United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM ON PETITIONER'S PETITION FOR
WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
(Docket Nos. 1 & 14)
TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN DISTRICT JUDGE
Fernandez (“Petitioner”) has filed a petitioner
for a write of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241. (Docket No. 1). Stephen Spaulding
(“Respondent”) has moved to dismiss on several
grounds. (Docket No. 14). No opposition has been filed.
Nonetheless, I will examine the merits. For the reasons
stated below, the petition for habeas corpus (Docket No. 1)
is denied and Respondent's
motion to dismiss (Docket No. 14) is
Petitioner is incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center in
Devens, MA (“FMC”). The events relevant to his
petition, however, occurred while Petitioner was incarcerated
at the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix. N.J.
August 28, 2017, a Correctional Officer searched Petitioner
and asked to see his MP3 player for inspection. This
examination revealed that the MP3 player had a memory card, a
feature not permitted on BOP-authorized MP3 players. In
addition, the player did not display Petitioner's name
and register number when turned on, another feature required
on authorized devices. Based on this inspection, staff
concluded that Petitioner possessed an unauthorized MP3
player. Consequently, Petitioner was charged with a Code 108
prohibited act, “Possession of a Hazardous Tool.”
A Disciplinary Hearing Officer (“DHO”) at FCI
heard Petitioner's charges and found that he had
committed the offense. Consequently, Petitioner was given 15
days of disciplinary segregation (suspended pending 90 days
clear conduct); 40 days loss of good conduct time pursuant to
18 U.S.C. § 3624(b); and 60 days loss of email
somewhat difficult to understand Petitioner's challenges,
but it seems that he contests the evidence DHO staff relied
upon to conclude he possessed an MP3 player, disputes its
characterization as a “Hazardous Tool, ” and
argues that the sanctions violated the Equal Protection
has moved to dismiss for “failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a petitioner must
allege “a plausible entitlement to relief.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 559, 127
S.Ct. 1955 (2007). Although detailed factual allegations are
not necessary to survive a motion to dismiss, the standard
“requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Id. at 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955.
“The relevant inquiry focuses on the reasonableness of
the inference of liability that the plaintiff is asking the
court to draw from the facts alleged in the complaint.”
Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 13
(1st Cir. 2011).
evaluating a motion to dismiss, the court must accept all
factual allegations in the petition as true and draw all
reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
Langadinos v. American Airlines, Inc., 199 F.3d 68,
68 (1st Cir. 2000). It is a “context-specific
task” to determine “whether a complaint states a
plausible claim for relief, ” one that “requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) (internal citations omitted).
“[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court
to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the
complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id.
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). On the other hand, a court
may not disregard properly pled factual allegations,
“even if it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of
those facts is improbable.” Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955.
Petitioner appears pro se, we construe his pleadings more
favorably than we would those drafted by an attorney. See
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197
(2007). Nevertheless, Petitioner's pro-se status does not
excuse him from complying with procedural and substantive
law. See Ahmed v. Rosenblatt, 118 F.3d 886, 890 (1st
the Supreme Court's decision in Wolff v.
McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 558 (1974), it has been assumed
in this Circuit that prison inmates have a liberty interest
in good conduct time credits. See Lother v. Vose, 89
F.3d 823, 1996 WL 345958, at *1 (1st Cir. June 25, 1996)
(unpublished table opinion); see also Pryor v.
Grondolsky, 15 WL 1268164, at *2 (D. Mass. Mar. 19,
2015) (“[F]ederal prison inmates have a protected
liberty interest in good time credits.”).
Sufficiency of Evidence
extent to which a Court may review prison disciplinary
hearings on habeas review is fairly clear and quite limited.
“The fundamental fairness guaranteed by the Due Process
Clause does not require courts to set aside decisions of
prison administrators that have some basis in fact.”
Superintendent v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 456, 105 S.Ct.
2768 (1985); see also Mitchell v. Maynard, 80 F.3d
1433, 1445 (10th Cir. 1996) (“If there is some evidence