Stewart v. Fox
MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER. Petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus should be dismissed. Signed by Judge Thad Heartfield on 9/30/2014. (bjc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:13cv184
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Petitioner Marshaun Stewart, formerly an inmate confined in the Federal Correctional
Complex in Beaumont, Texas, filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
Petitioner asserts that he has been improperly denied relocation to Denver, Colorado for
placement in a Residential Reentry Center (“RRC”) for an extended period so he could save money
and work while trying to find a place to live upon his release. Petitioner states he is homeless and
will be unable to live with his fiancé in her apartment because the landlord does not rent to sex
offenders. Petitioner argues that the denial of his placement request violates the Second Chance
The Second Chance Act of 2007, Pub.L. No. 110-199 (Apr. 9, 2008), which amends Title
18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(1), increases the maximum allowable time frame for pre-release placement in
a halfway house to 12 months and requires the BOP to make placement decisions on an individual
basis based on the criteria set forth in the statute. Consistent with the Second Chance Act, the BOP
revised its policies to require the review of inmates for halfway house placement to 17-19 months
before their projected release. See Estrada v. Berkebile, 2008 WL 3850870 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 18,
Placement in a halfway house is a privilege, not an entitlement. Inmates are permitted a
maximum of 12 months in a Residential Release Center. That petitioner disagrees with the BOP’s
determination that he not be placed in an RRC for 12 months does not entitle him to relief. In a
petition for writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, the petitioner bears the burden
of establishing he is in custody in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Petitioner’s disagreement with the BOP’s determination concerning the length of his placement in
an RRC does not establish a constitutional violation as nothing in either the Second Chance Act or
Section 3621(b) entitles petitioner or any other prisoner to any guaranteed placement in an RRC.
See Johnson v. Pearson, 2009 WL 5217022 (S.D. Miss. Dec. 29, 2009); Wilson v. Keffer, 2009 WL
1230020 (W.D. La. May 5, 2009); Reid v. Dewalt, 2009 WL 2448023 (E.D. Ky. Feb. 11, 2009).
“The duration of RRC placement is a matter to which the [Bureau of Prisons] retains discretionary
authority.” Walker v. Sanders, 2009 WL 2448023 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 10, 2009).
Further, inmates are to be individually considered for RRC placement using the following
criteria set forth in U.S.C. § 3621(b): (1) the resources of the facility; (2) the nature and circumstance
of the offense; (3) the history and characteristics of the prisoner; (4) any statement by the court which
imposed the sentence; and (5) any pertinent information issued by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
In this case, the Bureau conducted an individualized assessment and noted that petitioner is not
eligible for placement in an RRC because of his conviction for failure to register as a sex offender,
poor institutional adjustment, and lack of community resources. Thus, the Bureau’s determination
that petitioner was not appropriate for immediate release is supported by the record, and was not an
abuse of discretion. Further, petitioner’s request for relocation was submitted by the Bureau of
Prisons to the appropriate agency, but his requests were denied by the United States Probation
Office. Petitioner has failed to show any constitutional violation regarding the denial. Finally, a
review of the docket in this action reveals petitioner has been released from prison; thus, the issues
in this petition are moot because he is no longer confined in the Bureau of Prisons. Accordingly,
petitioner’s petition for writ of habeas corpus should be dismissed.
For the reasons set forth above, this petition for writ of habeas corpus should be dismissed.
A final judgment will be entered in accordance with this memorandum opinion.
SIGNED this the 30 day of September, 2014.
United States District Judge
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?