Davis v. Stephens
ORDER ADOPTING MEMORANDUM AND RECOMMENDATIONS re: granting 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment with Brief in Support, 35 Memorandum and Recommendations. Petitioner is DENIED a certificate of appealability. (Signed by Judge Hilda G Tagle) Parties notified.(lcayce, 2)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
CORPUS CHRISTI DIVISION
MICHAEL A DAVIS,
WILLIAM STEPHENS, et al,
January 09, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL NO. 2:16-CV-47
Petitioner Michael A. Davis (“Davis”) has filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to challenge a disciplinary proceeding at the
McConnell Unit in Beeville, Texas. (D.E. 1). Randle does not challenge his
On March 11, 2015, in case number 20150194210, Petitioner was found guilty
of tampering with a locking mechanism. (D.E. 16-2, Pages 3-5). The punishment
included (1) 30 days loss of commissary, recreation and telephone privileges; (2) loss
of 30 days good-time credits and (3) reduction in line class from L1 to L2. (D.E. 1,
Page 5 and D.E. 16-2, Page 3). Petitioner appealed this finding of guilty through the
TDCJ grievance procedure which was denied at Step 2 on May 14, 2015. (D.E. 27-1,
The Court has before it Davis’s Petition (D.E. 1), Respondents’ motion for
summary judgment (D.E. 18), Davis’s response to Respondents’ motion for summary
judgment (D.E. 34), the Memorandum and Recommendations (“M&R”) of the
Magistrate Judge to whom this case was referred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)
(D.E. 35), and Davis’s objections to the M&R (D.E. 39). The Court reviews objectedto portions of a Magistrate Judge’s proposed findings and recommendations de novo.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (“A judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of
those portions of the report or specified proposed findings and recommendations to
which objection is made.”).
Here, the Magistrate Judge recommended that Respondents’ motion for
summary judgment be granted, Davis’s action for habeas corpus relief be dismissed.
The Magistrate Judge’s M&R details the applicable law and reasons for these
recommendations in detail.
See D.E. 35. The Magistrate
recommended a Certificate of Appealability be denied.
Davis objects to the M&R by stating that his due process rights to a fair
hearing were violated, he was harassed by a sergeant and officer, he was never
given the opportunity to prove his innocence of the accusation of tampering with a
lock, he was denied witnesses, he was denied the opportunity to present evidence,
his I-60 was never answered, and he was inadequately represented by counsel. (See
D.E. 39, Page 2). Davis also objects to the M&R by noting that he listed facts in each
grievance and thus has provided evidence of harassment. (See D.E. 39, Page 4).
Davis also states in his objections that he was denied medical attention after an ear
infection in his left hear, a claim that he did not raise in his initial habeas petition.
(See D.E. 1, Pages 5-7; D.E. 39, Page 5).
Davis also argues that he “is not challenging or seeking early release but by
having a fraudulent disciplinary case on Petitioners [sic] record it makes Petitioner
unable to become eligible or considered for parole.” (D.E. 39, Page 7). However, as
the Magistrate Judge explained in the M&R, a prisoner does not have a
constitutional right a release before the expiration of a valid sentence. Greenholtz v.
Inmates of the Neb. Penal & Corr. Complex, 442 U.S. 1, 7 (1979). Furthermore, the
U.S. Constitution does not guarantee an inmate good-time credit for satisfactory
behavior while in prison. Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 557 (1974). In Texas, it
is well established that only inmates who are eligible for mandatory supervision
have a liberty interest in good-time credits and a constitutional expectancy of early
release. Malchi v. Thaler, 211 F.3d 953, 957 (5th Cir. 2000). In contrast, “[b]ecause
it is entirely speculative whether a prisoner will be released on parole, . . . there is
no constitutional expectancy of parole in Texas.” Id. (quoting Madison v. Parker,
104 F.3d 765, 768 (5th Cir. 1997)). To establish a constitutional violation, a
petitioner must show that he has a constitutional expectancy of early release, which
Davis has not been able to show by his own admission in his objections that he is
not eligible for mandatory supervision. (D.E. 39, Page 8).
After independently reviewing the record and considering the applicable law,
the Court adopts the entirety of the Magistrate Judge’s proposed findings and
recommendations; GRANTS Respondent’s motion for summary judgment (D.E. 13);
DISMISSES the petition for a writ of habeas corpus (D.E. 1); and DENIES
Petitioner a Certificate of Appealability. The Court further DIRECTS the Clerk to
close this case after entering the accompanying judgment.
It is so ORDERED.
SIGNED this 9th day of January, 2017.
Senior United States District Judge
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