United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
ERIC MEADE REG. # 17781-032
KATHLEEN KAY JUDGE.
the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus, and
amendment thereto, filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 by
pro se petitioner Eric Meade. Meade is an inmate in the
custody of the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) and is
currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Center at
Oakdale, Louisiana (“FCIO”). This matter has been
referred to the undersigned for review, report, and
recommendation in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and
the standing orders of this court.
brings this petition seeking expungement of a prison
disciplinary proceeding and restoration of good conduct time,
based on disciplinary proceedings that ended on February 1,
2018, at the Federal Correctional Institute at Morgantown,
West Virginia. Doc. 1, att. 1. On that date, he claims, he
was convicted of Prohibited Act Code 108, Possession of a
Hazardous Tool or Other Electronic Device (Cellular Phone)
and incurred sanctions including disallowance of 41 days of
good conduct time. Id. Meade alleges that his right
to due process was violated through the disciplinary
proceedings, because the disciplinary hearing officer failed
to interview a witness who might have exonerated him and
because the DHO's findings did not rest upon adequate
evidence. Id. However, Meade fails to attach a copy
of the DHO report.
Screening of Habeas Corpus Petitions
district court may apply any or all of the rules governing
habeas petitions filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to those
filed under § 2241. See Rule 1(b), Rules
Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts. Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases
authorizes preliminary review of such petitions, and states
that they must be summarily dismissed “[i]f it plainly
appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief.” Id. at
Rule 4. To avoid summary dismissal under Rule 4, the petition
must contain factual allegations pointing to a “real
possibility of constitutional error.” Id. at
Rule 4, advisory committee note (quoting Aubut v.
Maine, 431 F.2d 688, 689 (1st Cir. 1970)). Accordingly,
we review the pleadings and exhibits before us to determine
whether any right to relief is indicated, or whether the
petition must be dismissed.
§ 2241 petition on behalf of a sentenced prisoner
“attacks the manner in which a sentence is carried out
or the prison authorities' determination of its
duration.” Pack v. Yusuff, 218 F.3d 448, 451
(5th Cir. 2000). In order to prevail, a § 2241
petitioner must show that he is “in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). In a
habeas challenge to a disciplinary proceeding, an inmate must
show that the punishment intrudes on a liberty interest
protected by the Constitution or some other law. Orellana
v. Kyle, 65 F.3d 29, 31-32 (5th Cir. 1995) (citing
Sandin v. Conner, 115 S.Ct. 2293 (1995)). It is
assumed that federal prisoners have a liberty interest in
their accumulated good conduct time. See, e.g.,
Henson v. Bureau of Prisons, 213 F.3d 897, 898 (5th
Cir. 2000); Watkins v. Lnu, 547 Fed. App'x 409,
410 (5th Cir. 2013) (unpublished). Thus, because a loss of
good conduct time is involved in this proceeding, the Supreme
Court's analysis in Wolff v. McDonnell, 94 S.Ct.
2963 (1974), and Superintendent, Massachusetts
Correctional Institution v. Hill, 105 S.Ct. 2768 (1985),
governs our review. In order for a prison disciplinary
proceeding to comport with the requirements of due process,
the following minimal procedural safeguards must be afforded:
(1) adequate notice of the alleged violation; (2) an
opportunity to present evidence; (3) written findings in
support of the ruling; and (4) the requirement that on
review, “some evidence” support the ruling.
Hill, 105 S.Ct. at 2773-74; Wolff, 94 S.Ct.
at 2978-80. In determining whether this final standard is
met, we do not make an independent assessment of the
credibility of witnesses or weigh the evidence.
Hill, 105 S.Ct. at 2774. Instead, our review is
“extremely deferential” and the disciplinary
proceeding is overturned “only where no evidence in the
record supports the decision.” Morgan v.
Dretke, 433 F.3d 455, 458 (5th Cir. 2005); Broussard
v. Johnson, 253 F.3d 874, 877 (5th Cir. 2001). Finally,
the BOP's failure to follow its own regulations and
procedures does not, by itself, “establish a violation
of due process, because constitutional minima may
nevertheless have been met.” Jacques v. Bureau of
Prisons, 632 Fed. App'x 225, 226 (5th Cir. 2016)
(unpublished) (quoting Jackson v. Cain, 864 F.2d
1235, 1251-52 (5th Cir. 1989)).
does not provide the DHO report. Without the report, the
court cannot determine what evidence the DHO relied on, and
whether that reliance fell short of the standards announced
above. Accordingly, we cannot determine whether there is
sufficient merit to the petition to justify service on the
reasons stated above, IT IS ORDERED that Meade provide the
court with a copy of the DHO report and any other
documentation relevant to his claim, or with an explanation
of why he cannot do so, within 30 days of this order.
THE CLERK IS DIRECTED to mail a copy of this order to Meade
at his last address on file.
ORDERED that Meade provide the required response within 30
days of this order. Failure to comply with this order may
result in dismissal of the claims above under Rule 41(b) of
the Federal Rules of ...