United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
JOSEPH ST. PIERRE REG. # 32181-034
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KATHLEEN KAY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 by pro se petitioner Joseph
St. Pierre. St. Pierre is an inmate in the custody of the
Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) and is currently
incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution at
Oakdale, Louisiana. This matter has been referred to the
undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in
accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 and
the standing orders of this court.
Pierre challenges the BOP's calculation of his good
conduct time, alleging generally that he is entitled to
additional good conduct time and that the BOP is denying him
credit for such time. Doc. 4. In his original, deficient
petition he asserted that he was entitled to an extra seven
days of credit per year due to changes in the law prompted by
the First Step Act of 2018, PL 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194 (Dec.
21, 2018). Doc. 1. There he also admitted that he had not
exhausted his administrative remedies but maintains that he
is not required to do so because the delay will prejudice
him. Id. He argues that the BOP is delaying by
deferring to the Attorney General to create a “risk
assessment” before determining whether offenders are
entitled to this credit. Id.
A. Screening of Habeas Corpus
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).
18 U.S.C. § 3585(b), the authority to grant or deny
credit for time served is specifically reserved to the United
States Attorney General and delegated to the Bureau of
Prisons. United States v. Wilson, 112 S.Ct. 1351,
1353-54 (1992); see also United States v. Jack, 566
Fed. App'x 331, 332 (5th Cir. 2014). The federal
sentencing court thus has no authority to designate or
calculate credit for time spent in jail prior to the
commencement of a federal sentence. See, e.g.,
Wilson, 112 S.Ct. at 1353-54. A district court may
review a challenge to the BOP's refusal to grant credit
for time served or make a nunc pro tunc designation through a
§ 2241 petition, but only after the BOP has made a final
decision on same. See Pierce v. Holder, 614 F.3d
158, 160 (5th Cir. 2010).
to the exhaustion requirement apply only in extraordinary
circumstances, and a § 2241 petition should be dismissed
without prejudice when the petitioner fails to exhaust his
administrative remedies.Castano v. Everhart, 235 Fed.
App'x 206, 207-08 (5th Cir. 2007); see also
Pierce, 614 F.3d at 160 (district court did not have
jurisdiction to rule on § 2241 petition before BOP had
made determination of petitioner's sentencing credit).
Exhaustion means “proper ...