United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Christopher Justin Eads, No 10391-028 FCI Fairton Petitioner
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
Christopher Justin Eads, a prisoner presently incarcerated at
the Federal Correctional Institution at Fairton in Fairton,
New Jersey, brings this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241 to challenge access to his criminal cases by other
prisoners at FCI Fairton via the Lexis/Nexis legal database,
which is accessible by prisoners at FCI Fairton. ECF No. 1.
Petitioner alleges that he was assaulted by another prisoner
after that prisoner had accessed Petitioner's criminal
proceedings via Lexis/Nexis. Id. For the reasons
that follow, the Petition will be summarily dismissed without
filed the Petition on September 3, 2019, and paid the
requisite $5.00 filing fee. ECF No. 1. In the Petition,
Petitioner explains that he is presently serving a federal
sentence imposed on June 4, 2012, by the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of Indiana, No. 11-cr-239.
states that he is challenging the “unpublishing of case
from the Lexis-Nexis computer system in the Federal Bureau of
Prisons for safety and security reasons.” Id.
at 3. He requests that case numbers 11-cr-239, 14-cv-1169,
and 17-cv-2475 be removed for his safety. Id.
According to the Petition, Petitioner has exhausted this
issue through the administrative remedy process, where he
argued that “he was assaulted by his cellmate because
other inmates had looked at his cases on the Lexis-Nexis
computer in the prison and if Petitioner's case was not
published in the Lexis-Nexis legal computer at the prison, he
would not have been assaulted.” Id. at 3-4.
Further, Petitioner alleges that he is “not challenging
my criminal conviction, just that my case should be removed
from inmate access or viewing for safety and security
reasons.” Id. at 5. Finally, Petitioner
explains in his request for relief that he is requesting
[T]his Court remove the three above cases from ONLY the
Lexis-Nexis computers/system. Petitioner fears for his future
safety and security, as he was already assaulted once before
because of his case publishings on Lexis-Nexis. Petitioner is
not asking that his case be sealed from public record, just
on the Lexis-Nexis system, so that other inmates cannot view
his case, and to prevent another risk of harm to his safety
and security. . . . Petitioner believes that this 2241 is the
proper request in which to have his case removed from the
Id. at 8.
corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading
requirements.” McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S.
849, 856 (1994). Although the petitions of pro se
litigants are held to less stringent standards than those
pleadings drafted by lawyers, see Rainey v. Varner,
603 F.3d 189, 198 (3d Cir. 2010), the habeas petition must
“specify all the grounds for relief available to the
petitioner, “state the facts supporting each ground,
” “state the relief requested, ” be
printed, typewritten, or legibly handwritten, and be signed
under penalty of perjury. 28 U.S.C. § 2254, Rule 2(c)
(applicable to § 2241 petitions pursuant to Rule 1(b)).
Rule 4 requires a judge to sua sponte dismiss a
habeas petition without ordering a responsive pleading
“[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any
attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254,
Rule 4 (applicable to § 2241 petitions through Rule
1(b)). See also 28 U.S.C. § 2243 (“A
court . . . shall forthwith . . . 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 . . . is not entitled thereto.”). “[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). See
McFarland, 512 U.S. at 856 (“Federal courts are
authorized to dismiss summarily any habeas petition that
appears legally insufficient on its face.”).
Petition must be summarily dismissed without prejudice
because Petitioner challenge to the conditions of his
confinement cannot be considered in a § 2241 petition.
Here, Petitioner specifically alleges that he is not
challenging his conviction or sentence but rather the
conditions of his confinement. Petitioner is required to
bring his conditions of confinement claims under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 instead of § 2241. See Doe v. Pa. Bd. Of
Prob. & Parole, 513 F.3d 95, n.3 (3d Cir. 2008);
Leslie v. Att'y Gen. of U.S., 363 Fed.Appx. 955,
958 (3d Cir. 2010) (holding that the petitioner's §
2241 habeas petition “was not the proper vehicle to
raise his [conditions of confinement] claims.”);
Quero v. Hufford, 2011 WL 2414327, *5 (M.D. Pa. May
18, 2011) (“Challenges to ...