DIXON v. HOLLINGSWORTH
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 6/8/2015. (TH, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civ. No. 15-620 (NLH)
Melvin Dixon, # 63359053
F.C.I. Fort Dix
P.O. Box 2000
Fort Dix, NJ 08640
Plaintiff Pro se
HILLMAN, District Judge
On or about January 23, 2015, Petitioner Melvin Dixon, a
prisoner confined at Federal Correctional Institution Fort Dix
in Fort Dix, New Jersey, filed this writ of habeas corpus under
28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging the execution of his sentence.
(ECF No. 1).
On March 11, 2015, this Court administratively
terminated the action for failure to pay the filing fee or
submit a complete in forma pauperis application pursuant to
Local Civil Rule 81.2(b). (ECF No. 3).
On or about April 23, 2015, Petitioner submitted a second
in forma pauperis application.
The Court has reviewed the
application, finds it to be complete, and grants leave to
proceed without prepayment of fees. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
Court will now conduct a preliminary review of the Petition as
required by Habeas Rule 4. See Rule 4 of the Rules Governing
Section 2254 Cases, (amended Dec. 1, 2004), made applicable to §
2241 petitions through Rule 1(b) of the Habeas Rules.
reasons that follow, the Petition will be dismissed for lack of
Petitioner’s complaints arise from his termination from
Specifically, Petitioner states that he was
wrongfully accused of posing a physical threat to Officer
Blaszkowski. (Pet. 6, ECF No. 1).
Petitioner asserts that, as a
result of this allegation, he was fired from his job at the gym,
he is no longer allowed to participate in recreational
activities at the gym, and he must obtain permission and an
escort to go to the barber shop, which is located adjacent to
the gym. (Pet. 6-7, ECF No. 1).
contends that he is being harassed by officers at FCI Fort Dix.
Along with his renewed application to proceed in forma
pauperis, Petitioner submits an Amended Petition. (ECF No. 4).
Essentially, this document is the original Petition, with a
three page introductory Addendum.
In the Addendum, Petitioner
asserts that he has been subjected to additional threats,
harassment and retaliation as a result of the filing of the
Petitioner states that he sought Informal Resolution and,
upon denial of his request, he appealed to the Regional
Accordingly, Petitioner asserts that he has exhausted
his administrative remedies.
He seeks relief in the form of a
transfer from FCI Fort Dix to a new facility, lost wages in an
unspecified amount, and damages in an amount no less than
STANDARD OF REVIEW
United States Code Title 28, Section 2243, provides in
relevant part as follows:
A court, justice or judge entertaining an application
for a writ of habeas corpus shall forthwith award the
writ or issue an order directing the respondent to
show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless
it appears from the application that the applicant or
person detained is not entitled thereto.
A pro se pleading is held to less stringent standards than
more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
A pro se habeas petition must be construed liberally. See
Hunterson v. DiSabato, 308 F.3d 236, 243 (3d Cir. 2002).
Nevertheless, a federal district court can dismiss a habeas
corpus petition if it appears from the face of the petition that
the petitioner is not entitled to relief. See Denny v. Schult,
708 F.3d 140, 148 n. 3 (3d Cir. 2013); See also 28 U.S.C. §§
Habeas corpus is an appropriate mechanism for a federal
prisoner to challenge the execution of his sentence. See Coady
v. Vaughn, 251 F.3d 480, 485–86 (3d Cir. 2001); Barden v.
Keohane, 921 F.2d 476, 478–79 (3d Cir. 1990).
A habeas corpus petition is also the proper mechanism for a
prisoner to challenge the “fact or duration” of his confinement,
Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 498–99, 93 S.Ct. 1827, 36
L.Ed.2d 439 (1973), including challenges to prison disciplinary
proceedings that affect the length of confinement, such as
deprivation of good time credits, Muhammad v. Close, 540 U.S.
749, 124 S.Ct. 1303, 158 L.Ed.2d 32 (2004) and Edwards v.
Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 117 S.Ct. 1584, 137 L.Ed.2d 906 (1997).
See also Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 125 S.Ct. 1242, 161
L.Ed.2d 253 (2005).
Here, Petitioner files this habeas petition pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 challenging an unspecified prison determination
which resulted in the loss of his job, his inability to use the
gym facility and restrictions on his ability to visit the
To the extent the loss of these privileges was the
result of a prison disciplinary proceeding, Petitioner may have
believed that a petition under § 2241 was an appropriate avenue
However, because these privileges do not affect the
length of Petitioner’s confinement, or the execution of his
criminal sentence, his claims are not cognizable under § 2241.
See Leamer v. Fauver, 288 F.3d 532, 542-44 (3d Cir. 2002);
Preiser, 411 U.S. 475; see also Castillo v. FBOP FCI Fort Dix,
221 F. App'x 172, 175 (3d Cir. 2007) (claims based on loss of
privileges did not lie “at the core of habeas”); Levi v. Holt,
193 F. App'x 172, 175 (3d Cir. 2006) (finding that sanctions in
the form of loss of privileges cannot be challenged under § 2241
because those punishments do not affect the fact or length of
prisoner’s confinement or sentence).
Moreover, the Amended Petition sets forth additional
allegations of threats and harassment by Bureau of Prisons
officials, and Petitioner seems to assert causes of action for
discrimination and retaliation. (Add. 2, ECF No. 4).
therefore appears that the Petition may contain challenges to
the conditions of his confinement which are more appropriately
brought in an action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of
the Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 91 S.Ct. 1999, 29
L.Ed.2d 619 (1971). See Murray v. Bledsoe, 386 F. App'x 139 (3d
Cir. 2010); see also, Leamer v. Fauver, 288 F.3d 532; Castillo,
221 F. App'x at 175.
Thus, Petitioner’s claims are not cognizable under § 2241
and this Court lacks jurisdiction to consider the Petition.
For the reasons set forth above, the Petition will be
dismissed for lack of jurisdiction without prejudice to
Petitioner’s ability to pursue his claims in a properly filed
civil rights action. 1
An appropriate Order will be entered.
__s/ Noel L. Hillman______
NOEL L. HILLMAN
United States District Judge
Dated: June 8, 2015
Camden, New Jersey
The Court expresses no opinion as to the merits, if any, of any
civil rights claims Petitioner may file based upon the facts
asserted in the instant Petition.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?