United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
Reynaud Chandler, Plaintiff, Pro se, Terminal Island, CA.
For Archie Longley, Warden, FCC Yazoo City, Defendant: Mitzi Dease Paige, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE - Jackson, Jackson, MS.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Michael T. Parker, United States Magistrate Judge.
BEFORE THE COURT is the pro se Petition  of Reynaud Chandler for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the record, and the applicable law, the undersigned recommends that Petitioner's request for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 be denied and that the Petition be dismissed with prejudice.
On February 27, 2012, Petitioner Reynaud Chandler, a post-conviction inmate, filed his Petition alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Canaan, Pennsylvania. Specifically, Petitioner alleges that his due process rights were violated when he was disciplined for possessing a cell phone.
On February 19, 2010, Correctional Officer A. Geary conducted a search of the indoor gymnasium within the Canaan Penitentiary and found a cell phone and charger. At the time of the search, Petitioner was the only inmate in the gym. Officer Geary turned the cell phone over to Special Investigative Technician, B. Roberts. Roberts determined that ten of the twenty-two telephone numbers stored on the cell phone matched telephone numbers on Petitioner's official telephone list. Roberts issued Petitioner an Incident Report charging him with a violation of Disciplinary Code 108 of 28 C.F.R. § 541.13, which prohibits the " [p]ossession, manufacture, or introduction of a hazardous tool (tools most likely to be used in an escape or escape attempt or to serve as weapons capable of doing serious bodily harm to others; or those hazardous to institutional security or personal safety; e.g. hack-saw blade)." 28 C.F.R. § 541.13; ([5-3] at 2.)
Thereafter, a Disciplinary Hearing Officer found that Petitioner committed a violation of Disciplinary Code 108. The Hearing Officer imposed the following sanctions: (1) disallowance of forty days of good conduct time, (2)forfeiture of 120 days of good conduct time, (3) sixty days of disciplinary segregation, (4) loss of commissary privileges for one year, (5) loss of telephone privileges for two years, (6) loss of TRULINCS privileges for one year, and (7) loss of personal property for sixty days. Additionally, the Hearing Officer recommended a disciplinary transfer. ([5-7] at 4.)
Petitioner claims that classifying cell phones as hazardous tools under Section 541.13 amounted to the issuance of an invalid substantive rule because it was not issued in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act's notice-and-comment procedures. Petitioner also claims that the Bureau of Prisons failed to provide sufficient notice that cell phones qualified as hazardous tools under Section 541.13.
Respondent filed his Response arguing that (1) Petitioner failed to exhaust his administrative remedies regarding his claim that classifying cell phones as hazardous tools ran afoul of the Administrative Procedure Act (" APA") and (2) the Bureau's interpretation of a cell phone as a hazardous tool is a valid interpretative rule under the APA.
Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
It is well established that petitioners seeking habeas relief under Section 2241 generally must exhaust their administrative remedies prior to presenting their claims in federal court. See Fuller v. Rich, 11 F.3d 61, 62 (5th Cir. 1994); Gallegos-Hernandez v. U.S., 688 F.3d 190, 194 (5th Cir. 2012). A petitioner " must fairly present all claims forming the basis of his petition through the appropriate channels before seeking relief in federal court." McKnight v. Longley, 2012 WL 5342510, at * 2 (S.D.Miss. Aug. 14, 2012) (citing Dickerson v. Louisiana, 816 F.2d 220, 228 (5th Cir. 1987)). Exceptions to the exhaustion requirement may be appropriate only " where the available administrative remedies either are unavailable or wholly inappropriate to the relief sought, or where the attempt to exhaust such remedies would itself be a patently futile course of action." Fuller, 11 ...