BROOKS v. USA
ENTRY Dismissing Motion for Relief Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 And Denying a Certificate of Appealability - Based on this screening, the 1 Motion must be dismissed. Brooks has failed to show that she is entitled to the relief she seeks and thus her motion for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 must be denied. Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue. See entry for details. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 2/8/2018. (Copy mailed to Petitioner) (MEJ)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Case No. 1:18-cv-00323-TWP-DML
Entry Dismissing Motion for Relief Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255
And Denying a Certificate of Appealability
Petitioner Shaunette Brooks filed this action titled “Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to
Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentnce by a Person in Federal Custody.” A motion pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2255 is the presumptive means by which a federal prisoner can challenge her conviction
or sentence. See Davis v. United States, 417 U.S. 333, 343 (1974). Brooks, who is currently
confined at the Carswell Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, asserts that she has not
received adequate care for her serious medical conditions. She asserts that her counsel was
ineffective for failing to request that the Court consider home confinement as part of her
sentence because of her serious health problems. As relief, she asks for an order directing that the
balance of her sentence be served on home confinement.
The motion for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is subject to the screening directed by
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings in the United States District Court.
Rule 4 provides that the judge must examine a § 2255 motion promptly and “[i]f it plainly
appears from the motion, any attached exhibits, and the record of prior proceedings that the
moving party is not entitled to relief, the judge must dismiss the motion and direct the clerk to
notify the moving party.” Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings 4(b).
Based on this screening, the Motion must be dismissed. Section 2255 permits a petitioner
to challenge a sentence on the grounds that it “was imposed in violation of the Constitution or
laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or
that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to
collateral attack, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct
the sentence.” Brooks’s claims, even based on her assertion that her counsel was ineffective
under the Sixth Amendment, do not state a claim for relief under § 2255 for two reasons.
First, while § 2255 allows a challenge to a sentence, a judicial recommendation as to the
place of confinement, which Brooks claims her counsel should have requested, is technically not
a part of the sentence imposed. See Fajri v. USP Leavenworth, No. 04–3311–RDR, 2005 WL
2035047, at *1 (D. Kan. Aug. 23, 2005) (citing Prows v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 981 F.2d 466,
468–69 n.3 (10th Cir. 1992)). In addition, the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) designates the place of
a defendant’s imprisonment. See 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b). The Court’s recommendation has no
binding effect on BOP authority to determine or change the place of a defendant’s imprisonment.
See id.; Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238, 245 (1983) (prisoner has no constitutional right to be
incarcerated in particular facility); United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 335 (1992) (stating that
“[a]fter a district court sentences a federal offender, the Attorney General, through [the BOP],
has the responsibility for administering the sentence”); cf. United States v. DeLario, 120 F.3d
580, 582–83 (5th Cir. 1997) (no cognizable Section 2255 claim based on policy change that
lengthens time before petitioner is eligible for parole because change affects way sentence is
carried out, not legality of sentence itself). Because a judicial recommendation regarding a
person’s placement is not binding, Brooks cannot show that her counsel was ineffective for
failing to request it. Moreover, for the same reason, this Court cannot grant Brooks the relief she
seeks – an order directing that she be placed on home confinement.
For the reasons explained in this Entry, Brooks has failed to show that she is entitled to
the relief she seeks and thus her motion for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 must be denied.1
Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue.
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 22(b), Rule 11(a) of the Rules
Governing § 2255 proceedings, and 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c), the court finds that Brooks has failed to
show (1) that reasonable jurists would find this court’s “assessment of the constitutional claims
debatable or wrong,” or (2) that reasonable jurists would find “it debatable whether the petition
states a valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right” and “whether [this court] was correct
in its procedural ruling.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). The Court therefore
denies a certificate of appealability.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
CARSWELL - FMC
CARSWELL FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTER
P.O. BOX 27137
FORT WORTH, TX 76127
The Court joins Brooks in her concerns, it is not acceptable if she is not receiving adequate treatment for her
documented medical problems. The Court notes, without deciding, that Brooks may be able to seek relief through
other means – such as through a request to the BOP for compassionate release, 18 U.S.C. §3582, or through an
action under the Administrative Procedures Act in the appropriate court.
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