United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
CHARLES S. COODY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case is before the court on an application for habeas corpus
relief filed by James McConico, Jr., a state inmate
incarcerated at the Bullock Correctional Facility in Union
Springs, Alabama. Petitioner brings this habeas application
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Upon consideration of the
petition and amendment thereto (Docs. 1, 3), the court
concludes the petition is due to be summarily dismissed.
See Rule 4, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases
in the United States District Courts.
states he is serving a life sentence for murder and
trafficking in cocaine. He has served over twenty years on
this sentence. He brings this § 2241 petition
challenging his placement on administrative segregation based
on what he claims is an unfounded criminal charge of threats.
According to Petitioner, an agent with the Intelligence and
Investigation Unit of the Alabama Department of Corrections
caused him to be entrapped without probable cause and then
“arrest[ed]/detain[ed]” him on March 12, 2019,
based on false accusations made against him by a former
girlfriend. Petitioner contends Respondents have an
obligation to promptly afford him his day in court rather
than placing him under arrest and in detention in violation
of his right to due process. Docs. 1, 3.
claims raised by Petitioner are not cognizable in this habeas
petition. The central purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is
to provide a remedy to prisoners challenging the fact or
duration of their physical confinement and are seeking
immediate release or an earlier release. See Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484-87 (1973); Edwards v.
Balisok, 520 U.S. 641 (1997). “[T]he 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.”
Preiser, 411 U.S. at 484. Federal habeas corpus
relief is not available to remedy alleged constitutional
violations which would not lead to either: (1) an automatic
shortening of an individual's sentence, or (2) the
individual's immediate release. Id; see also
Orellana v. Kyle, 65 F.3d 29, 31 (5th Cir. 1995) (per
curiam) (if a favorable resolution of the action would not
automatically entitle the prisoner to release, the proper
vehicle is a civil rights action) While a petitioner seeking
habeas relief does not have to be physically confined to meet
the “in custody” requirement, a petitioner must
still satisfy the “in custody” requirement
regarding the judgment or process of the state court he seeks
to challenge as unconstitutional. See Jones v.
Cunningham, 371 U.S. 236, 243 (1963) (petitioner
released on parole); Justices of Boston Municipal Court.
v. Lydon, 466 U.S. 294, 300-01 (1984) (petitioner
released on his own recognizance with an obligation to appear
subsequently for trial).
Petitioner is not challenging the fact or duration of his
confinement. Nor is he attacking the sentence of a state
court under which he is in custody. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a). Rather, Petitioner is challenging his
placement on administrative segregation resulting from an
investigation of prison disciplinary charges pending against
him or potential criminal charges. Therefore,
Petitioner's allegations are not consistent with a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus. See Muhammed v.
Close, 540 U.S. 749 (2004) (holding the
favorable-termination requirement of Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) does not apply
categorically to all suits challenging disciplinary actions);
Fernquist v. Attorney General of Pennsylvania, 2009
WL 890597, *1 (E.D. Penn. Mar. 30, 2009) (finding petitioner
did not meet in custody requirement where he was incarcerated
for a crime disconnected from the challenged arrest warrant
and was “subject to no constraints on his liberty as a
result of that warrant”); Jones v. United
States, 2011 WL 3042023, at *2-3 (E.D. Ark. June 17,
2011) (finding dismissal of a habeas petition appropriate
because petitioner was not taken into custody and the
challenged outstanding arrest warrant fell “far short
of the kind of ‘severe' and ‘immediate'
restraint upon liberty sufficient to invoke and maintain
jurisdiction under the federal habeas statutes”),
adopted, 2011 WL 3040908 (E.D. Ark. July 25, 2011);.
determination regarding the action challenged by Petitioner
would not affect the fact of or duration of his sentence.
Rather, the matter Petitioner challenges is only relevant at
this time to the conditions of that sentence. The Supreme
Court in Hill v. McDonough, 547 U.S. 573, 579 (2006)
(internal quotations and citations omitted), held that
“[c]hallenges to the validity of any confinement or to
particulars affecting its duration are the province of habeas
corpus. An inmate's challenge to the circumstances of his
confinement, however, may be brought under § 1983.
Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 82 (2005)
(internal quotations and citation omitted) (holding that
where success in the action would not “necessarily
spell [immediate or] speedier release” for the
prisoner, the remedy is not within “the core of habeas
corpus.”); see also Boyce v. Ashcroft, 251
F.3d 911 (10th Cir. 2001) (section 2241 may be used to
challenge underlying authority of entity to hold prisoner in
custody, but may not be used to challenge prisoner's
placement in a particular facility or to attack conditions
that result from such placement); Johnson v. Hardy,
601 F.2d 172, 174 (5th Cir. 1979) (“[t]he rule then is
that any challenge to the Fact or Duration of a
prisoner's confinement is properly treated as a habeas
corpus matter, whereas challenges to Conditions of
confinement may proceed as civil rights actions). In light of
the foregoing, this habeas petition is due to be summarily
it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that
Petitioner's application for federal habeas corpus relief
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 be DISMISSED without prejudice.
that on or before April 11, 2019, Petitioner
may file an objection to the Recommendation. Petitioner must
specifically identify the factual findings and legal
conclusions in the Recommendation to which objection is made;
frivolous, conclusive, or general objections will not be
considered. This Recommendation is not a final order and,
therefore, it is not appealable.
to file a written objection to the Magistrate Judge's
findings and recommendations under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)
shall bar a de novo determination by the District
Court of legal and factual issues covered in the
Recommendation and waives the right of a party to challenge
on appeal the district court's order based on
unobjected-to factual and legal conclusions accepted or
adopted by the District Court except upon grounds of plain
error or manifest injustice. 11th Cir. R. 3-1; Resolution
Trust Co. v. Hallmark Builders, Inc., 996 F.2d 1144,
1149 (11th Cir. 1993); Henley v. Johnson, 885 F.2d
790, 794 (11th Cir. 1989).