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Meade v. Myer

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

February 22, 2019

ERIC MEADE REG. # 17781-032
v.
RODNEY MYER

         SECTION P

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          KATHLEEN KAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus 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 Institute at Oakdale, Louisiana. He seeks habeas relief from disciplinary proceedings that occurred while he was incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution at Morgantown (“FCI Morgantown”) and resulting disallowance of good conduct time.

         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. For the reasons stated below, IT IS RECOMMENDED that the petition be DENIED and DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts.

         I.

         Background

         The factual basis for Meade's claims is provided in our preceding Memorandum Order. Doc. 4. Upon review of Meade's petition, we concluded that we could not determine the merits of his claims without reviewing the Disciplinary Hearing Officer's (DHO) report from the disciplinary proceeding he challenges. Accordingly, we ordered Meade to provide a copy of that report and he has complied. Id.; doc. 5.

         Meade complains that he was denied due process through those proceedings because the DHO did not provide “any evidence” to support his finding that Meade had committed Prohibited Act Code 108, Possession of a Hazardous Tool (Cell Phone). Doc. 5; see doc. 5, att. 1. The DHO report records that Meade was charged with this offense after a cell phone was discovered at FCI Morgantown and forensic analysis showed that the phone had been used to contact a number associated with Meade. Doc. 5, att. 1, p. 2. At the DHO hearing Meade denied having anything to do with the cell phone and stated that he had given his mother's number to another inmate (Groom) because he owed Groom money. Id. Meade stated that he had provided Groom with the number so that Groom could direct his girlfriend to call Meade's mother and tell her where to send the money Meade owed. Id. at 3. The hearing was adjourned so that officials could attempt to interview Groom, who had been transferred to another facility. Id. at 2. It was then discovered that Groom had been released and so the interview was not conducted. Id.

         The DHO proceedings resumed and the DHO found that Meade had committed the charged offense. In support of his conclusion he noted the contacts between the contraband cell phone and Meade's mother's phone number. Id. at 3. He then stated:

The DHO considered your defense in which you deny using this cellular phone and claim that it was inmate Groom who used this phone in order to collect a debt you owed him; however, your claim could not be verified and the DHO believes you make this claim in an effort to have the charge against you dismissed. The DHO believes that if inmate Groom had truly used this phone as you claim, that you would have made this accusation at the previous stages of the discipline process so that this accusation could be investigated by the staff member assigned to conduct an investigation. Instead, you wait 15 days to present to any staff member your claim.
It is clear in the incident report and the supporting documentation that this phone was used to contact a phone number which is only associated with you. The DHO believes that if any other inmate at FCI Morgantown had a reason to contact this same number, it would be reasonable to believe that that inmate would have also placed this number on their contact list. As you are the only inmate to which this phone number is associated with, you bear the responsibility for contacting this phone number with this cellular phone.

Id. The DHO then imposed sanctions, including loss of 41 days of good conduct time. Meade brings this action seeking reversal of the disciplinary adjudication and restoration of the good conduct time. Doc. 1.

         II.

         Law ...


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