CURRAN v. HOLLINGSWORTH
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 6/23/2015. (dmr)(n.m.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
JOHN F. CURRAN, III,
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
No. 15-2770 (JBS)
JORDAN W. HOLLINGSWORTH,
John F. Curran, III, Petitioner Pro Se
FCI Fort Dix
P.O. Box 2000
Fort Dix, New Jersey 08640
Irene E. Dowdy, Assistant U.S. Attorney
Office of the United States Attorney
401 Market Street
P.O. Box 2098
Camden, New Jersey 08101
Attorney for Respondent Jordan Hollingsworth
SIMANDLE, Chief Judge:
This matter comes before the Court on pro se Petitioner
John F. Curran, III’s (“Petitioner”) motion for emergent
injunctive relief. (Docket Entry 3). Respondent Jordan
Hollingsworth, Warden of FCI Fort Dix, opposes the motion.
(Docket Entry 5). This motion is being decided on the papers
pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 78(b). For the reasons set forth
below, Petitioner’s motion for injunctive relief is denied.
A. Procedural History
Petitioner is a convicted and sentenced federal prisoner
presently confined at FCI Fort Dix. On April 20, 2015, he filed
a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241 asserting the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) erred in
the administration of his sentence. (Docket Entry 1). This Court
ordered Respondent to answer the petition on May 6, 2015.
(Docket Entry 2).
On May 22, 2015, Petitioner filed the instant motion for
emergent injunctive relief requesting this Court prevent the BOP
from transferring him from Fort Dix during the pendency of this
matter. (Docket Entry 3). Respondent filed opposition to the
motion simultaneously with its answer to the petition. (Docket
Entries 4 and 5).
B. Factual History
Petitioner was sentenced by the District Court for the
District of Maryland on August 13, 2013 to thirty-seven months
imprisonment after pleading guilty to one count of securities
fraud, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78j(b), 78ff. (Docket Entry 1 at 14); United
States v. Curran, No. 1:11-cr-0687-RDB-1 (D.Md. 2013). The
District Court ordered restitution of $1,250,768.75 to be paid
in monthly installments of $500. (Docket Entry 1 at 18-19).
Petitioner filed this petition under § 2241 asserting that
the BOP failed to adhere to its program statement requiring an
independent audit of prisoners’ sentences. Petitioner asserts
that had the BOP conducted its audit, it would have determined
that it could not “legally administer the full sentence ordered
against the Petitioner” as the District Court found there was
“zero dollars of economic loss.” (Docket Entry 1 at 8).
Petitioner asserts the BOP could only administer six out of the
thirty-seven months sentence. (Docket Entry 1 at 8). Petitioner
seeks his immediate release.
On May 6, 2015, this Court ordered Respondent to file an
answer to the petition. (Docket Entry 2). A few weeks later,
Petitioner filed this motion for emergent injunctive relief.
(Docket Entry 3). Petitioner requests this Court prohibit the
BOP from transferring him from the District of New Jersey during
the pendency of this matter. (Docket Entry 3). He states that
shortly after this Court ordered an answer, he was informed that
he was being transferred as he was a “security risk to the
institution.” (Docket Entry 3 ¶ 2). Petitioner claims the
transfer was an attempt to “undermine this Court’s authority”
and interfere with the petition. (Docket Entry 3 ¶ 5).
Petitioner has not been transferred and is presently confined at
Fort Dix. (Docket Entry 5); Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate
Locator, available at http://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/.
Respondent filed its timely answer with the Court on June
17, 2015. (Docket Entry 4). It additionally filed opposition to
the motion as infringing on the BOP’s authority to manage its
facilities. (Docket Entry 5).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
To secure the extraordinary relief of a preliminary
injunction, Petitioner must demonstrate “(1) a likelihood of
success on the merits; (2) that [he] will suffer irreparable
harm if the injunction is denied; (3) that granting preliminary
relief will not result in even greater harm to the nonmoving
party; and (4) that the public interest favors such relief.” KOS
Pharms., Inc. v. Andrx Corp., 369 F.3d 700, 708 (3d Cir. 2004).
All four elements must be satisfied in order to grant the
injunction. Roberts v. Ferman, 448 F. App'x 254, 256 (3d Cir.
Petitioner asks this Court to prohibit the BOP from
transferring him from the District of New Jersey, alleging that
such a transfer would be an “attempt to create – artificially –
a fatal flaw in the filing.” (Docket Entry 3 ¶ 5).
Primarily, this Court lacks the authority to grant
Petitioner the relief he requests. “[A] district court has no
power to dictate or impose any place of confinement for the
imprisonment portion of the sentence. Rather, the power to
determine the location of imprisonment rests with the Bureau of
Prisons.” United States v. Serafini, 233 F.3d 758, 778 n.23 (3d
Cir. 2000) (citing 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b)) (emphasis in original);
see also United States v. Janiec, 505 F.2d 983, 987 (3d Cir.
1974) (“[A] federal court has no authority to designate ‘a place
of confinement.’”), cert. denied, 420 U.S. 948 (1975).
Even if it were within the Court’s authority to grant the
requested relief, Petitioner has failed to meet the high
standard necessary to warrant preliminary injunctive relief.
Construing the motion liberally in light of Petitioner’s pro se
status, the filing address only addresses the second of the four
factors, namely that he will suffer irreparable harm if this
Court does not intervene.1 His assertion that a transfer out of
the District of New Jersey will divest this Court of
jurisdiction over his § 2241 petition is incorrect. “[W]hen the
Government moves a habeas petitioner after [he] properly files a
petition naming [his] immediate custodian, the District Court
retains jurisdiction and may direct the writ to any respondent
within its jurisdiction who has legal authority to effectuate
the prisoner's release.” Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 441
(2004) (citing Ex parte Endo, 323 U.S. 283 (1944)); see also
Gorrell v. Yost, 509 F. App'x 114, 118 (3d Cir. 2013). The
petition was properly filed in the District of New Jersey, the
Pursuant to Habeas Rule 4, this Court engaged in screening of
the petition prior to ordering an answer and determined that it
did not plainly appear from the face of the petition that
Petitioner was not entitled to relief. Therefore although the
first factor was not explicitly addressed in Petitioner’s
motion, the Court will presume for the purposed of this motion
only that he has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the
district of Petitioner’s confinement. 28 U.S.C. § 2241. As this
Court retains jurisdiction even in the event of a transfer,
Petitioner has not demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable
Furthermore, an order precluding Petitioner’s transfer
would result in even greater harm to the Respondent by
interfering with its ability to oversee the orderly
administration of its facilities. Such an intrusion by the Court
into an area delegated to the BOP, especially when the purported
harm cannot come to pass, is additionally not in the public
interest. Petitioner has therefore failed to demonstrate the
extraordinary measure of preliminary injunctive relief is
For the above stated reasons, Petitioner’s motion for
preliminary injunctive relief is denied. An accompanying Order
will be entered.
June 23, 2015
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Chief U.S. District Judge
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