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Arzate-Miranda v. Farley

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division, Pikeville

February 9, 2015

RIGOBERTO ARZATE-MIRANDA, Petitioner,
v.
ROBERT FARLEY, Warden, USP-Big Sandy, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

KAREN K. CALDWELL, Chief District Judge.

Rigoberto Arzate-Miranda is a former federal inmate[1] who was confined for a period of time in the United States Penitentiary-Big Sandy ("USP-Big Sandy") in Inez, Kentucky. While there, Arzate-Miranda, proceeding pro se, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging a September 7, 2010, prison disciplinary conviction at a federal prison in Texas, where he was confined prior to his transfer to USP-Big Sandy, and the resulting loss of 27 days of good time credit to his sentence. [R. 1] In this habeas petition, Arzate-Miranda also asserted claims related to conditions of his confinement at USP-Big Sandy.

The Court conducted the required preliminary screening of Arzate-Miranda's habeas corpus petition. For the reasons stated in the Memorandum Opinion and Order of October 16, 2013, the Warden was directed to respond to Arzate-Miranda's claims asserted in his habeas petition. [R. 37] The Warden has filed his response [R. 43]. Having reviewed the Warden's response, the Court will dismiss Arzate-Miranda's habeas petition for failure to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing same.

BACKGROUND

I. Disciplinary Charge, Conviction, and Administrative Appeals

On August 27, 2010, while Arzate-Miranda was housed at the Federal Correctional Complex in Beaumont, Texas ("FCC-Beaumont"), he was charged in Incident Report #2059499 with assaulting another person, a Code 101 violation.[2]Arzate-Miranda was placed in Administrative Detention pending an investigation of the incident. On August 28, 2010, he was provided with a copy of the Incident Report.

A. Investigation of the Incident Report

On August 28, 2010, the Incident Report was investigated. Petitioner was advised of his rights and was provided with an opportunity to provide a statement. He stated to the investigating Officer: "I didn't assault the officer, I was only reacting to him grabbing my shoulders from behind, by turning around quickly and pushing his hands from off me. [Incident Report - 2059499 - August 27, 2010 - Section III, Investigation; R. 43-4, Page ID# 400]. The investigating officer concluded that the charge was warranted as written and referred it to the Unit Disciplinary Committee ("UDC") for a hearing. Id.

B. UDC Hearing

On August 30, 2010, an UDC hearing was held on the Incident Report. The UDC referred the charges to the DHO for further hearing because sanctions for 100 level codes cannot be imposed at the UDC level. See Declaration of Carlos J. Martinez, ¶ 5, Attachment C, Incident Report - Section II - Committee Action [R. 43-4, Page ID#401]. On August 30, 2010, Petitioner was advised of his rights before the DHO and was given notice of the hearing before the DHO. Petitioner was asked whether he would like to have a staff representative and/or present a witness at the hearing. However, Petitioner declined to have a staff representative and/or present a witness at the hearing. Id.

C. DHO Hearing

On September 2, 2010, the DHO hearing was held. Prior to the hearing the Petitioner was advised of his rights. At the hearing, Petitioner denied the charges and denied assaulting the officer. Petitioner stated that somebody grabbed him from behind and that is all he remembers from the incident. During the hearing, the DHO considered the following evidence: 1) the Incident Report; 2) the Investigation; 3) the statements from the Petitioner; and 4) the statements from staff who witnessed the incident. Upon the DHO's review of the evidence, he concluded that the greater weight of the evidence supported a finding that Petitioner had committed a less serious offense, the prohibited act of assaulting any person in violation of Code 224, [3] and the Incident Report was amended to reflect the DHO's finding of the less serious offense.

The DHO sanctioned the Petitioner to a Disciplinary Transfer, a loss of commissary, visitation and telephone privileges for 6 months, and a loss of 27 days of good time credits. On September 7, 2010, Petitioner was advised of his right to appeal the DHO decision within 20 calendar days from the receipt of the DHO report through the Administrative Remedy process. On ...


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