United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S MAY 15, 2018
RECOMMENDATION AND DENYING APPLICATION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
William J. Martínez United States District Judge.
Terrell (“Terrell”) is a prisoner in the custody
of the United States Bureau of Prisons, and is currently
housed in the “ADMAX” or “ADX” unit
at United States Penitentiary-Florence. He brings a habeas
action under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 based on a prison
disciplinary process that allegedly violated his procedural
due process rights. (See ECF No. 6.) Currently
before the Court is the May 15, 2018 Recommendation of U.S.
Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty (“Recommendation,
” ECF No. 18) that Terrell's habeas application be
denied. Terrell timely filed an objection to the
Recommendation. (See ECF Nos. 19-21.) Respondent
filed no response. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
will adopt Judge Hegarty's recommendation in full and
deny the application for a writ of habeas corpus.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
magistrate judge issues a recommendation on a dispositive
matter, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(3) requires
that the district judge “determine de novo any part of
the magistrate judge's [recommendation] that has been
properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). In
conducting its review, “[t]he district court judge may
accept, reject, or modify the recommendation; receive further
evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with
objection is proper if it is filed within fourteen days of
the magistrate judge's recommendations and specific
enough to enable the “district judge to focus attention
on those issues-factual and legal-that are at the heart of
the parties' dispute.” United States v. 2121
East 30th Street, 73 F.3d 1057, 1059 (10th Cir. 1996)
(internal quotation marks omitted). In the absence of a
timely and specific objection, “the district court may
review a magistrate . . . [judge's] report under any
standard it deems appropriate.” Summers v.
Utah, 927 F.2d 1165, 1167 (10th Cir. 1991) (citing
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985)); see
also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72, Advisory Committee Notes to
1983 Promulgation (“When no timely objection is filed,
the court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear
error on the face of the record.”).
addition, Terrell is proceeding pro se; thus, the
Court must liberally construe his pleadings. Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972). The Court, however,
cannot act as advocate for Plaintiff, who must still comply
with the fundamental requirements of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. See Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106,
1110 (10th Cir. 1991).
allegedly unlawful disciplinary proceeding to which Terrell
was subject arose from his unwillingness to take required
medication. (ECF No. 15-4.) It is undisputed that the outcome
of that disciplinary hearing was unfavorable to Terrell, but
the only punishment imposed was loss of fourteen days'
visitation privileges. (See ECF No. 18 at 3.) In
other words, the length of Terrell's prison sentence
remains unchanged. Terrell further alleges that the outcome
of the disciplinary hearing is “being utilize[d] to
hamper [his] transfer/advancement through ADX
programs.” (ECF No. 6 at 5.)
Hegarty found that Terrell had failed to allege any
punishment affecting the length of his sentence, and so
failed to state a claim for § 2241 habeas relief. (ECF
No. 18 at 3-4.) Rather, Terrell was challenging only the
conditions of his confinement, which must be brought (in a
federal setting) under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents
of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).
(Id.) See also Boyce v. Ashcroft, 251 F.3d
911, 914 (10th Cir. 2001) (“Generally, because they
contest the fact or duration of custody, prisoners who want
to challenge their convictions, sentences or administrative
actions which revoke good-time credits, or who want to invoke
other sentence-shortening procedures, must petition for a
writ of habeas corpus. Prisoners who raise constitutional
challenges to other prison decisions-including transfers to
administrative segregation, exclusion from prison programs,
or suspension of privileges, e.g. conditions of
confinement, must proceed under Section 1983 or
Bivens.” (citation omitted)), judgment
vacated as moot on reh'g, 268 F.3d 953 (10th Cir.
Terrell's objection argues that his due process rights
truly were violated (ECF No. 21 at 1-2)-a matter Judge
Hegarty never addressed. Terrell's only objection to
Judge Hegarty's actual reasoning is the following
(reproduced verbatim): “The movant would like to point
out the ‘fact,' that the incident report due
process were violated by the respondent whom used the
incident report to affect/deny movant's transerfer which
is governor by a time table and/or ‘length' of
confinement.” (Id. at 1.) The meaning of this
claim is not clear, but even construing it liberally, the
Court cannot read it to mean that his disciplinary
proceedings resulted in loss of good time credits or some
other outcome that affected the length of his prison
sentence. Terrell has therefore failed to show any error in
Judge Hegarty's reasoning, and the Court perceives no
error as well. His Recommendation will be adopted.
reasons set forth above, the Court ORDERS as follows:
1. Terrell's Objection (ECF No. 21) is OVERRULED;
2. Judge Hegarty's May 15, 2018 Recommendation (ECF No.
18) is ...