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Young v. Gordy

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

March 12, 2015

KAREEM YOUNG, #222970, Petitioner,
v.
CHRISTOPHER GORDY, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER

CHARLES S. COODY, Magistrate Judge.

This case is before the court on a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by state inmate Kareem Young ("Young") on June 14, 2013.[1] (Doc. # 1).[2] Young contends that he is being denied placement in work release because of five (5) prior disciplinary actions for indecent exposure. He further alleges that he was denied due process in those disciplinary proceedings, and he seeks to have the disciplinaries expunged from his record so that he can participate in work release programs. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1) and M.D. ALA. LR 73.1, the parties have consented to a United States Magistrate Judge conducting all proceedings in this case and ordering the entry of final judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the court concludes that Young's petition is due to be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

Young filed this petition when he was incarcerated at the Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton, Alabama.[3] On March 15, 2004, while incarcerated at the Bullock County Correctional Facility, a disciplinary action was initiated against Young for violating Rule # 38, indecent exposure/exhibitionism. (Doc. # 14-2). A disciplinary hearing was conducted on March 18, 2004, and the hearing officer found Young guilty of the charged infraction. The sanctions imposed on Young for violating Rule # 38 were placement in disciplinary segregation, loss of privileges, and extra duties for 45 days, and loss of three (3) months of good time credit. (Id. ).

On May 2, 2005, another disciplinary action was initiated against Young for violating Rule # 38. (Doc. # 14-3). A disciplinary hearing was conducted on May 5, 2005, and the hearing officer found Young guilty of the charged infraction. The sanctions imposed on Young for this violation were placement in disciplinary segregation, and loss of store and phone privileges for 45 days. Young did not lose any good time credit as a result of this guilty disciplinary finding. (Id. ).

On October 14, 2005, at the Kilby Correctional Facility, Young was again charged with violating Rule # 38. (Doc. # 14-4). A disciplinary hearing was held on October 27, 2005, and the hearing officer found Young guilty of the charged infraction. The sanctions imposed on Young for this violation were placement in disciplinary segregation, and loss of store and phone privileges for 30 days. Young did not lose any good time credit as a result of this guilty disciplinary finding. (Id. ).

On February 14, 2006, at the Ventress Correctional Facility, Young was once more charged with violating Rule # 38. (Doc. # 14-5). A disciplinary hearing was held on February 20, 2006, and the hearing officer found Young guilty of the charged infraction. The sanctions imposed this time on Young were placement in disciplinary segregation, and loss of store, phone and visitation privileges for 45 days. Young did not lose any good time credit as a result of this guilty disciplinary finding. (Id. ).

Finally, on July 16, 2010, at the Bullock Correctional Facility, Young was again charged with violating Rule # 38. (Doc. # 14-6). A disciplinary hearing was held on July 18, 2010, and the hearing officer found Young guilty of the charged infraction. The sanctions imposed on Young were placement in disciplinary segregation for 45 days, extra duty for 30 days, and loss of store, phone and visitation privileges for 90 days. Young did not lose any good time credit as a result of this guilty disciplinary finding. (Id. ).

Young challenged all five disciplinaries by filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama, in June 2013. (Doc. # 19). That court dismissed Young's petition as time-barred. Young did not appeal.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Disciplinaries that did not involve loss of good time credit.

In all five disciplinary proceedings, Young contends that he was denied due process. However, Young did not lose any good-time credit as the result of the May 2005, November 2005, February 2006 or July 2010 disciplinary proceedings. Consequently, claims related to these disciplinary proceedings are not cognizable in a federal habeas action. The central purpose of the writ of habeas corpus, whether under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 or 28 U.S.C. § 2241, is to provide a remedy to prisoners who are challenging the "fact or duration" of their physical confinement and are seeking immediate release or an earlier release. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973). "[T]he common-law history of the writ, ... the essence of habeas corpus is an attack by a person in custody upon the legality of that custody, and... the traditional function of the writ is to secure release from illegal custody." Id. The only relief that can be gained in a habeas action is an immediate or speedier release from custody. Id.

In these disciplinaries, Young is not challenging the fact or duration of his confinement. He is not attacking the state court judgment pursuant to which he is in custody. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). And he did not lose any good time credit as a result of these four guilty disciplinary findings. Therefore, the court concludes that, with respect to the 2005, 2006 and 2010 disciplinary proceedings, Young's allegations are not consistent with a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. See Muhammed v. Close, 540 U.S. 749 (2004) (the favorable-termination requirement of Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) does not apply categorically to all suits challenging disciplinary actions).

Although Young's allegations are typically presented in an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, [4] this court is not inclined to construe his petition as a civil rights complaint through which he could challenge the conditions of his confinement in connection with these four disciplinary proceedings. The required filing fee for a civil rights case is $350.00. Moreover, and more importantly, any attempt by Young to proceed, or refile his suit, under § 1983 would be frivolous. None of ...


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