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Haynes v. Justice

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

November 7, 2018

STEVEN HAYNES REG. # 06238-078
v.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, ET AL.

          SUMMERHAYS, JUDGE

          KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

         Before the court is a civil rights complaint [doc. 1] filed pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 91 S.Ct. 1999 (1971), by Steven Haynes, who is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this matter. Haynes is an inmate in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons and is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution at Oakdale, Louisiana (“FCIO”). However, his claims relate to disciplinary proceedings against him during his incarceration at the Federal Prison Camp in Pensacola, Florida (“FPCP”). This matter has been referred to the undersigned under 28 U.S.C. § 636 and the standing orders of the court for initial review.

         I.

         Background

         Haynes complains of disciplinary proceedings at FPCP, through which he was convicted of Possession, Manufacture, or Introduction of a Hazardous Tool (Cellular Phone), a violation of BOP Offense Code 108. Doc. 1, att. 2; see doc. 1, att. 3, pp. 5-6. As a result the disciplinary hearing officer at FPCP imposed the following sanctions: (1) disallowance of 41 days of good conduct time, (2) forfeiture of 54 days of non-vested good conduct time, and (3) loss of commissary and phone privileges for six months. Doc. 1, att. 3, p. 6. Haynes complains that the investigation of this incident and the manner in which the disciplinary hearing was conducted resulted in violation of his rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and that the sanctions amount to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Doc. 1, att. 2. He now seeks restoration of his good conduct time, expungement of the incident and disciplinary reports, and any monetary award the court deems appropriate. Doc. 1, p. 5.

         II.

         Law & Analysis

         Venue in a Bivens action seeking monetary damages is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). Stafford v. Briggs, 100 S.Ct. 774, 784-85 (1980). That statute permits venue only in (1) the judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the state where the district court is located (2) the district where a substantial part of the acts or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or (3) if there is no district which qualifies under the above two provisions, any judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the court's personal jurisdiction with respect to the action. None of the defendants named herein resides in Louisiana.[1] Furthermore, all of the complained-of events - other than denials of Haynes's requests for administrative remedies, which do not give rise to a separate claim for relief and at any rate would not constitute a substantial part of the acts or omissions at issue - occurred at FPCP, in the territorial jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Therefore venue is plainly improper in this court for plaintiff's Bivens suit, and is only proper in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

         If a district court where a suit is filed determines that venue is improper, it has the discretion to either dismiss the suit or, “if it be in the interest of justice, transfer such case to any district or division in which it could have been brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). This court exercises its discretion to transfer the matter. We note, however, that Haynes's requests for restoration of good conduct credit and expungement/reversal of the disciplinary proceedings and conviction must be raised through a petition for writ of habeas corpus, not a Bivens suit. E.g., Edwards v. Carvajal, 2016 WL 2637901, at *2 (W.D. La. Mar. 5, 2016), report and recommendation adopted, 2016 WL 2727048 (W.D. La. May 5, 2016); Carbajal v. Riley, 2009 WL 1788407, at *3 n. 4 (W.D. La. Jun. 17, 2009). Venue over a § 2241 petition is proper in this court as the district where Haynes is currently incarcerated. Lee v. Wetzel, 244 F.3d 370, 373-74 (5th Cir. 2001). Accordingly, the claims for expungement/reversal should be dismissed without prejudice as improperly filed under Bivens and may be refiled in this court as a petition for writ of habeas corpus.

         III.

         Conclusion

         For the foregoing reasons, IT IS RECOMMENDED that Haynes's claims for restoration of good conduct time and expungement/reversal of his disciplinary conviction and proceedings be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE and that the remaining claim, seeking monetary relief under Bivens, be TRANSFE ...


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