McCarthy v. Ebbert et al
ORDER: 1. The Report and Recommendation 4 of MJ Carlson is ADOPTED.2. Petrs objns 5 are OVERRULED.3. The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is DENIED.4. We will not issue a certificate of appealability since Petitioner has theright to appeal our order to the Third Circuit without a certificate.5. The clerk shall close this file. Signed by Honorable William W. Caldwell on 12/02/14. (ma)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
: CIVIL NO. 1:14-CV-2091
THE BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:
On October 31, 2014, Petitioner John J. McCarthy filed a Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1). McCarthy, a federal prisoner
confined at USP Lewisburg, alleges that the medical personnel at the prison refuse to
provide him with required medication and such refusal is a deprivation of his liberty
interests. (Doc. 1 at 3). Further, McCarthy’s asserts that his due process rights were
violated when he was placed in the Special Management Unit (SMU). (Doc. 1 at 3; Doc.
5 at 2). Accordingly, McCarthy asks us to issue a temporary restraining order and
preliminary injunction. (Doc. 1 at 4). Magistrate Judge Carlson recommends that we
deny the petition because none of McCarthy’s allegations sound in habeas. (Doc. 4 at 3,
6). McCarthy objects to the recommendation and argues that Supreme Court precedent
permits his claims be brought via a habeas petition. (Doc. 5). Because McCarthy has
filed objections, we must “make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or
specified proposed finding or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. §
Prisoners may only use “habeas corpus (or similar state) remedies when
they seek to invalidate the duration of their confinement – either directly through an
injunction compelling speedier release or indirectly through a judicial determination that
necessarily implies the unlawfulness of the . . . custody.” Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S.
74, 81 (2005); see also Bonadonna v. United States, 446 F. App’x 407, 409 (3d Cir.
2011). If a prisoner is challenging a condition of confinement or “attacking something
other than the fact or length of his confinement, and he is seeking something other than
immediate or more speedy release . . .[,] habeas corpus is not an appropriate or available
federal remedy.” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 494 (1973). A civil rights action is
the appropriate vehicle for such a claim. Leamer v. Fauver, 288 F.3d 532, 542 (3d Cir.
Here, McCarthy challenges his medical treatment and his placement in the
SMU. With respect to the medical treatment, McCarthy “does not seek an [immediate or]
speedier release, only different medical care, and he thus must proceed through a civil
rights action after exhausting his administrative remedies . . . .” Bonadonna, 446 F. App’x
at 409. With respect to his placement in the SMU, McCarthy only challenges the
condition of his confinement, not the execution of his sentence. See Bedenfield v.
Lewisburg, 393 F. App’x 32, 33 (3d Cir. 2010). He makes no allegation that his
placement in SMU is inconsistent with his sentencing judgment, and he makes no
allegation that his removal from the SMU would shorten his confinement. See Cardona
v. Bledsoe, 681 F.3d 533, 537 (3d Cir. 2012). Thus, those claims must also proceed
through a civil rights action.1 Accordingly, we agree with Magistrate Judge Carlson that
McCarthy’s claims are not cognizable under § 2241.
AND NOW, this 1st day of December, 2014, upon consideration of the
Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Carlson (Doc. 4) and the objections of
Petitioner McCarthy (Doc. 5), it is ORDERED that:
1. The Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED.
2. Petitioner’s objections are OVERRULED.
3. The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is DENIED.
4. We will not issue a certificate of appealability since Petitioner has the
right to appeal our order to the Third Circuit without a certificate. See
Burkey v. Marberry, 556 F.3d 142, 146 (3d Cir. 2009).
5. The clerk shall close this file.
/s/William W. Caldwell
William W. Caldwell
United States District Judge
1. The cases that McCarthy cites to support his position are unavailing. In particular, McCarthy
cites Wilkinson v. Austin, 545 U.S. 209 (2005) to argue that his claims may be brought via a
habeas petition. To the contrary, the prisoners in Austin brought their claims pursuant to a civil
rights action, not a § 2241 petition.
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