United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
BRIAN R. LEWIS #10003-025, Petitioner,
DR. MARK, and MRS. BELL, Respondents.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
HERNDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Brian Lewis, who is currently incarcerated in the Federal
Correctional Institution in Marion, Illinois
(“Marion”), filed a petition for writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1). In the
Petition, he requests a transfer to a residential re-entry
center (i.e., a halfway house) and claims, among
other things, that he was deprived of due process when his
approval for 12 months in a halfway house was rescinded.
Court concludes that the Petition survives preliminary review
under Rule 4 and Rule 1(b) of the Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases in the United States District Courts.
seeking an expedited transfer to a halfway house, Petitioner
claims that he was approved to receive 12 months in a halfway
house under the Second Chance Act,  with August 1, 2017 as his
tentative release date. (Doc. 1, pp. 7, 11). He was then
transferred to another institution, where he claims the 12
months were taken away without due process, despite the fact
that he “met the criteria for [the] full term allowed
under the Act.” (Doc. 1, p. 7). Petitioner also
attempts to bring a defamation claim, a retaliation claim
under the First Amendment, and a breach of contract claim.
(Doc. 1, pp. 7-8).
of the Rules Governing Section 2254 cases in United States
District Courts provides that upon preliminary consideration
by the district court judge, “[i]f it plainly appears
from the petition and any attached exhibits that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court,
the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to
notify the petitioner.” Rule 1(b) of those Rules gives
this Court the authority to apply the rules to other habeas
petition seeking habeas corpus relief is appropriate under 28
U.S.C. § 2241 when a petitioner challenges the fact or
duration of confinement. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411
U.S. 475, 490 (1973); Graham v. Broglin, 922 F.2d
379, 380-81 (7th Cir. 1991). A § 2241 petition is also
appropriate if a prisoner seeks release from custody because
his custody violates the Constitution or federal laws.
Collins v. Holinka, 510 F.3d 666, 667 (7th Cir.
2007). In this case, Petitioner seeks what he presumably
believes to be a quantum change in confinement, halfway house
placement or, in the alternative, home confinement. If a
prisoner seeks a “quantum change in the level of
custody, ” such as release from prison, then a habeas
petition is the appropriate vehicle; however, if release is
actually unavailable, then a civil rights action is
appropriate and the habeas petition must be dismissed on its
merits, albeit without prejudice to the claim being brought
in a civil rights action. See Glaus v. Anderson, 408
F.3d 382, 387-89 (7th Cir. 2005).
outright release is not an option. In fact, Petitioner does
not even request release. Rather, he seeks a transfer to a
halfway house. This would appear to be more like the
challenges to requests for work release, transfer between
prisons, or changes in housing quarters that have been held
to constitute civil rights actions as opposed to habeas
corpus proceedings. Pischke v. Litscher, 178 F.3d
497, 499 (7th Cir. 1999); Falcon v. U.S. BOP, 52
F.3d 137, 138 (7th Cir. 1995); Adams v. Beldsoe, 173
F. App'x 483, 484 (7th Cir. 2006).
there is some disagreement among the district courts in the
Seventh Circuit as to whether a habeas corpus petition is the
proper vehicle to make a claim regarding halfway house
placement. See Woolridge v. Cross, 2014 WL 4799893
(S.D. Ill. Sept. 26, 2014) (finding that claim must be
brought pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named
Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971)); Stokes v. Cross,
2014 WL 503934, at *2 (S.D. Ill. Feb. 2014) (same); Moody
v. Rios, 2013 WL 5236747 (C.D. Ill. Sept. 17, 2013)
(finding that halfway house placement can be addressed under
§ 2241); Feazell v. Sherrod, 2010 WL 5174355
(S.D. Ill.Dec. 16, 2010) (same); Pence v. Holikna,
2009 WL 3241874 (W.D. Wis. Sept. 29, 2009) (same).
this uncertainty in the law and the allegations in the
Petition, it does not plainly appear that the Petitioner is
not entitled to relief in this action. However,
Petitioner's retaliation, defamation, and breach of
contract claims will be dismissed from this action, as they
do not challenge the fact or duration of Petitioner's
confinement and are clearly more appropriate claims for a
civil rights action.
has not named the proper respondent in this habeas action. In
a habeas corpus proceeding, an individual respondent who has
the authority to bring the petitioner before the Court must
be named. This individual is the prisoner's custodian,
i.e., the warden of the prison where the inmate is
confined. See Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426,
442, 447 (2004); Kholyavskiy v. Achim, 443 F.3d 946,
948-49 (7th Cir. 2006). The Court will therefore dismiss the
named defendants and add the Warden of Marion as a defendant
in this action.