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Lebron v. Ebbert

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

July 27, 2015

ELVIN LEBRON, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID J. EBBERT, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM

RICHARD P. CONABOY, District Judge.

Background

Elvin LeBron, an inmate presently confined at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania (USP-Lewisburg), filed this pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Named as Respondent is USP-Lewisburg Warden David J. Ebbert.[1] Accompanying the petition is an in forma pauperis application (Doc. 2). Petitioner will be granted temporary leave to proceed in forma pauperis for the sole purpose of the filing of his Petition with this Court.

Lebron states that he is presently serving a federal sentence which was imposed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on January 3, 2013. See Doc. 1, ¶ 4. The Petition also indicates that parole officials of the State of New York have lodged a detainer against Lebron with federal correctional officials.

Petitioner's pending action does not challenge the legality of his underlying federal criminal conviction and sentence. Rather, he claims entitlement to federal habeas corpus relief on the basis that on June 22, 2015 a USP-Lewisburg official allegedly refused to contact New York state parole officials to see if they "intend to take custody of me regarding their detainer."[2] Id. at ¶ 6. Lebron notes that he filed an administrative grievance regarding his pending claim on June 22, 2015 with USP-Lewisburg Counselor Narr which is presently under consideration.

Petitioner indicates that he has been informed that no request will be sent to New York state parole officials until he "is within 60 days of his projected release/maximum expiration date." Id. at p. 7. Due to that decision, Petitioner asserts that he is being denied opportunity for halfway house placement and/or home confinement.[3] As relief, Petitioner requests that the Respondent be directed to contact New York state parole officials and inquire as to whether they intend to take custody of Petitioner via their detainer. See id. ¶ 15.

Discussion

Habeas corpus petitions are subject to summary dismissal pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254 (1977). See, e.g., Mutope v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, Civil No. 3:CV-07-472, 2007 WL 846559 *2 (M.D. Pa. March 19, 2007) (Kosik, J.). The Rules are applicable to § 2241 petitions under Rule 1(b). See, e.g., Patton v. Fenton, 491 F.Supp. 156, 158-59 (M.D. Pa. 1979).

In pertinent part, Rule 4 provides that "[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner." In this case, it is apparent from the facts of the petition that Lebron is not entitled to relief.

Habeas corpus review under § 2241 "allows a federal prisoner to challenge the execution' of his sentence." Woodall v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d 235, 241 (3d Cir. 2005). Review is available "where the deprivation of rights is such that it necessarily impacts the fact or length of detention." Learner v. Fauver, 288 F.3d 532, 540 (3d Cir. 2002).

Based upon a review of the Petition, it appears that Petitioner is contending that a detainer issued by the State of New York is precluding him from eligibility for halfway house placement under the Second Chance Act and that a USP-Lewisburg official Petitioner's request to contact New York parole officials to see if they intend to take Petitioner into custody at the conclusion of his federal custody.[4]

It is initially noted that "[a] federal prisoner ordinarily may not seek habeas corpus relief until he has exhausted all available administrative remedies." Bradshaw v. Carlson, 682 F.2d 1050, 1052 (3d Cir. 1981) (emphasis added). A party is required to exhaust administrative remedies before seeking relief in federal court unless Congress has indicated to the contrary or the available administrative remedies are inherently inadequate. Young v. Quinlan, 960 F.2d 351, 356 (3d Cir. 1992). Exhaustion is only excused where pursuit of administrative remedies would be futile, the agency's actions clearly and unambiguously violate statutory or constitutional rights, or the administrative procedures would be inadequate to prevent irreparable harm. Lyons v. U.S. Marshals, 840 F.2d 202, 205 (3d Cir. 1988).

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has a well established three (3) step Administrative Remedy Program whereby a federal prisoner may seek review of any aspect of his imprisonment. See 28 C.F.R. §§ 542.10-542.19. After attempting to informally resolve the issue, a BOP inmate can initiate the first step of the grievance process by submitting "a formal written Administrative Remedy Request, on the appropriate form (BP-9), " within twenty (20) calendar days "following the date on which the basis for the Request occurred." See 28 C.F.R. § 542.14(a) (1998). The Warden has twenty (20) calendar days from the date the Request or Appeal is filed in which to respond. Id. at § 542.18.

If not satisfied with the Warden's response, an inmate may appeal (step two) on the appropriate form (BP-10) to the Regional Director within twenty (20) calendar days of the date the Warden signed the response. Id. at § 542.15. Finally, if the inmate is dissatisfied with the Regional Director's response, that decision may then be appealed (step three) on the appropriate form (BP-11) to the General Counsel within thirty (30) calendar days from the date the Regional Director signed the response. Id . Additionally, "[i]f the inmate does not receive a response ...


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