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Alfredo Carratala v. Warden Donna Zickefoose

July 6, 2011

ALFREDO CARRATALA,
PETITIONER,
v.
WARDEN DONNA ZICKEFOOSE, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jerome B. Simandle United States District Judge

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Petitioner, Alfredo Carratala ("Carratala"), presently confined at the FCI Fort Dix in Fort Dix, New Jersey, brings this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3), challenging his continued placement in the Special Housing Unit since August 26, 2009. The named respondent is the Warden at FCI Fort Dix, where Carratala was confined at the time he filed his habeas petition. This Court has reviewed the petition and the answer and relevant record provided by Respondent, and for the reasons stated below, finds that the petition should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

I. BACKGROUND

Carratala is a federal prisoner designated to the FCI Fort Dix since March 9, 2007. (Declaration of Tara Moran, at ¶ 5 and Exhibit 2 (Inmate History)). On August 26, 2009, Carratala was issued an Incident Report No. 1912921, charging him with a Code 108 violation, Possession of a Hazardous Tool (cell phone) inside a secure facility. (Id., ¶ 5, Ex. 3 (Incident Report) and Ex. 4 (Inmate Discipline Data, Pending Reports)). As a result of the incident, Carratala was placed in the Special Housing Unit ("SHU") in administrative segregation ("AS") status. Also on August 26, 2009, the incident report was "suspended" pending an FBI referral and investigation. (Id., ¶ 5, Exs. 4, 5). Carratala has remained in the SHU since August 26, 2009, except for two occasions when he was temporarily housed in the Health Services Department.*fn1 (Id., Ex. 5).

Carratala filed this habeas petition, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, on or about February 1, 2010, seeking his release from the SHU to a federal holding facility. He claims that his confinement in the SHU/AS was without due process. On November 12, 2010, respondent filed an answer together with the relevant administrative record. (Docket entry no. 5).

Respondent informs that, while Carratala was in the SHU, he received additional and numerous incident reports. Consequently, he has received disciplinary segregation ("DS") as a sanction. (Moran Decl., ¶ 5 and Ex. 7). Specifically, on November 6, 2009, Carratala was sanctioned for a Code 203 violation (threatening bodily harm), and a Code 307 violation (refusing to obey an order). He was sanctioned to an aggregate time of 30 days in DS. (Id., Ex. 7). On November 13, 2009, Carratala was sanctioned yet again for another Code 203 and Code 307 violation. The sanction imposed for the Code 203 was 30 days DS to run concurrent with the earlier DS sanction, and a consecutive 21 days DS on the Code 307 violation. (Id., Ex. 7). On December 11, 2009, Carratala was sanctioned for a third Code 307 violation and received 30 days DS to run consecutive to the earlier sanctions. (Id.).

Respondent further informs the Court that Carratala's August 26, 2009 Incident Report recently was released by the FBI for administrative processing by the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("FBOP"). The incident report currently is pending before the Disciplinary Hearing Officer ("DHO") for final disposition of the Code 108 violation. (Moran Decl., ¶ 5 and Ex. 8).

Carratala seeks his release from SHU into general population. He also complains that he has limited access to the law library while he is in AS. The respondent contends that the petition should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, or in the alternative, because the petitioner does not have a protected liberty interest in being housed in a general population facility. Respondent also argues that Carratala has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Standards of Review

Carratala brings his habeas petition as a pro se litigant.

A pro se pleading is held to less stringent standards than more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. 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 ...


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