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Bryant v. Samuels

November 27, 2006

JOHN L. BRYANT, PETITIONER,
v.
CHARLES E. SAMUELS, RESPONDENT.



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

OPINION

On November 11, 2006, John L. Bryant (hereinafter "Petitioner"), an inmate at F.C.I. Fort Dix in Fort Dix, New Jersey (hereinafter "Current Facility"), filed his Pro Se Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus (hereinafter "Petition"), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.*fn1 The Respondent Petitioner named in his Petition is Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Warden of the Current Facility.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

A pro se pleading is held to less stringent standards than more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A pro se habeas petition and any supporting submissions must be construed liberally and with a measure of tolerance. See Royce v. Hahn, 151 F.3d 116, 118 (3d Cir. 1998); Lewis v. Attorney General, 878 F.2d 714, 721-22 (3d Cir. 1989); United States v. Brierley, 414 F.2d 552, 555 (3d Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 399 U.S. 912 (1970). However, in comparison to civil rights complaints filed pro se, "[h]abeas corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading requirements." McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994). As the Supreme Court explained,

Habeas Rule 2(c) . . . provides that the petition must "specify all the grounds for relief available to the petitioner" and "state the facts supporting each ground." See . . . Advisory Committee's note on subd.

(c) of Habeas Corpus Rule 2, 28 U.S.C., p. 469 ("In the past, petitions have frequently contained mere conclusions of law, unsupported by any facts. [But] it is the relationship of the facts to the claim asserted that is important . . . ."); Advisory Committee's Note on Habeas Corpus Rule 4, 28 U.S.C., p. 471 ("'[N]notice' pleading is not sufficient, for the petition is expected to state facts that point to a real possibility of constitutional error." (internal quotation marks omitted)) . . . . A prime purpose of Rule 2(c)'s demand that habeas petitioners plead with particularity is to assist the district court in determining whether the State should be ordered to "show cause why the writ should not be granted." § 2243. Under Habeas Corpus Rule 4, if "it plainly appears from the petition . . . that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in district court," the court must summarily dismiss the petition without ordering a responsive pleading.

Mayle v. Felix, 545 U.S. 644 (2005).

"Federal courts are authorized to dismiss summarily any habeas petition that appears legally insufficient on its face." McFarland, 512 U.S. at 856. Dismissal without the filing of an answer or the State court record is warranted "if it appears on the face of the petition that petitioner is not entitled to relief." Siers v. Ryan, 773 F.2d 37, 45 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1025 (1989); see also McFarland, 512 U.S. at 856; United States v. Thomas, 221 F.3d 430, 437 (3d Cir. 2000) (habeas petition may be dismissed where "none of the grounds alleged in the petition would entitle [the petitioner] to relief").*fn2

DISCUSSION

Petitioner alleges that his constitutional due process rights were denied and "urges this . . . Court to correct [Petitioner's] custody classification and his sentence." Pet. at

1. Petitioner's allegations appear to present two interwoven yet completely independent strings of facts, as well as arguments ensuing from these facts. This Court finds it prudent to address each of the two matters raised by Petitioner separately.

I. Petitioner's Classification Claim

A. Background

It appears that Petitioner's classification claim is based on the following ...


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