motion for comments.

Edited for confidentiality reasons:

MOTION FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION OR
SUPERVISED RELEASE TERM

I, XXXXXXX, request that my term of probation or supervised release be terminated early for the following reasons:

It has been three years since being placed on four (4) years probation for my guilty plea conviction for violations of XX U.S.C. Sect. XXX, XX U.S.C. Sect. XXX (e), and XX U.S.C. Section XXX (a).

I have been an exemplary supervisee and probationer: I promptly paid my fine and special assessment levied at the time of sentencing; I completed my six months of house arrest without incident; I completed my psychiatric evaluation, was diagnosed with XXXXX XXXXX, and have been treated for the disorder for over three years, with excellent results; I attended all of my talk therapy sessions; I have completed the court-ordered 1500 community service hours with XXXXX XXXXX; I have timely kept all of my appointments with my probation officer; I have steadily maintained my employment; I have requested permission before traveling outside the jurisdiction; I have had only negative urine drug test results; I have had no further legal difficulties; I have breached no condition imposed upon me at the time of sentencing; I have provided substantial and material assistance to: (1) the Deputy Attorney General of the State of XXXXXXX. I participated in a proffer session as well as having testified before a Grand Jury regarding offending law enforcement officials; (2) the USA and the FDA in the District of XXXXXXX. I have already participated in a proffer session as well as having testified before a Grand Jury there. In January 2010, I testified on behalf of the US Government at XXX XXXXX‘s trial (US v XXX XXXXX); (3) the USA, DEA and IRS in the Southern District of XXXXXXX. I have already participated in a proffer session with the DEA and the IRS there, as well. In January, 2010, I testified on behalf of the US Government at US v XXXXXXX, et al.
I greatly desire, now that I feel that I have fully incorporated the cautionary lessons of being on probation as to how to avoid people and situations that caused me to make the bad choices that led to my conviction, to be able to travel out of my jurisdiction with greater freedom.
 
 
XXXXXXX X. XXXXXXX
 
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that I mailed or hand delivered a true copy of this Motion to United States Probation Officer XXXXX XXXXX and to the United States Attorney’s Office on XXXXX XX, 2010.
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  #123  
Old 08-25-2010, 06:56 PM
Marbran Marbran is offline
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Default Same boat as boochase...

First off, thanks to the folks maintaining a site like this...I'm glad I found it.

I completely understand boochase's predicament.

I accepted a plea agreement to reduced charges, for five years probation, rather than go through the rigors of a jury trial. The maximum penalty could have been up to 20 years in prison on the initial charges. The irony is that I almost certainly would have won the case based on lack of mens rea and actus rea grounds. What happened happened, but I never meant to do it. It devastated my life. But those details aren't important now. I opted to be one of the 90% of people charged that agrees to a plea deal.

My case details for the curious: go to MD Judiciary Case Search using criminal case 18K07000440. (I couldn't post the direct link as a newb.)

I have just hit the half-way point in my probation. As the details show, my lawyer filed the Motion for Reconsideration as the last action in my case.

I, too, moved counties since the initial sentence. But both of my PO's would support me, I think. I've been an exemplary probie. I am a professional, with an active Public Trust Clearance in the job I do. No new arrests; no new charges. Never missed an appointment. But I have those 'once-a-month' check-ins, and I have to request travel authorization out of the state all the time. (I travel for work at least once a month, which results in two (or more) visits monthly with my PO.)

I'd like to just get this chapter closed.

bellisq recommended having a lawyer handle the Motion. What does that average in cost? How successful are they usually? Is a reduction in probation terms a good angle to work? It's disheartening to see that boochase's self-attempt failed. (Sorry, boo.) It's all about money, it seems.

I'm just tired of requesting travel permissions. And also showing up once a month to answer the same three questions seems kind of pointless. However, I do acknowledge that us good probies help out the careers of the PO's. It reflects positively on their careers as 'intermediaries' and 'public safety officials.' My PO even once broke the rules and signed my travel slip without her supervisor's endorsement, so even they bend the rules if it suits them. Ugh.

All advice is appreciated, folks. Thanks!

-S
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  #124  
Old 08-26-2010, 03:16 AM
bellisq bellisq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boochase View Post
In a year's time I will be done. They have a system here--in FL--for minimum supervision where one calls in and answers questions. I can't use it, for I am severely hearing impaired and can't use the phone.
I cannot beoieve there is no TDY for you to use. PM me and I have an idea or two to help you. that cannot be right under the ADA act. And it doesn't cost anything. If the government doesn't follow the rules, then you shouldn't be penalized. I have more than one client on minimum supervision and they don't even have to call, just follow the rules and do a monthly mail in.

re: forein cruises - I think anyone on probation would have to have permission to travel overseas and would not be guaranteed of getting it. And you should have some sort of blanket letter to carry with you to give you permission to leave the state, although Fed PO or Ima Fed can address their practices on this issue.

Last edited by bellisq; 08-26-2010 at 03:20 AM..
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  #125  
Old 08-26-2010, 03:27 AM
bellisq bellisq is offline
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Default Gettubg Early Release on Probation/SR

In addition to doing all the requirements, look at getting involved in some sort of charity that interests you, even something your whole family can participate in, like feeding the homeless or raising funds for a worthy cause, or tutoring, any project under the aegis on a non-profit that does good. Even a extra project through the church, a few hours week of extra help into the community goes a long way to showing rehbiitation and makes a much stronger case when you ask for early release. A giving back after taking away through original charges. Find something you like to do and feel good about. If you have drug or violence charges, stay away from kids projects. Go with adult programs.

Also, don't start talking about early release early with the PO. Pick you time to introduce the subject carefully, it can't even be considered for year anyway. Go for it when the time comes, nothing to hurt by asking.,
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