Wrice v. Upton
Opinion and Order: For the reasons discussed herein, it is therefore ORDERED that Petitioner Holli Wrice's petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction. (Ordered by Judge Reed C. O'Connor on 1/8/2018) (skg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
FORT WORTH DIVISION
JODY UPTON, Warden
Civil Action No. 4:16-cv-965-O
OPINION AND ORDER
Before the Court is a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 filed
by Petitioner Holli Wrice, a federal prisoner confined at FMC-Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. In
addition to a completed form § 2241 petition, the Court has a response from the Respondent with
an Appendix. Petition, ECF No. 1; Response, ECF No. 6; Response Appendix (App.), ECF No. 7.
After considering the pleadings and relief sought by Petitioner, and the applicable law, the Court
finds and determines that the § 2241 petition must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
Petitioner Holli Wrice was convicted in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Missouri in cause number 1:09-cr-84-SNLJ on three counts: interference with commerce
by threat or violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951 (Count 1); using a firearm during a crime of
violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) (Count 2); and possession with intent to distribute
marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (Count 4). App.(January 21, 2011 Judgment), ECF
No. 7-1 at 1-5.1 On January 21, 2011, she was sentenced to an aggregate term of 147 months’
imprisonment. Id. at 2. Wrice was subsequently convicted in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Illinois in cause number 4:10-cr-065-01-JPG on two counts: armed bank
robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a)(d) (Count 1); and brandishing a firearm during and
relating to a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(c) (Count 2). App. (July 13,
2011 Judgment), ECF No.7-1, at 8-12. Wrice was sentenced to an aggregate term of 346 months’
imprisonment, to run consecutive to the remaining portion of the sentence imposed in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, for a total aggregate term of 420 months’
imprisonment. Id. at 9.
CLAIMS FOR RELIEF
In the petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, Wrice alleges violations
of her rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution arising from
different events.2 She claims that her right to free speech was violated when she was placed in the
Special Housing Unit (SHU) at FCI–Waseca after alleging discrimination regarding her right to wear
a certain pair of shoes. Pet. ECF No. 1 at 5. She alleges she suffered cruel and unusual punishment
in violation of the Eighth Amendment when she was placed in the SHU and not assigned to a lower
bunk. Id. at 5-6. Wrice alleges that she was deprived of due process of law in violation of the Fifth
Amendment when the BOP’s responses to her administrative remedies contained false allegations
and failed to address the merits of her grievances. Id. at 6. And Wrice also alleges she was illegally
seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and placed in the SHU under false allegations that she
The Court will cite to the ECF page numbers as assigned to the imaged copy of the Appendix on
the Court’s docket.
Although Wrice checked a portion of the § 2241 form indicating she was challenging a prison
disciplinary proceeding, she did not otherwise refer to a disciplinary proceeding in the balance of the § 2241
petition. Pet., ECF No. 1, at 2-10.
was involved in a fight and made threats to a staff member. Id. Wrice seeks monetary damages,
writing that she seeks “to be compensated monetarily for the mistreatment that has been inflicted
while in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.” Id. at 7.
Section 2241 is the proper procedural vehicle in which to raise an attack on “the manner in
which a sentence is executed.” Tolliver v. Dobre, 211 F.3d 876, 877 (5th Cir.2000). Petitioner,
however, is not challenging the duration of her sentence, but instead seeks monetary damages for
alleged violations of her First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment rights. Such claims are an
attack on the conditions of her confinement and are not cognizable in a habeas petition. See Cook
v. Texas Dep't of Criminal Justice Transitional Planning Dep't, 37 F.3d 166, 168 (5th Cir.1994)
(“The core issue in determining whether a prisoner must pursue habeas corpus relief rather than a
civil rights action is to determine whether the prisoner challenges the ‘fact or duration’ of his
confinement or merely the rules, customs, and procedures affecting ‘conditions' of confinement”);
Pierre v. United States, 525 F.2d 933, 935 (5th Cir.1976) (“Simply stated, habeas is not available
to review questions unrelated to the cause of detention”). Thus, Wrice’s claims in this suit are
outside the proper scope of a § 2241 petition. See Schipke v. Van Buren, 239 F. App’x 85, 2007 WL
2491065 at *1 (5th Cir. Aug.30, 2007) (holding that petitioner's claims were outside scope of § 2241
motion where none of the claims raised by petitioner challenged the fact or duration of her
confinement and none, if prevailed on, would have entitled her to accelerated release and thus should
have been raised in Bivens action).
In her reply to the government’s response, Wrice agues that the case of Joseph v. Childress,
et al., No. 2:11-CV-1752, 2014 WL 782827 (W.D. La. February 25, 2014) supports her filing of a
§ 2241 petition, as she claims the Plaintiff in that case employed a § 2241 petition to challenge his
detention in SHU. Reply, ECF No. 8, at 2-3. But Wrice’s arguments are misplaced. First, that case
was not brought as a petition under § 2241, but was instead filed as a civil complaint for relief under
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). See
Joseph, 2014 WL 782827, at *1, *5 n. 2. Second, Joseph did not challenge the duration of
confinement, but instead sought injunctive relief against alleged acts of discrimination and sought
compensatory and punitive damages for numerous alleged constitutional violations. Id. at *3. Thus,
the Joseph case does not support Wrice’s argument that she may pursue her claims for relief under
Wrice’s claims that her First Amendment right to free speech was violated when she was
placed in the SHU for alleging discrimination, her Eight Amendment right to be free from cruel and
unusual punishment was violated when she was placed in the SHU and not given a lower bunk, her
Fifth Amendment right to due process was violated when the BOP responded to her administrative
remedy requests with false allegations, and her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable
searches and seizures was violated when she was placed in the SHU under false allegations, even
if true, would not impact the duration of her sentence. The Court therefore lacks jurisdiction to
consider these claims as pursued in this § 2241 petition.
For the reasons discussed herein, it is therefore ORDERED that Petitioner Holli Wrice’s
petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction.
SO ORDERED on this 8th day of January, 2018.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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