United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Richard Caputo United States District Judge
before me is the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. 1)
filed by Michael Watson ("Petitioner"). Because
Petitioner has been released from custody, the petition will
be dismissed as moot.
March 27, 2018, Petitioner filed the instant petition
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 alleging due process
violations in relation to a disciplinary hearing.
(See Doc. 1, generally). Specifically,
Petitioner contends that he was denied the right to appeal an
adverse decision by a Disciplinary Hearing Officer
("DHO") when he was not given a copy of the DHO
report. (See Doc. 2, 1). As a result of the
DHO's decision, Petitioner lost 55 days of "Good
Conduct Time." (Id. at 2).
filed her response to the petition on April 19, 2018
requesting that the petition be transferred to the United
District Court for the District of Massachusetts because
Petitioner was in custody in that District. (See
Doc. 7, generally). Petitioner submitted a traverse
on May 24, 2018. (See Doc. 8, generally).
October 11, 2019, Petitioner submitted a change of address,
which indicated that he had been released from custody.
(See Doc. 13, generally). The Bureau of
Prisons' Inmate Locator confirms that Petitioner was in
fact released from custody on that date. See Inmate
Locator, available at https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/#
(last visited October 15, 2019).
Article III of the Constitution, a federal court may
adjudicate 'only actual, ongoing cases or
controversies.'" Burkey v. Marberry, 556
F.3d 142, 147 (3d Cir. 2009) (quoting Lewis v.
Continental Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477, 110 S.Ct.
1249, 108 L.Ed.2d 400 (1990)). "The case or controversy
requirement continues through all stages of federal judicial
proceedings, trial and appellate, and requires that parties
have a personal stake in the outcome." Id.
(citing Lewis, 494 U.S. at 477-478, 110 S.Ct. 1249).
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
recently dismissed as moot a § 2241 petition where the
petitioner was released from custody prior to disposition of
the underlying petition challenging the actions of the Bureau
of Prisons in a prison disciplinary hearing. See Reyes v.
Fed. Bureau of Prisons, No. 17-4562, 2019 WL 4302964, at
*1 (D.N.J. Sept. 11, 2019). In doing so, the Reyes
The remedy in a § 2241 petition challenging a
disciplinary proceeding would be to remand to the BOP to
conduct a new disciplinary hearing, See Bridge v. U.S.
Parole Comm 'n, 981 F.2d 97, 105 (3d Cir.
1992j("[T]he appropriate judicial remedy when an agency
exceeds its discretion is a remand to the agency for further
proceedings consistent with the court s opinion.")
(citing Federal Power Comm. v. Idaho Power Co., 344
U.S. 17, 20 (1952)): Mitts v. Zickefoose, 869
F.Supp.2d 568, 575 (D.N.J. 2012) ("If a federal court
sitting in habeas review finds that the constitutional
safeguards . . . of due process, have been violated, the sole
remedy that court could offer is a curative hearing.");
Cannon v. Scnultz, No. 08-4514, 2010 WL 2539387, at
*6 (D.N.J. June 16, 2010) ("[E]ven if a federal court
determines that an inmate's due process rights were
violated during an administrative hearing, the federal court
does not conduct its own 'trial' superceding a
defective administrative proceeding: in such case, the proper
remedy is a curative administrative hearing conducted in
accordance with due process requirements."). However,
the Court cannot order the BOP to conduct a new hearing in
this matter because Petitioner has completed his period of
incarceration and is no longer in BOP custody.
In Burkey, the Third Circuit affirmed the district
court's determination that a § 2241 petition
challenging a prison disciplinary hearing was moot after the
petitioner was released from BOP custody onto supervised
release. 556 F.3d 142 (3dCir.20Q9). The court reasoned that
petitioner's sentence had expired and that delayed
commencement of a "validly imposed term of supervised
release" is insufficient to be a "continuing
injury" to avoid mootness after release from BOP
custody. Id. at 148. As Petitioner challenges only
the actions of the BOP in his prison disciplinary hearing,
there is no live case or controversy following Petitioner s
release from prison.
Id. at* 1-2.
in Keaton v. Maiorana, No. 15-2490, 2017 WL 2592379,
at *l-2 (M.D. Pa. June 15, 2017), this Court dismissed a
pending § 2441 petition challenging the loss of good
time credits in light to the petitioner's release from
custody. The court observed that "a petition under 28
U.S.C. § 2241 challenging the loss of good time credits
becomes 'moot upon [petitioner's] release from
imprisonment unless he [or she] can demonstrate some
collateral consequence that persists beyond the
sentence's expiration and is likely to be redressed by a
favorable judicial decision.'" Id. (quoting
Scott v. Schuykill FCI, 298 Fed.Appx. 202, 204 (3d
Cir. 2008)). Because the petitioner failed to demonstrate any
collateral consequences resulted from the petitioner's
disciplinary hearing, the Keaton court dismissed the
same is compelled here. More particularly, Petitioner was
released from custody on or about October 11, 2019. The
underlying petition sought to restore his "Good Conduct
Time" and to "expunge the underlying incident
report[.]" (Doc. 2, 8). In short, Petitioner's
release from custody renders those requests moot. Moveover,
there is nothing in the record to ...