United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. WILHOIT JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Alan Duvall is an inmate currently confined at the Federal
Correctional Institution-Ashland ("FCI Ashland") in
Ashland, Kentucky. Proceeding without a lawyer, Duvall
recently filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [R. 1.] That submission is
now before the Court on initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2243. See Alexander v. Northern Bureau of
Prisons, 419 Fed.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir. 2011).
petition provides few details, but suggests that in May of
this year, he was disciplined for "interfering with the
taking of count." [R. 1 at 2.] As punishment, he
received seven days in the Special Housing Unit
("SHU"), a three-point custody level increase, and
the loss of other privileges at his camp. [Id.]
Duvall maintains an officer lied on his incident report and
that he is not guilty of the charged offense. [Id.
at 2-3.] Invoking Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539
(1974), the petition requests (1) a full investigation into
the disciplinary action, (2) the dismissal and expungement of
the disciplinary report, and (3) the removal of the
three-point custody level increase. [Id. at 8.]
review, Duvall's § 2241 petition will be dismissed.
First, Duvall has failed to adequately allege that the
disciplinary proceeding violated his constitutional rights
for purposes of habeas relief. The sole case relied upon by
Duvall, Wolff v. McDonnell, articulates certain
minimum procedures that prison officials must follow before
sanctioning an inmate with the loss of good time
credit. See 418 U.S. 539. But according to
Duvall's petition, he was not sanctioned with the loss of
good time credit. Instead, he received a loss of privileges
at camp, seven days in the SHU, and a three-point custody
level increase. [R. 1 at 2.] Thus, Wolff does not
provide the standard for determining whether Duvall has
suffered a violation of his due process rights.
Duvall's loss of privileges, "an inmate cannot
challenge the loss of non-custodial privileges by way of a
habeas petition because the loss of such privileges has only
a speculative or incidental effect on the length of a
prisoner's sentence and is not close to the core of
habeas corpus." Lutz v. Hemingway, 476
F.Supp.2d 715, 718 (E.D. Mich. 2007) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). And as for Duvall's alleged
three-point custody level increase, "a prisoner has no
right to a particular security level." See, e.g.,
Johnson v. CCA-Northeast Ohio Corr. Ctr. Warden, 21
Fed.Appx. 330, 332 (6th Cir. 2001). To the extent that Duvall
seeks expungement of the disciplinary report or his
three-point custody level increase because of the potential
impact of the report or increase on future disciplinary
decisions, "such speculative, collateral consequences of
the report are insufficient to create a liberty
interest." Id. at 333.
the Court cannot find that Duvall's seven days in the SHU
implicates a protected liberty interest such that Duvall
deserves habeas corpus relief. Disciplinary segregation does
not implicate a protected liberty interest for purposes of
due process unless it "imposes atypical and significant
hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents
of prison life." Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S.
472, 484 (1995). The petition makes no reference to an
atypical or significant hardship, nor does it provide any
support for the notion that a protected liberty interest has
been implicated. [R. 1.] Instead, the barebones petition
relies only on Wolff v. McDonnell, which does not
apply to the discipline Duvall actually received.
whole, Duvall's petition provides little facts and no
relevant law. Because it appears from the petition that
Duvall is not entitled to habeas relief, the Court will
dismiss the petition upon screening. However, the Court notes
that Duvall's pending § 2241 petition is not the
appropriate vehicle for his request for expungement of the
disciplinary report in the first instance. The Sixth Circuit
previously found that where an inmate sought expungement of a
disciplinary report rather than release from incarceration,
the inmate should proceed by way of a civil rights, not
habeas, action. See Johnson, 21 Fed.Appx. at 332. A
prisoner has a limited right to have erroneous information
expunged from his prison file, but he may succeed with
expungement if he can establish that (1) certain information
is in the prison file; (2) the information is false; and (3)
the information was relied upon to a constitutionally
significant degree. Id. (citing Paine v.
Baker, 595 F.2d 197, 201 (4th Cir. 1979)). Therefore,
the Court will dismiss Duvall's claims in the present
matter without prejudice, to his right to pursue them in a
civil rights case if desired.
foregoing reasons, the Court hereby ORDERS
Duvall's petition for a writ of habeas corpus [R. 1] is
DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE, to Duvall's
right to file a civil rights complaint asserting his
action is DISMISSED and
STRICKEN from the ...