Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

MORALES v. DeROSA

September 12, 2005.

JUAN MORALES, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN C.J. DeROSA, Respondent.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JEROME SIMANDLE, District Judge

OPINION

Petitioner Juan Morales, a prisoner confined at the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, New Jersey, has submitted a petition for writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241,*fn1 challenging the results of a prison disciplinary proceeding. The sole respondent is Warden C.J. DeRosa. For the reasons set forth below, the Petition will be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

  Petitioner is presently confined pursuant to a conviction and sentence issued in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

  On November 16, 2002, Petitioner submitted a urine sample for drug testing. The Chain of Custody form signed by Petitioner, Register Number 11782-050, indicated Specimen Number B00902296. The Chain of Custody form included the following certification: "I certify that the specimen accompanying this form is my own and that I provided it to the collector. Further, I certify that the specimen was sealed in my presence and that the information on this form and label is correct." (Answer, Hebbon Decl., Ex. 1d, Chain of Custody form.)

  On November 21, 2002, Petitioner was issued an Incident Report, Number 1049453, charging him with the unauthorized use of narcotics, a violation of Offense Code 112. See 28 C.F.R. § 541.13 (detailing Offense Codes). The Incident Report stated:

  On 11/21/02 at approximately 10:00 am I received written notification from National Toxicology which stated that specimen number B00643831 had tested positive for Opiates/Morphine. Specimen number B00902296 was assigned to the urine sample for inmate Morales, Juan # 11782-050 and provided on 11-16-2002 at 5:43pm to officer Duncan. Health Services was notified and informed this office that the medication was not prescribed to inmate Morales, Juan # 03147-036 which resulted in a positive test for Opiates/Morphine. (Answer, Hebbon Decl., Ex. 1c, Incident Report No. 1049453 (emphasis added).) The Incident Report refers to two different specimen numbers and two different register numbers.

  The Incident Report was based upon a laboratory report from National Toxicology Laboratories, which reflects a positive result for "Opiates — Morphine" for Specimen Number B00902296. (Answer, Hebbon Decl., Ex. 1e, National Toxicology Laboratories, Inc. Laboratory Report.)

  On November 22, 2002, the United Discipline Committee ("UDC") referred the incident report to the Discipline Hearing Officer ("DHO") for further hearing. On December 12, 2002, a DHO hearing was convened. During that hearing, it was noted that two specimen identification numbers were included on the incident report. Therefore, the DHO returned the report for additional investigation/re-write.

  On December 13, 2002, a revised incident report was issued to Petitioner charging him with the same prohibited act as the original incident report. (Answer, Hebbon Decl., Ex. 1f, Revised Incident Report.) While the revised incident report corrected the erroneous reference to specimen number B00643831, it did not correct the erroneous reference to two different register numbers.

  The DHO hearing reconvened on December 19, 2002. The DHO determined that Petitioner had committed the prohibited act charged and imposed various sanctions, including the disallowance of 54 days good time credits. (Answer, Hebbon Decl., Ex. 1g, DHO Report.) The DHO Report reflects that Petitioner denied the charge and stated that he did not use any drugs. In finding that Petitioner had committed the prohibited acts, the DHO relied upon the Incident Report, the Chain of Custody form, the Laboratory Report, and Petitioner's institutional history of unauthorized use of narcotics.

  Petitioner has exhausted his administrative remedies for challenging the DHO Report and sanctions.

  Here, Petitioner contends that he was denied due process because the DHO was belligerent at the hearing, because the specimen that tested positive was not assigned to him (as evidenced by the typographical discrepancies in the Incident Report), and because the sanctions imposed are severe.

  Respondent has answered. Petitioner has submitted a reply in support of his Petition, and this ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.