United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
currently incarcerated in FCI Greenville, brings this habeas
corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to challenge
his prison placement. Petitioner alleges that he has been
consistently misplaced throughout his time in the custody of
the Bureau of Prisons, and that his current facility point
total justifies placement in a “LOW” facility.
(Doc. 1, p. 1).
of the Rules Governing § 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
corpus cases. After carefully reviewing the Petition in the
present case, the Court concludes that Petitioner is not
entitled to relief, and the Petition must be dismissed.
states that he is challenging the location or conditions of
his sentence. (Doc. 1, p. 1). The Petition is rambling and
difficult to follow, but generally Petitioner alleges that he
has been assaulted six times, threatened by staff, lost
property, lost legal documents, and had his records altered.
(Doc. 1, p. 2). Petitioner also alleges that this is
intentional conduct, carried out in retaliation. (Doc. 1, pp.
2-3, 6, 8). Petitioner also challenges the BOP's
“step-down” policy by which an inmate must do
well at a higher facility for a certain period of time before
being transferred to a lower facility, (Doc. 1, pp. 2-3), the
encumbrance of his funds, (Doc. 1, p. 3), the lack of stamps
made available to indigent inmates, Id., an August
24, 2017 incident wherein he got into a dispute with Lt.
Vandervender, (Doc. 1, pp. 3-5), an incident at FCI Hazelton
with the AW, (Doc. 1, p. 5), his transfer more than 500 miles
outside his home region, (Doc. 1, pp. 5-7), the law library
hours at Greenville, (Doc. 1, p. 6), and the confiscation of
his property at various times. (Doc. 1, p. 8). Petitioner
also notes that he has another § 2241 petition, which he
expects to be released pursuant to any day now. (Doc. 1, p.
9). In light of his imminent release, Petitioner requests all
property be returned to him in 10 business days, proper
placement in a LOW facility near his home state (specifically
Danbury FCI or FCI Otisville), the removal of five illegal
points from his prison record, and replacement of any
personal property the BOP is unable to return, free of
petition seeking habeas corpus relief is appropriate under 28
U.S.C. § 2241 when a prisoner is challenging the fact or
duration of his confinement. Preiser v. Rodriguez,
411 U.S. 475, 490 (1973); Waletzki v. Keohane, 13
F.3d 1079, 1080 (7th Cir. 1994). The writ of habeas corpus
may be granted where the defendant is in custody in violation
of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.
28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3).
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 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. Holinka, 2009 WL 3241874
(W.D. Wis. Sept. 29, 2009) (same).
for quantum change in the level of custody, such as outright
freedom, probation, etc., are typically brought as habeas
corpus actions, while requests for a change in the
circumstances of confinement are typically brought as civil
rights actions. Graham v. Broglin, 922 F.2d 379, 381
(7th Cir. 1991). “Put differently, if the prisoner is
not seeking release, or release is not available as a remedy
to the prisoner's claims, then ‘his challenge can
only concern the conditions of his confinement . . . not the
fact of his confinement. As such, he may not proceed with a
habeas petition.'” Stokes v. Cross, 2014
WL 503934, at *2 (S.D. Ill. Feb. 2014) (citing Glaus v.
Anderson, 408 F.3d 382, 388 (7th Cir. 2005)).
Petitioner has alleged that his request for outright release
is the subject of another petition. He has further made
claims that would typically sound in civil rights litigation,
like his claims that certain guards are harassing or
retaliating against him, and his insinuations that he is
being deprived of his access to courts because he is not
being given adequate legal supplies or access to the law
library. His request for relief is also mixed, and includes
requests that are not cognizable in a habeas proceeding, like
his request for financial compensation for any lost property
and certain equitable requests to return property. Moreover,
a review of Petitioner's litigation history reveals a
motive for attempting to shoehorn civil rights claims into a
habeas proceeding-Petitioner has accrued at least 7 strikes
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915(g), which bar him from proceeding
in forma pauperis. See Reynolds v. Donate,
07-cv-892-JFM-JVW (M.D. Pa. 2007); Reynolds v. Lackawanna
Cnty. Prison, 06-cv-1190 (M.D. Pa. 2006); Reynolds
v. Gurganus, et al., 06-cv-1753 (M.D. Pa. 2006);
Reynolds v. Kosik et. al., 06-cv-2466 (M.D. Pa.
2007); Reynolds v. Kosik, 07-cv-083-JFM-JVW (M.D.
Pa. 2007); Reynolds v. Donate, 07-131-JFM-JVW (M.D.
Pa 2007); Reynolds v. Whitebread, 07-cv-297-JFM-JVW
(M.D. Pa. 2007). Perhaps most damningly, Petitioner has
made identical arguments previously in another civil rights
proceeding, see Reynolds v. Ives, 15-cv-1904-MWF-JCG
(C.D. Ca.)(Doc. 4, p. 2) (“On September 17, 2015,
plaintiff Michael Curtis Reynolds . . . lodged a civil rights
complaint . . . alleging that authorities at United States
Penitentiary, Victorville . . . “refused to
correct” his improper placement at that
this action appears 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 Fed.Appx. 483, 484
(7th Cir. 2006). However, assuming arguendo that
Petitioner may proceed under § 2241 and that the Court
has jurisdiction to consider his Petition, he is still not
entitled to the relief sought.
18 U.S.C. § 4001 grants the Attorney General authority
to manage federal correctional institutions, and that
authority has been delegated to the BOP. 28 C.F.R. §
.96; BOP Program Statement 5100.08. It is well-settled that
prison officials have discretion over prisoner
classifications and that prisoners have no legitimate due
process concerns with respect to such classifications.
Moody v. Daggett, 429 U.S. 78, 88 n. 9 (1976).
See also, Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238, 245
(1983)(holding that a prisoner has no constitutional right to
select a particular correctional facility for his placement
or to be transferred to a different facility upon request.)
“As long as the conditions or degree of confinement to
which the prisoner is subjected is within the sentence
imposed upon him and is not otherwise violative of the
Constitution, the Due Process Clause does not in itself
subject an inmate's treatment by prison authorities to
judicial oversight.” Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S.
460, 468 (1983).
the Court finds that Petitioner's claims are not
cognizable in a habeas proceedings, and would likely fail
even if they were pursued in an appropriate action, the Court
will DISMISS the Petition with prejudice.