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Moneyham v. Ebbert

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

April 18, 2019

ANTHONY MONEYHAM, #42280-424, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID J. EBBERT, Respondent.

          MUNLEY, J.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOSEPH F. SAPORITO, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This proceeding was initiated by a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus submitted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, signed and dated by the petitioner, Anthony Moneyham, on July 29, 2018. At the time of filing, Moneyham was incarcerated at USP Lewisburg, located in Union County, Pennsylvania.

         I. Background

         Moneyham is a federal inmate serving a 128-month prison sentence for distribution of heroin. He is expected to complete his active prison term in June 2019, at which time he will commence a 60-month period of supervised release.

         In his petition, Moneyham challenges prison officials' failure to timely recommend that he be transferred to a Residential Reentry Center (“RRC”) to serve the final portion of his prison sentence. In particular, he claims that prison officials failed to conduct a review of his case for prerelease RRC placement 17 to 19 months before his projected release date, as required by Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) policy guidance, and that the Second Chance Act of 2007 requires that they place him in an RRC for the final nine months of his prison sentence. For relief, he seeks an order directing prison officials to place him in an RRC for the final portion of his prison sentence.

         In response, the respondent argues that habeas relief is barred by procedural default because Moneyham has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with respect to his RRC determination. The respondent further notes that, on October 3, 2018, prison officials issued a memorandum determination that Moneyham would be excluded from RRC placement until his release from prison based on his “extensive prior [criminal] record and a serious disciplinary record, ” including a “history of violence toward staff and other inmates, ” demonstrating his “complete disregard for institutional rules and regulations and inability to adjust within a correctional environment.” (Doc. 8-1, at 51.)

         II. Discussion

         “Federal prisoners are ordinarily required to exhaust their administrative remedies before petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to § 2241.” Moscato v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 98 F.3d 757, 760 (3d Cir. 1996). Exhaustion is required because:

(1) allowing the appropriate agency to develop a factual record and apply its expertise facilitates judicial review; (2) permitting agencies to grant the relief requested conserves judicial resources; and (3) providing agencies the opportunity to correct their own errors fosters administrative autonomy.

Id. at 761-62. Proper exhaustion requires that “a prisoner must complete the administrative review process in accordance with the applicable procedural rules, including deadlines, as a precondition to bringing suit in federal court.” Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 84 (2006).

         The BOP has established a multi-stage administrative remedy process through which an inmate may seek formal review of an issue related to any aspect of confinement. See 28 C.F.R. § 542.10 et seq.; see also Nyhuis, 204 F.3d at 77 n.12 (describing the administrative remedy process). At the first stage, the inmate is required to present an issue of concern informally to staff in an attempt to informally resolve the issue without a formal request for an administrative remedy. 28 C.F.R. § 542.13(a). If unable to satisfactorily resolve the issue informally, the inmate must file a formal written administrative remedy request on BOP Form BP-9. Id. § 542.14(a). Ordinarily, the inmate's BP-9 must be submitted to the Warden within 20 calendar days following the date on which the basis for the administrative remedy occurred. Id. If dissatisfied with the Warden's response, the inmate may submit a written appeal to the appropriate Regional Director on BOP Form BP-10. Id. § 542.15(a). Ordinarily, the inmate's BP-10 must be submitted within 20 calendar days of the date the Warden signed his or her response. Id. If dissatisfied with the Regional Director's response, the inmate may submit a written appeal to the BOP's General Counsel on BOP Form BP-11. Id. The inmate's BP-11 must be submitted within 30 calendar days of the date when the Regional Director signed his or her response. Id. This review by the BOP's General Counsel is the final administrative appeal for administrative remedy requests by federal prisoners. Id. The BOP regulations expressly provide for extension of these deadlines in a variety of circumstances. See Id. §§ 542.14(b), 542.15(a).

         If an inmate fails to comply with the procedural requirements of the administrative remedy procedure, a request may be rejected at any stage of the process. Id. § 542.17(a). When a submission is rejected, the inmate is provided with written notice as to the reason for rejection, and if the defect is correctable, the rejection notice will also provide a reasonable extension of time to correct the defect and resubmit the request or appeal. Id. § 542.17(b). If a request or appeal is rejected and the inmate is not given an opportunity to correct the defect and resubmit, the inmate may appeal the rejection to the next appeal level. Id. § 542.17(c).

         Failure to satisfy the procedural rules of the BOP's administrative remedy program also constitutes a procedural default in subsequent court proceedings. Moscato, 98 F.3d at 760. “[I]f a prisoner has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies due to a procedural default and the default renders unavailable the administrative process, review of his habeas claim is barred unless he can demonstrate cause and prejudice.” Id. at 761. To demonstrate “cause” for a procedural default, the petitioner must show that “some objective factor external to the [petitioner's] defense impeded [his] efforts to comply with [a] procedural rule.” Murray v. Carrier, 477 U.S. 478, 488 (1986). Meanwhile, to demonstrate “actual prejudice, ” the petitioner must show ...


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