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Hribick v. Ortiz

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

April 19, 2017

RYAN JOSEPH HRIBICK, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN DAVID E. ORTIZ, Respondent.

          OPINION

          ROBERT B. KUGLER United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner is a federal prisoner currently incarcerated at F.C.I. Fort Dix in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He is proceeding pro se with a writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.[1]Petitioner filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis in a habeas corpus case. That application will be granted based on the information provided therein. For the following reasons, the habeas petition will be summarily dismissed.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner pled guilty to possession of an unregistered firearm, manufacturing, and dealing with explosive materials, conspiring to obstruct justice and witness tampering in federal court. He is currently serving a forty-three month sentence on these convictions.

         In April, 2017, petitioner filed this habeas petition. He states that he has been improperly labeled by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) at the “Greatest Severity” level of the public safety factor. By being labeled as such, petitioner alleges that this has prevented him from being allowed to be transferred to a prison camp. He requests that this Court waive and remove this level of public safety factor so that he can be permitted to be transferred to a prison camp.

         III.STANDARD FOR SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL

         With respect to screening the instant petition, 28 U.S.C. § 2243 provides in relevant part:

A court, justice or judge entertaining an application for a writ of habeas corpus shall forthwith award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto.

         As petitioner is proceeding pro se, his petition is held to less stringent standards than those pleadings drafted by lawyers. See Rainey v. Varner, 603 F.3d 189, 198 (3d Cir. 2010) (“It is the policy of the courts to give a liberal construction to pro se habeas petitions.”) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted); United States v. Otero, 502 F.3d 331, 334 (3d Cir. 2007) (“we construe pro se pleadings liberally.”) (citing Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 92 S.Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972)). Nevertheless, “a district court is authorized to dismiss a [habeas] petition summarily when it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court[.]” Lonchar v. Thomas, 517 U.S. 314, 320 (1996).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         “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) (citations omitted). The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has noted that “the precise meaning of 'execution of the sentence' is hazy.” Cardona v. Bledsoe, 681 F.3d 533, 536 (3d Cir. 2012) (quotations and citations omitted). In Woodall v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d 235, 243-44 (3d Cir. 2005)), the Third Circuit held that a district court has jurisdiction under § 2241 to entertain a federal prisoner's challenge to the failure to transfer him to a community corrections center (“CCC”), pursuant to a federal regulation. In holding that habeas jurisdiction exists over this aspect of the execution of the sentence, the Court of Appeals distinguished transfer to a CCC from a garden variety prison transfer:

Carrying out a sentence through detention in a CCC is very different from carrying out a sentence in an ordinary penal institution. More specifically, in finding that Woodall's action was properly brought under ยง 2241, we determine that placement in a CCC represents more than a simple transfer. Woodall's petition ...

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