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Redding v. Holt

July 26, 2007

FRANKLIN REDDING, PETITIONER,
v.
WARDEN RONNIE HOLT, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Conaboy

Magistrate Judge Blewitt

MEMORANDUM

Before the Court is Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt's Report and Recommendation (Doc. 32) recommending Petitioner's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. 1) ("Petition") be denied. Additionally, the Magistrate Judge recommends denying the following pending filings by pro se federal prisoner Franklin Redding ("Petitioner"): Consolidated Motion for, and Brief in Support of Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 9); Motion/Brief for Clarification and Reconsideration of Court Order dated January 24, 2007, for Motion to Compel (Doc. 26); and Petitioner's Motion and Brief for Writ of Mandamus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1361 Granting the Petitioner's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. 29). For the following reasons, we adopt the Report and Recommendation and dismiss the above filings (Docs. 1, 9, 26, and 29) as moot.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND*fn1

On April 7, 2006, Petitioner received United States Penitentiary Atlanta Special Investigative Agent ("SIA") Darrol Acre's incident report charging Petitioner with the violation of the following prohibited acts: code 299 - disruptive conduct (most like code 200A, which is aiding escape from an open institution); code 217 - receiving money for the purpose of introducing contraband; and code 305 - possession of anything unauthorized. See 28 C.F.R. § 541.13 (Table 3 - Prohibited Acts and Disciplinary Severity Scale). The incident report alleged:

Based on Surveillance camera footage and corroborated witness statements, an SIS Investigation determined that inmate Franklin Redding, Reg. No. 11363-045, received money from other inmates to assist them in departing the environs of the Federal Prison Camp on several occasions. Inmate Redding also had possession of a cellular telephone to communicate with the inmates during their departure and returns. Also, inmate Redding was known and observed departing the environs of the Federal Prison Camp. See SIS Investigation case ATL-06-043.

(Doc. 14 at 2-3.) Petitioner asserted the report was untrue and that he was not guilty of the offenses.

On April 11, 2006, Petitioner received notice of his disciplinary hearing and a separate form advising Petitioner of his rights concerning the offenses. (Doc. 28, Exhibit 1.) Petitioner indicated he wanted Chaplain M. Sabree as his staff representative at the hearing. (Id.) Additionally, Petitioner requested Case Manager D. Reynolds as a witness at the hearing. (Id.)

On May 1, 2006, Petitioner appeared for a disciplinary hearing on the above charged offenses. The requested staff representative, Chaplain Sabree, appeared at the hearing but stated he lacked sufficient information to represent Petitioner. A summary of Petitioner's statement at the hearing was recorded in the DHO's report, dated May 10, 2006:

Not guilty. Lieutenant Acre said he'd return them back to the Camp if they told him anything. There was an FBI agent present.

After they locked up about six inmates, they came and got me about five hours later. I know Martise Williams. Busby lives in the next unit over. He came to our unit about two weeks earlier when he came back from SHU (Special Housing Unit) the last time. . . .

When I cam in, Busby, Williams, and Powell told me that all they wanted to know was about the police and not to tell them anything. They were scared. (Doc. 14, Exhibit 1 at 10.) Additionally, Case Manager Reynolds appeared and entered the following statement regarding Petitioner's involvement in the alleged offensive conduct:

No ma'am, I can't say for certain whether or not he actually left the camp. Some of the unit staff had some concern that the inmates were passing notes back and forth to corroborate their stories. (Id.) At the hearing, the DHO informed Petitioner the code 305 -possession of anything unauthorized charge was being changed to a code 108 - possession of a hazardous tool (cell phone) charge. Petitioner was re-advised of his rights and decided to continue with the hearing. The Disciplinary Hearing Officer ("DHO") considered SIA Acre's investigation report and handwritten statements of other inmates offered by Petitioner.

On May 10, 2006, the DHO issued her report finding Petitioner guilty of committing the prohibited acts. Additionally, the report described the amended offense code:

Note: Code 305 was changed to Code 108, as the DHO determined this to be the more appropriate charge. You were re-advised of your rights and elected to proceed with the hearing.

(Doc. 14, Exhibit 1 at 12.)

In her report, the DHO described the evidence relied upon in reaching her determination citing information provided by the reporting employee, SIA Acre.*fn2 The DHO outlined the information provided by SIA Acre:

The writer reported based on surveillance camera footage and corroborated witness statements (which you was [sic] made aware of), an SIS investigation determined you received money from other inmates to assist them in departing the environs of the Federal Prison Camp on several occasions. The writer reported you were also[] in possession of a cellular telephone to communicate with the inmates during their departures and returns. Additionally, the writer reported you was [sic] known and observed departing the environs of the Federal Prison Camp. (Doc. 14, Exhibit 1 at 11.) Additionally, the DHO considered the hazardous nature of a cellular telephone in the setting of a correctional institution. The DHO explained a cellular telephone jeopardizes the security of a prison, its staff, and the general public by providing an inmate the opportunity to make unmonitored calls which can contain threats to the public, plans for escape, or other illegal activity. Moreover, the DHO cited the Petitioner's denial of the charges and that Petitioner "offered no evidence to dispute the charges." (Doc. 14, Exhibit 1 at 11.) The report also cites handwritten statements offered by Petitioner and other inmates in Petitioner's defense. As recited in the report, the statements were considered by the DHO with other contradictory testimony offered throughout the disciplinary process and were found to lack credibility. The DHO also found the statements submitted by Petitioner were of lesser weight than the credible information provided by SIA Acre.

The DHO concluded Petitioner committed the prohibited acts. Petitioner was sanctioned with the loss of sixty-four (64) days of good conduct time credits, transfer to a more secure facility, loss of telephone privileges for one (1) year, loss of commissary privileges for six (6) months, and the loss of visiting privileges for six (6) months.

The BOP concedes Petitioner has exhausted all available administrative remedies regarding his complaints.

II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On November 21, 2006, Petitioner, a federal prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institution at Schuylkill ("FCI-Schuykill"), filed pro se the instant Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. On November 22, 2006, the Magistrate Judge issued a Show Cause Order and directed service of the Petition on FCI-Schuyykill Warden Ronnie Holt ("Respondent"). On December 22, 2006, Respondent filed his Response to the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus arguing the Petition should be denied and the case dismissed. (Doc. 14.) On January 23, 2007, Petitioner filed his Reply to Respondent's Response to the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. 24).

On December 13, 2006, Petitioner filed a Consolidated Motion for, and Brief in Support of Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 9) seeking the Court to order the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") to reinstate his lost telephone privileges pending the Court's disposition of the Petition. The Magistrate Judge directed Respondent to file a response to the injunction motion. (Doc. 11.) On December 22, 2006, Respondent filed his Brief in ...


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