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Goodwin v. Zickenfoose

United States District Court, Third Circuit

October 12, 2013

LEARLEY R. GOODWIN, Petitioner
v.
WARDEN D. ZICKENFOOSE, Respondent

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

THOMAS M. BLEWITT, Magistrate Judge.

I. Background.

On March 12, 2013, Petitioner, Learley R. Goodwin ("Petitioner"), an inmate at FCC-Allenwood, White Deer, Pennsylvania, filed, pro se, a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2241. (Doc. 1). Petitioner is challenging the BOP's authority to set restitution payment schedules through its Inmate Financial Responsibility Program ("IFRP") ( Id. ). On January 11, 2007 Petitioner was sentenced in Maryland to life imprisonment, plus ten years, an $800 special assessment and a $700, 000 fine for 1) Conspiracy to Distribute and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, 2) Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base, 3) Possession with Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Cocaine, 4) Use of Communication Device to Facilitate Narcotics Trafficking (Doc. 11-1, p. 4, ¶ 8; Doc. 11-1, p. 9). The fine was ordered to be paid immediately (Doc. 11-1, pp. 12-14). Petitioner claims he was under extreme duress when he agreed to sign the IFRP financial plan because IFRP refusal meant that he could spend $25 per month at the BOP Commissary instead of the $320 he could spend if he agreed to sign (Doc. 1, p. 2).

In addition to his Habeas Petition, Petitioner also filed a Motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 3). After we directed the Warden to file Petitioner's inmate account information (Doc. 4), and the information was filed (Doc. 5), we issued an Order on April 19, 2013 (Doc. 6), and directed as follows:

1. Petitioner's Motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 3) with respect to the filing of his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2241, is DENIED in light of the fact that Petitioner had $57.04 in his inmate account at FCC Allenwood as of April 18, 2013 (Doc. 5, Att.).
2. Petitioner is directed to pay the filing fee of $5.00 on or by May 3, 2013, or show cause why he is unable to do so.
3. Failure of Petitioner to comply with Paragraph 2. above will result in a recommendation that his case be dismissed.

Petitioner failed to pay the filing fee of $5.00 on or by May 3, 2013, or show cause why he was unable to do so. We issued a Report and Recommendation on May 10, 2013 recommending the dismissal of the instant case (Doc. 7) because Petitioner had not filed a request for an extension of time to comply with our Doc. 6 Order or paid the filing fee. On May 13, 2013, Petitioner paid the filing fee (Doc. 8). On May 30, 2013 the Court found our Doc. 6 Recommendation moot and remanded the case to the undersigned for further proceedings (Doc. 9).

On June 4, 2013, we directed the Clerk of Court to serve the Petition to the Respondent, Warden Zickenfoose (Doc. 10). As Warden Zickenfoose has custody of the Petitioner, he is the proper Respondent in this case. Respondent filed a Response to the Doc. 1 Petition on June 12, 2013 along with the 1) Declaration of Krista L. Klett, 2) an Amended Judgment and Commitment Order, 3) an Inmate History Admission Release, 3) an Inmate Financial Plan, 4) Inmate Financial Obligation Adjustments, and 5) an Administrative Remedy Generalized Retrieval (Doc. 11, 11-1). Petitioner has not filed a Reply Brief ( See Docket).

Thus, we now issue this R&R and recommend that Petitioner's Habeas Petition be Denied.

II. Standard of Review

A. PLRA

As stated, Plaintiff Santiago filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. (Doc. 13). The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, [1] (the "PLRA"), obligates the Court to engage in a screening process when a prisoner wishes to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Specifically, Section 1915(e)(2), which was created by § 805(a)(5) of the Act, provides:

(2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that (A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or (B) the action or appeal (i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; ...

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