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Jose Hernandez-Zapata v. Paul Schultz

April 4, 2011

JOSE HERNANDEZ-ZAPATA,
PETITIONER,
v.
PAUL SCHULTZ,
RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Jerome B. Simandle

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

SIMANDLE, District Judge

Jose Hernandez-Zapata, a federal inmate confined at FCI Fairton in New Jersey, filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 seeking restoration of 40 days of good conduct time forfeited as a disciplinary sanction. For the reasons expressed below and because the face of the Petition and attachments show that Petitioner is not entitled to relief, this Court will summarily dismiss the Petition.

I. BACKGROUND

Petitioner challenges the loss of 40 days of earned good conduct time imposed by the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") as a disciplinary sanction while Petitioner was confined at FCI Fairton.

Petitioner executed the Petition on July 30, 2010. The Clerk received it on August 5, 2010. Petitioner asserts the following facts. On March 12, 2009, Petitioner shared an eight-person cell with seven other inmates. On that date, staff conducted a random search of Petitioner's cell. The incident report, which is attached to the Petition, states:

[On March 12, 2009, w]hile conducting a random search of Cell 243-246 (8 man cell) in HBL, I found a homemade weapon. The weapon was located in a common area on top of a locker in the back of the cell. The locker is the far left locker next to the window. It was made of harden[ed] plastic and was sharpened to a point at one end. The weapon was approximately 6 1/2 inches long had black tape as a handle and had a black lanyard attached. The occupants of this cell are: Hernandez-Zapata . . . . (Docket Entry #1, p. 6.)

Petitioner testified at a disciplinary hearing on March 26, 2009. The Discipline Hearing Officer ("DHO") Report dated March 31, 2009, is attached to the Petition. The report summarizes Petitioner's statement:

The inmate had no documentation to present at the DHO Hearing. After being read the incident report by the DHO the inmate stated, My locker is in the front. It was found in the back. It's not mine. Inmate made no complaints about procedural errors. (Docket Entry #1, p. 9.)

The DHO found Petitioner guilty of code 104, Possession of a Weapon, based on the following findings:

The DHO finds that on March 12, 2009, at about 6:21 pm . . . you did commit the prohibited act of Possession of a Weapon, code 104. The specific evidence relied upon to support this finding was the written statement of the reporting staff member, M. Haubois, who states on 3/12/09 at about 6:21 p.m., he found a home made weapon in a common area on top of a locker in your cell. It was made from hardened plastic and was sharpened to a point . . . . Additionally, the DHO relied upon as evidence the photograph of the weapon. You denied the weapon was yours. The DHO explained to you during the hearing that contrary to your claim, inmates are accountable for contraband found in their cell and inmates have the responsibility of ensuring their areas are free of contraband. In addition you provided no evidence, other than your statement that it's not mine. Therefore, having considered all relevant evidence, the DHO finds that the greater weight of the evidence supports the finding that you committed the prohibited act of Possession of a Weapon, code 104. (Docket Entry #1, p. 10.)

The DHO sanctioned Petitioner with 60 days in disciplinary segregation and the loss of 40 days of good conduct time. (Id.)

Petitioner asserts that he exhausted administrative remedies by appealing the disciplinary sanctions to the Warden, the Regional Office, and the Central BOP Office. The final decision of Harrell Watts, Administrator of National Inmate ...


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