United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
September 1, 2005.
EVERTON BARTLEY, Petitioner
JOSEPH V. SMITH, WARDEN Respondent.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN E. JONES, District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Everton Bartley*fn1 ("Petitioner" or "Bartley"), an inmate
presently confined at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg,
Pennsylvania, ("USP-Lewisburg"), initiated this pro se
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
An application requesting leave to proceed in forma
pauperis was filed along with the petition. Named as Respondent
is USP-Lewisburg Warden Joseph V. Smith. For the reasons outlined
below, the Petition will be denied without prejudice to any right Bartley may have to reassert his present claims in a properly
filed civil rights complaint.
Bartley states that he was convicted of drug related offenses
following a jury trial in the United States District Court for
the Western District of North Carolina. Petitioner indicates that
he is presently serving a life sentence without the possibility
of parole. However, his instant Petition does not challenge
either the legality of his federal criminal conviction or the
Rather, Bartley claims that he was subjected to a
discriminatory removal from his institutional employment.
Specifically, Petitioner contends that he was subjected to a
"race based dismissal from UNICOR" caused by his supervisor's
"biased attitude, conduct and behavior." Doc. 1, ¶ 9(b). His
Petition adds that although prison officials are apparently
claiming that his job removal was due to the presence of an
immigration detainer, that reasoning is flawed because although
he was previously the subject of an "Immigration Hearing" and
"there was no decision to deport me made at that time" and there
was never an immigration proceeding initiated as a result of his
ongoing federal sentence. Id. at (a). Bartley adds that he was
been denied due process with respect to his subsequent
administrative grievance. It is also noted that Bartley's
petition does not specify what type of relief he is seeking from
DISCUSSION: Habeas corpus petitions are subject to summary dismissal
pursuant to Rule 4 ("Preliminary Consideration by the Judge") of
the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States
District Courts, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254 (1977). See, e.g.,
Patton v. Fenton, 491 F. Supp. 156, 158-59 (M.D. Pa. 1979).
Rule 4 provides in pertinent part: "If it plainly appears from
the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the
judge shall make an order for its summary dismissal and cause the
petitioner to be notified." A petition may be dismissed without
review of an answer "when the petition is frivolous, or obviously
lacking in merit, or where . . . the necessary facts can be
determined from the petition itself. . . ." Allen v. Perini,
424 F.2d 134, 141 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 400 U.S. 906
(1970). Accord Love v. Butler, 952 F.2d 10, 15 (1st Cir.
1991). The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals also stated that "the
District Court has a duty to screen out a habeas corpus petition
which should be dismissed for lack of merit on its face."
Allen, 424 F.2d at 141.
It is well-settled that a habeas corpus petition may be brought
by a prisoner who seeks to challenge either the fact or duration
of his confinement in prison. Preiser v. Rodriguez,
411 U.S. 475 (1973), Telford v. Hepting, 980 F.2d 745, 748 (3d Cir.),
cert. denied, 510 U.S. 920 (1993). Federal habeas corpus
review is available only "where the deprivation of rights is such that it necessarily impacts the
fact or length of detention." Leamer v. Fauver, 288 F.3d 532,
540 (3d Cir. 2002).
From a careful review of the petition, it is clear that Bartley
does not challenge the legality of either his underlying criminal
conviction or resulting sentence. He also does not allege that
his sentence has been improperly calculated or otherwise attack
the length of his present incarceration. Rather, Bartley seeks
relief solely on the grounds that he was subjected to an
unconstitutional loss of institutional employment at
Petitioner clearly indicates that the purportedly
unconstitutional actions taken by federal prison officials did
not include a loss of good time credits or otherwise extend the
length of his confinement. Thus, the purported constitutional
misconduct did not adversely affect the fact or duration of
Petitioner's ongoing federal incarceration. See Wapnick v.
True, Civil No. 4:CV-97-1829, slip op. (M.D. Pa. Dec. 17, 1997)
(McClure, J.) (alleged improper placement in administrative
confinement is not a basis for relief under § 2241). Accordingly,
"habeas corpus is not an appropriate or available federal
remedy." Linnen v. Armainis, 991 F.2d 1102, 1109 (3d Cir.
Consequently, the Petition will be denied as meritless without
prejudice to any right Bartley may have to reassert his present claims in a
properly filed civil rights complaint.*fn2 See David v.
United States, Civ. A. No. 3:CV-99-0836, slip op. at 5 (June 17,
1999 M.D. Pa.) (Munley, J.) (challenge to to IFRP refusal status
not properly asserted in habeas petition) and Hewlett v.
Holland, Civ. A. No. 3:CV-96-1075, slip op. at 9 (July 2, 1997
M.D. Pa.) (Nealon, J.) ("Because the petitioner will not be
allowed to elude the filing fee requirements of the PLRA, his
claims will be dismissed, without prejudice, as they are not
habeas corpus claims, but rather claims relating to the
conditions of his confinement that should more appropriately be
brought under the Civil Rights Acts.").*fn3
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. Petitioner's application requesting leave to
proceed in forma pauperis is granted for the
sole purpose of filing this action.
2. The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is
dismissed without prejudice.
3. Petitioner may reassert his present claims in a
properly filed civil rights action. 4. The Clerk of Court is directed to close the case.
5. Based on the Court's conclusion, there is no basis
for the issuance of a certificate of appealability.
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