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Quarles v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 26, 2018

GREGORY QUARLES, Petitioner,
v.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM

          A. RICHARD CAPUTO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Presently before this Court is a Report and Recommendation (R&R) authored by Magistrate Judge Carlson (Doc. 9) regarding a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Gregory Quarles (Doc. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. In his Petition, Quarles challenges the Bureau of Prisons' (“BOP”) refusal to place him in a halfway house in accord with the Second Chance Act. Because Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, I will adopt Magistrate Judge Carlson's recommendation and deny Quarles' Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus.

         I. Background

         Petitioner Gregory Quarles is a federal inmate currently confined to the United States Penitentiary in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. On October 20, 2017 he filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging the Bureau of Prisons' refusal to place him in a halfway house.[1] (Doc. 1.)

         Over the course of Petitioner's incarceration, he has filed twenty-eight (28) administrative grievances. (Doc. 8-1, at 3 ¶ 2.) One such grievance was filed on August 10, 2017. (Doc. 7, at 12.) In that grievance, Petitioner complained that he was denied placement in a halfway house as required by the Second Chance Act.[2] (Id.) Petitioner was informed that no action would be taken with respect to this grievance because his placement in a halfway house was “appropriately denied.” (Id.) Petitioner has provided no evidence to suggest he pursued an appeal of this decision.[3]

         After failing to have the BOP reverse its earlier decision, Petitioner filed the instant action. (Doc. 1.) Magistrate Judge Carlson issued an R&R, which suggests Quarles' Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus be denied. (Doc. 9.) Petitioner filed a timely objection to Magistrate Judge Carlson's R&R (Doc. 11), and Respondent filed a response to Petitioner's objections (Doc. 12). This Motion is ripe for review.

         II. Standard of Review[4]

A. Report and Recommendation

         Where objections to a magistrate judge's R&R are filed, I must conduct a de novo review of the contested portions. Sample v. Diecks, 885 F.2d 1099, 1106 n.3 (3d Cir. 1989) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c)). This only applies to the extent that a party's objections are both timely and specific. Goney v. Clark, 749 F.2d 5, 6-7 (3d Cir. 1984).

         In conducting a de novo review, I may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the factual findings or legal conclusions of the magistrate judge. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Owens v. Beard, 829 F.Supp. 736, 738 (M.D. Pa. 1993). Although the review is de novo, the law permits me to rely on the recommendations of the magistrate judge to the extent it deems proper. See United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 675-76 (1980); Goney, 749 F.2d at 7; Ball v. United States Parole Comm'n, 849 F.Supp. 328, 330 (M.D. Pa. 1994). While uncontested portions of the report may be reviewed at a standard determined by the district court, a court should at least review the report for clear error or manifest injustice. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 154 (1985); Goney, 749 F.2d at 7; Cruz v. Chater, 990 F.Supp. 375, 376-77 (M.D. Pa. 1998).

         B. Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus: 28 U.S.C. § 2241

         The habeas statute upon which Quarles relies to challenge the timing of his prerelease placement, 28 U.S.C. § 2241, unlike other federal habeas statutes, “confers habeas jurisdiction to hear the petition of a federal prisoner who is challenging not the validity but the execution of his sentence.” Coady v. Vaughn, 251 F.3d 480, 485 (3d Cir. 2001). The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has concluded that § 2241 is the appropriate means for a federal inmate to challenge a BOP decision to limit or exclude their placement in a Residential Reentry Center (“RRC”) or halfway house. See Woodall v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d 235, 243 (3d Cir. 2005).

         III. Discussion

         Petitioner Quarles objects to Magistrate Judge Carlson's finding that his Petition should be denied because he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. While Quarles appears to accept that he has not exhausted his administrative remedies, he argues that Magistrate Judge Carlson erred in finding that exhaustion was ...


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