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Donaldson v. Samuels

November 13, 2007

OFA KAREEM DONALDSON, PETITIONER
v.
CHARLES E. SAMUELS, WARDEN, RESPONDENT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Muir

(Petition Filed 06/13/2007)

ORDER

Oka Kareem Donaldson, ("Donaldson"), an inmate currently confined in the Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institution, ("FCI-Schuylkill") Minersville, Pennsylvania, filed this pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Named as respondent is Charles Samuels, Warden at FCI-Fort Dix, ("FCI-Fort Dix"), New Jersey, petitioner's prior place of confinement. Petitioner claims that while previously incarcerated at FCI-Fort Dix, his due process rights were violated during the course of a prison disciplinary hearing where he was found guilty of the prohibited act of Assault Without Injury, a violation of Disciplinary Code Section 224. Specifically, he claims that the Bureau of Prisons' ("BOP") failure to house him in administrative segregation, while the investigation into his misconduct was proceeding, was a violation of his due process rights and also an affirmation of his innocence. (Doc. 1, petition). Thus, petitioner believes that because he was released into general population while the investigation into the misconduct occurred, and because his disciplinary hearing did not occur in a timely manner, he should not be held accountable for the misconduct. For relief, petitioner seeks the expungement of the misconduct report from his prison record and the restoration of the 27 days of good conduct time taken by the Discipline Hearing Officer ("DHO"). The petition is ripe for disposition and, for the reasons that follow, will be denied.

Background

On March 14, 2005, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Petitioner was served with Incident Report No. 1321321 for "Assaulting Any Person " in violation of Disciplinary Code Section 224. (Doc. 3-2, Att. C, Incident Report). The incident report, which was written by Officer W. Archibald, reads as follows:

Description of Incident (Date: 3/13/05 Time: 9:15 p.m. Staff became aware of incident)

On 03-13-2005 at approximately 9:15 pm myself and Officer S. Miller were escorting inmate Donaldson, Ofa #09740-067 to his assigned cell. When I attempted to remove his restraints he would not place his hands through the mail slot until ordered to do so. Inmate Donaldson continually pulled on the restraints making it very difficult for me to remove them. Once I had the left hand restraint removed I quickly gained positive control of the restraints due to the fact inmate Donaldson was pulling on them. Throughout this incident I ordered inmate Donaldson numerous times to stop pulling on the restraints to which he would not comply. I attempted to remove the right restraint when Officer Miller ordered inmate Donaldson to stop pulling on the restraint to which he finally complied.

Id. The incident was then referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI). (Doc. 3-2, Att. J, Memorandum). On October 31, 2006, Warden Samuels approved a request filed by the Unit Disciplinary Committee ("UDC") for enlargement of time within which to conduct its hearing, based on the following:

I am requesting approval to conduct a UDC hearing for Incident Report #1321321 on inmate Ofa Donaldson, #09740-067. The incident report was written on March 14, 2005, and was not released to be handled administratively until October 27, 2006.

In accordance with Program Statement 5270.07, Inmate Discipline and Special Housing Units, the Warden's approval is required for any extension beyond five work days.

(Doc. 3-2, Att. J, Memorandum).

On November 9, 2006, Petitioner appeared before the UDC. (Doc. 3-2, Att. D). The UDC referred the charge to the DHO for greater sanctions than the UDC can impose if found guilty. (Doc. 3-2, Att. A).

On November 16, 2006, Petitioner appeared for a hearing before the DHO, T. Mulvey. (Doc. 7, Att. B, DHO Report). The DHO Report reflects the following:

Inmate Donaldson was read his rights and acknowledged he understood. As the body of the incident report was being read to inmate Donaldson he became disruptive. Specifically, in a loud and aggressive manner he stated; "This shit is from last year. Why was I on the Compound. Fuck this. Get me out of here because somebody is going to get hurt." At that time, inmate Donaldson exited his chair and burst out the door into the hallway. While gaining control of inmate Donaldson, he attempted to assault the DHO. At that time, he was removed ...


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