United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Richard Caputo United States District Judge
February 8, 2016, Lionel Staine, a prisoner formerly confined
at the Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex in White Deer,
Pennsylvania,  filed this petition for writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging his
loss of good conduct time (GCT) after a disciplinary
conviction for assault, possession of a weapon, threatening
another with bodily harm, and refusing to obey an order. (ECF
No. 1, Pet.) As relief, Mr. Staine seeks expungement of the
disciplinary conviction and the reinstatement of forfeited
GCT. He has paid the $5.00 filing fee.
government filed a Response on March 16, 2016. (ECF No. 5,
Resp.) Mr. Staine filed a Reply on April 14, 2016. (ECF No.
8, Reply.) This matter is now fully briefed and the Court has
considered all submissions by the parties.
reasons stated herein, the Petition will be denied.
Standard of Review
challenge to a disciplinary action resulting in the loss of
good conduct time is properly brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241, “as the action could affect the duration
of the petitioner's sentence.” Queen v.
Miner, 530 F.3d 253, 254 n. 2 (3d Cir. 2008).
of available administrative remedies is a prerequisite to
habeas corpus relief under § 2241. See Moscato
v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 98 F.3d 757, 760 (3d Cir.
April 21, 2014, while housed at USP-Canaan, staff ordered Mr.
Staine and his cellmate (Reid) out of their cell to submit to
a pat search. (ECF No. 1, Pet., Discipline Hearing Officer
(DHO) Report, p. 19; see also ECF No. 5-1, Exs. to
Resp. to the Pet. for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Incident Report
No. 2574103, p. 23.) Officer D. Smith offers the following
eyewitness account of the events as reported in the Incident
Inmate Reid, exited the cell, submitted to the pat search.
Inmate Reid was ordered to keep his hands on the wall,
disobeying the order, the inmate moved into the doorway of
cell 131 attempting to block staff from observing inmate
Staine. Inmate Staine was observed with his arm in the bottom
wall locker. I ordered to remove his arm and exit the cell.
Inmate Staine refused my direct order twice. Inmate Staine
was observed removing a sharpened metal rod approx. 8 inches
in length in his right hand. Inmate Staine bent the sharpened
weapon and threw the weapon into the toilet, in an attempt to
flush the weapon. I started to move into the cell, when
inmate Reid attempted to push me, attempting to keep me out
of cell 131. I moved passed inmate Reid and placed inmate
Staine on the floor of the cell. Inmate Staine attempted to
resist my efforts of placing him on the ground and inmate
Staine bite [sic] on my right wrist, breaking my skin with
his teeth. Inmate Staine continued to resist staff efforts to
place hand and leg restraints on him by swinging his arms and
attempting to kick staff with his legs. Inmate Staine made
several threats to staff stating “I kill you” and
“you're a dead man.” The sharpened approx. 8
inch weapon was recovered by staff.
(ECF No. 5-1, Incident Report 2574103, p. 23.) Mr. Staine was
charged with violating the following offenses: assault (Code
101); possession of a weapon (Code 104); destroying and/or
disposing of any item during a search or attempt to search
(Code 115); interfering with a staff member in the
performance of duties (Code 198); threatening another with
bodily harm (Code 203); and refusing to obey an order (Code
Report 2574103 was prepared on April 21, 2014. (ECF No. 1,
Pet, DHO Report, p. 19; see also ECF No. 5-1,
Incident Report 2574103, p. 23.) A copy of the report was
delivered to Mr. Staine on April 21, 2014. (Id., p.
23.) The disciplinary matter was suspended pending referral
to the FBI. (Id., p. 24.) The matter was released
for administrative processing and investigation on May 23,
2014. (ECF No. 1, Pet, DHO Report, p. 19.) A copy was
delivered to Mr. Staine the same day. (ECF No. 5-1, p. 23.)
On May 26, 2014, Mr. Staine appeared before the Unit
Disciplinary Committee (UDC), which was comprised of a single
staff member. (ECF No. 5-1, Incident Report 2574103, pp. 23 -
24.) Mr. Staine indicated the “Incident is not
accurate.” (Id., p. 23.) Due to the
seriousness of the charges, the matter was referred to the
DHO. (Id.) The same day, staff notified Mr. Staine
of the referral and gave him a copy of the Inmate Rights at
Discipline Hearing. (Id., p. 26.) Mr. Staine was
apprised that he had the right: (1) to have a written copy of
the charges against him at least 24 hours prior to appearing
before the DHO; (2) to have a full-time staff member to
represent him before the DHO; (3) to call witnesses (or
present written statements of unavailable witnesses) and to
present documentary evidence on his behalf; (4) the right to
remain silent or present a statement; (5) to be present
during the disciplinary hearing except during deliberation or
when institutional safety would be jeopardized; (6) to be
advised of the DHO's decision and the facts supporting
that decision except where institutional safety would be
jeopardized; and (7) to appeal the decision of the DHO within
20 calendar days of notice of the DHO's decision.
(Id.) Mr. Staine refused to sign the acknowledgment
form indicating he was advised of these rights.
(Id., pp. 26 - 28.) He did, however, request a staff
representative and indicated he would not call any witnesses.
(Id., pp. 26 - 30.)
12, 2104, the DHO conducted a hearing. The DHO reviewed Mr.
Staine's rights with him. (Id., pp. 35 - 36.)
Mr. Staine advised the DHO that he “never received a
copy of the incident report.” (Id., p. 35.)
The DHO noted the alleged procedural error on the record.
(Id.) The DHO noted that the record showed that Mr.
Staine received a copy of the incident report on April 21,
2013 and again on May 23, 2014. Nonetheless, the DHO afforded
Mr. Staine the opportunity to postpone the hearing or waive
the 24-hour notice and proceed with the hearing.
(Id., pp. 23 and 35.) Mr. Staine affirmed, in the
presence of a witness, that he wished to waive the 24-hour
notice and proceed with the hearing by signing a waiver form.
(Id., pp. 27 and 35.)
Staine's appointed staff representative was present at
the hearing. He affirmed reviewing the “Duties of Staff
Representative” and agreed to appear on Mr.
Staine's behalf. (Id., p. 34.) The
representative noted that all documentation in reference to
the incident report had been disclosed to him. (Id.)
At the hearing Mr. Staine requested that his “staff rep
[ ] review the camera.” (Id., p. 35.) The
representative stated he watched the video related to the
incident but “couldn't see in the cell” and
“couldn't hear anything.” (Id. at p.
questioned by the DHO, Mr. Staine admitted that he and his
cellmate were the only inmates in their cell. He denied
biting Officer Smith or seeing his cellmate bite the officer.
(Id.) Mr. Staine did not recall whether Officer
Smith was in his cell on April 21, 2014, and denied making
threatening statements to staff or refusing to obey any
order. (Id.) Mr. Staine did admit that the weapon
depicted in the photographic evidence “was in [his]
possession at one time” and that he ...