United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Engelbert Rosales, Petitioner Pro Se Fort Dix, NJ.
JEROME B. SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge.
Engelbert Rosales, a federal prisoner confined at FCI Fort Dix, New Jersey, filed this Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Docket Entry 1). For the reasons expressed below, this Court will dismiss the Petition without prejudice pending exhaustion of Petitioner's administrative remedies.
Petitioner is serving a thirty-six month sentences for attempted second-degree sex abuse and attempted kidnapping. (Docket Entry 2 at 4). On April 7, 2014, the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") evaluated Petitioner for residential re-entry center ("RRC") placement pursuant to the Second Chance Act of 2007, Pub. L. No. 110-199, April 9, 2008 ("Second Chance Act"). (Docket Entry 1 at 8; Docket Entry 2 at 4). The Unit Team in charge of Petitioner's evaluation determined a placement of 60-90 days RRC placement was appropriate. (Docket Entry 2 at 5). It further determined home confinement was not appropriate. (Docket Entry 2 at 5).
Petitioner mailed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on May 29, 2015. (Docket Entry 1). He asserted that the BOP improperly denied him the 10% halfway house time allotment, which would have set his date of release to June 2, 2015. (Docket Entry 1 ¶¶ 4-7). Petitioner asserted the BOP was delaying the administrative remedy process, making exhaustion futile. (Docket Entry 1 ¶¶ 6-9). On June 29, 2015, he supplemented his petition with more documents. (Docket Entry 2).
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Petitioner brings this Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus 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 Cir. 1989); United States v. Brierley, 414 F.2d 552, 555 (3d Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 399 U.S. 912 (1970).
Petitioner challenges the decision of the BOP denying him placement at a halfway house. Section 2241 of Title 28 of the United States Code provides in relevant part:
(c) The writ of habeas corpus shall not extend to a prisoner unless... He is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.
28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). "Section 2241 is the only statute that confers habeas jurisdiction to hear the petition of a federal prisoner who is challenging not the validity but the execution of his sentence." Coady v. Vaughn, 251 F.3d 480, 485-86 (3d Cir. 2001). This Court has subject matter jurisdiction under § 2241 to consider the instant petition because Petitioner was incarcerated in New Jersey when he filed the petition, and he challenges the denial of early release on federal grounds. See Woodall v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d 235, 241-44 (3d Cir. 2005); Barden v. Keohane, 921 F.2d 476, 478-79 (3d Cir. 1990). Moreover, if the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") incorrectly determined his eligibility for early release, this error carries a potential for a miscarriage of justice that can be corrected through habeas corpus. See Murray v. Carrier, 477 U.S. 478, 495 (1986); Barden, 921 F.2d at 479.
"Federal prisoners are required to exhaust their administrative remedies before filing a § 2241 habeas petition." Tiffin v. Lewisburg, 589 F.Appx. 609, 611 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing Moscato v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, et al., 98 F.3d 757, 760 (3d Cir. 1996)). The record reflects that Petitioner is in the process of pursuing his administrative appeal, beginning with an informal request that was submitted on May 12, 2015, and to which a response was received on May 15, 2015. (Docket Entry 1 at 8). Thereafter, Petitioner submitted a formal remedy request to the administrative remedy coordinator on May 26, 2015. (Docket Entry 1 at 5). His request was rejected because he failed to submit the request number of copies, however he was informed that he could resubmit his request within five days. (Docket Entry 1 at 5). A handwritten note on the form indicates Petitioner resubmitted his request on May 29, 2015, (Docket Entry 1 at 5), the same day Petitioner mailed his petition. Warden Hollingsworth responded to Petitioner's Administrative Remedy form on June 22, 2015, (Docket Entry 2 at 4-5), and Petitioner submitted an ...