Lonardo v. Lane
MEMORANDUM (Order to follow as separate docket entry)Since Lonardo has been released from federal prison to an RRC, under the principles set forth in Steffel, his sole claim of being denied sufficient halfway house placement is subject to dismissal as moot since it no longer presents an existing case or controversy. An appropriate Order will enter.Signed by Honorable Richard P. Conaboy on 7/18/17. (cc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
: CIVIL NO. 3:CV-16-2324
: (Judge Conaboy)
Domencio Lonardo filed this petition for writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 while confined at the
Allenwood Low Federal Correctional Institution, White Deer,
Pennsylvania (LFCI-Allenwood). Service of the petition was
Lonardo’s pending action does not challenge the legality of
his underlying federal criminal conviction and sentence which
was imposed by the United States District Court for the Western
District of New York.
Rather, Petitioner claims entitlement to
federal habeas corpus relief on the basis that the LFCIAllenwood staff and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) acted
improperly and abused their discretion by only recommending him
for a sixty (60) day pre-release placement in a Residential
Reentry Center (“RRC” or “halfway house”).
See Doc. 1, ¶ 6.
Petitioner maintains that pursuant to the Second Chance
Act, he is entitled to halfway house placement.1
assets that the recommended sixty (60) day period is less than
10% of his sentence and other similarly situated prisoners have
been recommended for a longer halfway house placement
Lonardo adds that being afforded longer placement would
provide him with opportunity to obtain treatment for a medical
condition and allow him adequate opportunity to secure housing
upon his release..
On July 13, 2017, Respondent filed a “Notice of Suggestion
of Mootness” stating that Lonardo has been released from federal
custody into an RRC.
Doc. 8, p. 1.
seeks dismissal of the petition since the only habeas corpus
issue raised by Lonardo is moot.
The Second Chance Act of 2007 codified at 18 U.S.C. §§
3621, 3624, increases an inmate’s eligibility for pre-release
placement and requires the BOP to make an individual determination
that ensures that the placement is “of sufficient duration to
provide the greatest likelihood of successful reintegration into
the community.” 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(6)(C) (Apr. 9, 2008).
In making this determination, the following five criteria from
18 U.S.C. § 3621(b) are to be considered: (1) the resources of the
facility contemplated; (2) the nature and circumstances of the
offense; (3) the history and characteristics of the prisoner; (4)
any statement by the sentencing court concerning the purpose for
which the sentence was imposed or a recommendation of a particular
type of correctional facility; and (5) any pertinent policy
statement issued by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to section
994(a)(2) of Title 28. 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b).
Habeas corpus review under § 2241 “allows a federal
prisoner to challenge the ‘execution’ of his sentence.”
v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d 235, 241 (3d Cir. 2005).
A habeas corpus petition may be brought by a prisoner who
seeks to challenge either the fact or duration of his
confinement in prison.
Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475
(1973), Telford v. Hepting, 980 F.2d 745, 748 (3d Cir.), cert.
denied, 510 U.S. 920 (1993).
Federal habeas relief is available
only “where the deprivation of rights is such that it
necessarily impacts the fact or length of detention.”
Fauver, 288 F.3d 532, 540 (3d Cir. 2002).
Since Lonardo’s claim
of denial of sufficient halfway house placement conceivably
impacted the length of his imprisonment, this matter was
properly raised under § 2241.
See Woodall, 432 F.3d at 243-44
(claims regarding denial of halfway house placement properly
sound in habeas corpus).
The case or controversy requirement of Article III, § 2 of
the United States Constitution subsists through all stages of
federal judicial proceedings.
Parties must continue to have a
“‘personal stake in the outcome' of the lawsuit."
Continental Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477-78 (1990); Preiser v.
Newkirk, 422 U.S. 395, 401 (1975).
In other words, throughout
the course of the action, the aggrieved party must suffer or be
threatened with actual injury caused by the defendant.
494 U.S. at 477.
The adjudicatory power of a federal court depends upon "the
continuing existence of a live and acute controversy."
v. Thompson, 415 U.S. 452, 459 (1974) (emphasis in original).
"The rule in federal cases is that an actual controversy must be
extant at all stages of review, not merely at the time the
complaint is filed."
Id. at n.10 (citations omitted).
exposure to illegal conduct is insufficient to sustain a present
case or controversy ... if unaccompanied by continuing, present
Rosenberg v. Meese, 622 F. Supp. 1451, 1462
(S.D.N.Y. 1985) (citing O'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488, 49596 (1974)); see also Gaeta v. Gerlinski, Civil No.3:CV-02-465,
slip op. at p. 2 (M.D. Pa. May 17, 2002) (Vanaskie, C.J.).
As explained in Burkey v. Marberry, 556 F.3d 142, 147 (3d
Cir. Feb. 18, 2009).
in the context of a habeas corpus
challenge to the execution of a sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2241,
“[i]ncarceration satisfies the case or controversy requirement;
it is a concrete injury.”
However, once the petitioner has
been released, “some continuing injury, also referred to as a
collateral consequence, must exist for the action to continue.”
See also United States v. Jackson, 523 F.3d 234, 241 (3d
Lonardo’s sole claim asserts that he was improperly denied
a sufficient period of halfway house placement.
notified the Court that Petitioner has been released from prison
to an RRC. A review of the BOP’s inmate locator computerized
database shows that Petitioner is presently residing in a RRC
located in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area and will be
released from facility on August 29, 2017.
The Supreme Court in Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7
(1998), held that release of a petitioner from custody on a
parole violator term deprived federal courts of the power to
Significantly, the Court found that there were no
“collateral consequences” remaining after expiration of the
parole violator term sufficient to animate the matter with a
case or controversy capable of concrete redress, explaining that
federal courts “are not in the business of pronouncing that past
actions which have no demonstrable continuing effect were right
Id. at 18.
United States v. Kissinger,
309 F.3d 179, 181-82 (3d Cir. 2002)
unconditionally released from probation cannot maintain
challenge to sentence received for violating the terms of
Lane v. Williams, 455 U.S. 624, 632-34 (1982);
Hagwood v. Grondolsky, 2009 WL 455499 *2 (D.N.J. Feb. 19,
2009)(a federal inmate’s challenge to the BOP’s reversal of a
decision to place him on home confinement. became moot once the
BOP placed the prisoner on home confinement).
Petitioner has not shown that he is suffering any
collateral consequences as required under Spencer Johnson, and
Kissinger stemming from the alleged prior failure of federal
officials to provide him with a longer period of halfway house
As noted in Hagwood, the type of habeas claim
asserted herein is mooted once a federal inmate is provided with
halfway house placement.
Since Lonardo has been released from federal prison to an
RRC, under the principles set forth in Steffel, his sole claim
of being denied sufficient halfway house placement is subject to
dismissal as moot since it no longer presents an existing case
An appropriate Order will enter.
S/Richard P. Conaboy
RICHARD P. CONABOY
United States District Judge
DATED: JULY 18, 2017
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