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Alford v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

United States District Court, Third Circuit

January 28, 2014

CRAIG ALFORD, Petitioner
v.
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent

MEMORANDUM

JAMES M. MUNLEY, District Judge.

Before the court for disposition is Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick's report and recommendation (hereinafter "R&R") that the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus be denied and dismissed with prejudice. Petitioner Craig Alford (hereinafter "petitioner") has filed objections to the R&R. The parties have briefed their respective positions, and the matter is ripe for disposition.

Background

The general background facts are undisputed. Petitioner is incarcerated at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution-Mahanoy. On October 4, 2012, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (hereinafter "the Board") informed petitioner that it had decided to parole him with an expected release date of January 28, 2013. On December 12, 2012, petitioner received a written "misconduct" for allegedly fighting with another inmate.

On December 17, 2012, petitioner was found guilty of the misconduct, and he was sentenced to ninety (90) days of disciplinary custody. Based on this misconduct, on January 16, 2013, the Board rescinded its earlier, unexecuted grant of parole. The Board then scheduled petitioner's next review for September 2013.

Petitioner filed the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in February 2013. The matter was assigned to Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt. It was reassigned to Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick on July 15, 2013, who issued the instant R&R on December 6, 2013. (Doc. 44). Petitioner filed objections to the R&R on December 17, 2013. (Doc. 46). The government filed a brief in opposition to the objections on December 30, 2013, and the petitioner filed a reply to the opposition on January 8, 2014. (Doc. 50; Doc. 51). The matter is thus ripe for disposition.

Jurisdiction

We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, which provides that "[w]rits of habeas corpus may be granted by the... district courts...." See also 28 U.S.C. § 1331 ("The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.").

Standard of review

Petitioner objects to the R&R. In disposing of objections to a magistrate judge's R&R, the district court must make a de novo determination of those portions of the report to which objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); see also Henderson v. Carlson , 812 F.2d 874, 877 (3d Cir. 1987). This court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge. The district court judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions. Id.

Discussion

Petitioner brings his claim pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1963, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (hereinafter "section 1983"). In pertinent part, section 1983 provides as follows:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to ...

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