Dean v. Plumley
MEMORANDUM DECISION: ORDERED THAT the parties shall have until September 3, 2017, to respond to this Memorandum Decision. Once this Court has received responses, if any, the Court will enter final judgment or transfer this case as outlined above. Until that time, this decision will be subject to revision in conformity with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b). Signed by Judge James K. Singleton on 8/3/17. (served on petitioner by regular mail)(alh, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Cedric Dean, a federal prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas
Corpus with this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. In his Petition before this Court, Dean
does not contest his judgment of conviction but rather challenges the constitutionality of a prison
disciplinary hearing arising out of his threat of another inmate while incarcerated at Pollack
Federal Correctional Institution (“FCI”) in Louisiana. Respondent has answered, and Dean has
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, federal prisoners who are “in custody in violation of the
Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States,” may seek habeas corpus review. 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241(c)(3). Relief under § 2241 is available to a federal prisoner who challenges the manner
in which a sentence is implemented, as opposed to challenging the underlying legality of the
conviction. Carmona v. U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 243 F.3d 629, 632 (2d Cir. 2001) (citing
Chambers v. United States, 106 F.3d 472, 474-75 (2d Cir. 1997)). As the Second Circuit has
The Clerk of Court is respectfully directed to amend the official caption as set
Section 2241 . . . is the proper means to challenge the execution of a sentence. In
a § 2241 petition a prisoner may seek relief from such things as, for example, the
administration of his parole, computation of his sentence by parole officials, disciplinary
actions taken against him, the type of detention, and prison conditions in the facility
where he is incarcerated.
Adams v. United States, 372 F.3d 132, 135 (2d Cir. 2004); see also Carmona, 243 F.3d at 632;
Chambers, 106 F.3d at 474-75.
At the time he filed his Petition, Dean was in the custody of the Federal Bureau of
Prisons (“BOP”) and incarcerated at Ray Brook FCI in New York. The BOP Inmate locator
indicates that Dean has since been transferred from Ray Brook to Elkton FCI in Lisbon, Ohio
(see https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/ [Register Number 11907-058]). Elkton FCI is located in
Columbiana County, Ohio, and, as such, falls within the jurisdiction of the Northern District of
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241(a), a petition for a writ of habeas corpus must be filed in
the federal district court where the petitioner is incarcerated. At the time Dean initially filed his
Petition, this Court was the proper venue because he was then incarcerated at Ray Brook FCI,
which is within the Northern District of New York. However, once Dean was transferred from
Ray Brook to Elkton, his § 2241 claims against Ray Brook became moot, as he was no longer
confined at that facility and its warden no longer had custody over him. See Hill v. Zenk, 115 F.
App’x 97, 97 (2d Cir. 2004) (citing Prins v. Coughlin, 76 F.3d 504, 506 (2d Cir. 1996)).
Moreover, it appears that this Court is no longer the proper venue to hear Dean’s § 2241
habeas claims. Because Dean is currently in custody at FCI Elkton, any § 2241 habeas petition
arising out of his conditions of confinement must be brought in the appropriate district court in
Ohio. See Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 442 (2004) (“District courts are limited to granting
habeas relief ‘within their respective jurisdictions.’” (citation omitted)); Billiteri v. United States
Board of Parole, 541 F.2d 938, 948 (2d Cir. 1976) (“In order for a court to entertain a habeas
corpus action, it must have jurisdiction over the petitioner’s custodian.”).
This Court has broad discretion under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a)2 to transfer cases to another
judicial district. See, e.g., Minette v. Time Warner, 997 F.2d 1023, 1026 (2d Cir. 1993)
(“Whether dismissal or transfer [pursuant to § 1406(a)] is appropriate lies within the sound
discretion of the district court.”). Because Dean is still subject to the loss of 27 days of good
time credit and may receive relief should the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Ohio find his claims meritorious,3 the Court tentatively concludes that transfer is appropriate
here. See Peon v. Thornburgh, 765 F. Supp. 155, 156 (S.D.N.Y. 1991) (transferring § 2241
petition under 28 U.S.C. § 1406 “in the interest of justice [and] to avoid unnecessary delay of
consideration of the petitioner’s merits”). Before taking such action however, the Court will
grant the parties an opportunity to address the issues that arise in light of Dean’s prison transfer.
That section provides that “[t]he district court of a district in which is filed a case
laying venue in the wrong division or district shall dismiss, or if it be in the interest of justice,
transfer such case to any district or division in which it could have been brought.” 28 U.S.C.
The Court notes that it expresses no opinion on the merits of Dean’s claims.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT the parties shall have until September 3, 2017,
to respond to this Memorandum Decision. Once this Court has received responses, if any, the Court
will enter final judgment or transfer this case as outlined above. Until that time, this decision will
be subject to revision in conformity with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b).
Dated: August 3, 2017.
/s/ James K. Singleton, Jr.
JAMES K. SINGLETON, JR.
Senior United States District Judge
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