United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
January 16, 2019, pro se Petitioner Ronald Drayton
(“Petitioner”), who is presently confined at the
Federal Correctional Institution Allenwood in White Deer,
Pennsylvania (“FCI Allenwood”), initiated the
above-captioned action by filing a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging
a detainer lodged against him by the Luzerne County,
Pennsylvania District Attorney's Office and asking the
Court to direct Respondent to remove the detainer. (Doc. No.
1.) After Petitioner paid the requisite filing fee, the Court
entered an Order to Show Cause, directing Respondent to file
a response within twenty (20) days. (Doc. No. 6.)
March 28, 2019, Respondent filed a response, asserting that
Petitioner's § 2241 petition should be dismissed
because: (1) Petitioner failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies; (2) the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over Petitioner's challenge to the detainer; and (3)
Petitioner's argument that the detainer has caused him to
be excluded from rehabilitative programs lacks merit, as such
exclusion does not violate his rights. (Doc. No. 8.)
Subsequently, Petitioner filed a motion for an extension of
time to file a traverse (Doc. No. 9), a motion for discovery
asking the Court to direct Respondent to provide him a
sentence computation abstract from the Pennsylvania
Department of Corrections (“DOC”) (Doc. No. 10),
and a motion to expedite a ruling on his motion for discovery
(Doc. No. 11).
Order dated May 17, 2019, the Court granted Petitioner's
motion to expedite to the extent that Respondent was directed
to file a response to the motion for discovery. (Doc. No.
12.) Respondent filed a response to the motion on May 21,
2019 (Doc. No. 13), and Petitioner filed a reply (Doc. No.
14). By Order dated June 7, 2019, the Court denied
Petitioner's motion for discovery and granted his motion
for an extension of time to file a traverse, directing him to
do so within fourteen (14) days. (Doc. No. 15.) The Court
received Petitioner's traverse on June 18, 2019. (Doc.
No. 16.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court will
dismiss Petitioner's § 2241 petition.
is in federal custody pursuant to a 57-month sentence imposed
upon him by Judge Malachy Mannion of this Court for
conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to
distribute cocaine. (Doc. No. 8-1, Ex. 1, Attach. 1 at 2.)
His projected release date is November 1, 2019.
10, 2017, the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office
contacted the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) via email
to request that a detainer be lodged against Petitioner.
(Id., Attach. 3 at 1.) The email included
attachments of the supporting court documentation as well as
an abstract pertaining to Petitioner's state criminal
proceedings. (Id. at 3-11.) The email indicated that
“[a]lthough [Petitioner's] Luzerne County sentence
is to run concurrent to his federal sentence, the Luzerne
County sentence will exceed his federal sentence.”
(Id. at 1.) In response, the BOP issued a Detainer
Action Letter to the District Attorney's Office, noting
that the detainer had been lodged and that Petitioner was
tentatively scheduled for release on November 1, 2019.
(Id. at 2.)
November 1, 2018, Petitioner filed administrative remedy
958568.F1, asking that the Luzerne County detainer be
removed. (Id., Attach. 2.) On November 20, 2018, his
remedy was denied at the institutional level. (Id.)
On December 12, 2018, Petitioner appealed to the Regional
Office, which denied his appeal on February 1, 2019.
asserts that Petitioner's § 2241 petition should be
dismissed because: (1) Petitioner failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies; (2) the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over Petitioner's challenge to the detainer;
and (3) Petitioner's argument that the detainer has
caused him to be excluded from rehabilitative programs lacks
merit, as such exclusion does not violate his rights. (Doc.
No. 8.) The Court considers each argument below in turn.
Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
§ 2241 does not contain an explicit statutory exhaustion
requirement, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit has consistently required a petitioner to exhaust his
administrative remedies before filing a § 2241 petition.
See Moscato v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 98 F.3d 757,
760 (3d Cir. 1996). Exhaustion is required “for three
reasons: (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
(citing Bradshaw v. Carlson, 682 F.2d 1050, 1052 (3d
Cir. 1981)). Exhaustion, however, is not required when it
would not promote these goals, such as when exhaustion would
be futile. See, e.g., Gambino v. Morris, 134 F.3d
156, 171 (3d Cir. 1998).
Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) has a multi-step
procedure for inmates to grieve aspects of their
imprisonment. See 28 C.F.R. §§
542.10-542.19. First, an inmate should attempt informal
resolution of the issue with the appropriate staff member.
Id. § 542.13(b). If informal resolution is
unsuccessful, the inmate may file a formal written grievance
with the Warden, using the appropriate form, within twenty
(20) days of the date of the events forming the basis of the
grievance. Id. § 542.14(a). An inmate
dissatisfied with the Warden's response may appeal it to
the Regional Director within twenty (20) days of the
Warden's response. Id. § 542.15(a).
Finally, an inmate may appeal the Regional Director's
response to the BOP's General Counsel within thirty (30)
days of the Regional Director's response. Id.
asserts that Petitioner's § 2241 petition should be
dismissed because Petitioner did not appeal to the Central
Office the Regional Officer's denial of his remedy
requesting that the detainer be removed. (Doc. No. 8 at 5.)
In response, Petitioner contends that he has fully exhausted
his administrative remedies and has included documentation to
support his claim. (Doc. No. 16.) The documents attached to
Petitioner's traverse indicate that on February 25, 2019,
Petitioner appealed the Regional Officer's response to
the Central Office. (Id. at 12-13.) On April 17,
2019, the Central Office denied Petitioner's appeal.
(Id. at 14.) Thus, while Petitioner did not fully
exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing ...