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Tyrone Randolph v. Donna Zickefoose

April 29, 2011

TYRONE RANDOLPH,
PETITIONER,
v.
DONNA ZICKEFOOSE,
RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Noel L. Hillman

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

HILLMAN, District Judge

It appearing that:

1. On August 10, 2010, Tyrone Randolph, an inmate confined at FCI Fort Dix in New Jersey, filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging the Bureau of Prison's ("BOP") failure to transfer him to a community corrections center ("CCC"), also known as a residential re-entry center ("RRC"), for the final year of his 180-month term of incarceration.

2. The Second Chance Act modified the pre-release custody placement statute by (1) doubling the pre-release placement period from six to 12 months, (2) requiring the BOP to make CCC placement decisions on an individual basis, and (3) requiring the BOP to ensure that, consistent with the factors in 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b), the duration of the placement period gives the inmate the greatest likelihood of successful community reintegration. See 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c).

3. Petitioner asserts the following facts. Petitioner is serving a 180-month term of imprisonment that was preceded by a state term that began in July 1995. Petitioner's projected release date is September 11, 2011. Petitioner asserts that on November 19, 2009, "Petitioner met with his Unit Team and was advised that he would be receiving 5-6 months RCC Placement (Halfway House) prior to the expiration of his custodial term. Petitioner sought to challenge the RCC placement time administratively by filing the appropriate paperwork with his unit team. Months had passed and no response was given regarding the request for expanded RCC placement. When he asked about the approval, or denial of the request, he was told that the request had never been received." (Docket Entry #1, p. 8.) He asserts that "placement needs to ensure successful reintegration into society are in jeopardy if given six months or less in RCC." (Id., p. 9.) He argues that he "qualifies for one year halfway house and/or community confinement and should be granted this one year term in order to successfully reintegrate into society."

(Id., p. 4.) He asks this Court to direct the BOP to re-evaluate his placement for a term of one year. (Id., p. 10.)

4. The Habeas Rules require the assigned judge to review a habeas petition prior to ordering an answer and to sua sponte dismiss the petition under certain circumstances:

The clerk must promptly forward the petition to a judge under the court's assignment procedure, and the judge must promptly examine it. If it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner . . . . 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 4, applicable through Rule 1(b).

5. The Supreme Court explained the pleading and summary dismissal requirements of Habeas Rules 2 and 4 as follows:

Under Rule 8(a), applicable to ordinary civil proceedings, a complaint need only provide "fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is, and the grounds upon which it rests." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 . . . (1957). Habeas Rule 2(c) is more demanding. It provides that the petition must "specify all the grounds for relief available to the petitioner" and "state the facts supporting each ground." See also 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, 655 (2005); see also McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994); United States v. Dawson, 8 ...


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