C/A No.: 1:21-258-JFA-SVH
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Juan Jose Colon-Arriaga ("Petitioner"), proceeding pro se, is an inmate incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution Estill ("FCI-Estill") in Estill, South Carolina, in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"). He filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.), the undersigned is authorized to review such petitions for relief and submit findings and recommendations to the district judge. For the reasons that follow, the undersigned recommends the district judge dismiss the petition in this case without requiring the respondent to file an answer. I. Factual and Procedural Background
Petitioner pled guilty to drug conspiracy charges in the District of Puerto Rico. United States v. Colon-Arriaga, Cr. No. 3:18-cr-308-01(GAG) (D.P.R.) ("Arriaga I"). On July 19, 2019, the district court sentenced Petitioner to 90 months' imprisonment and five years of supervised release. Id., ECF No. 99.
The court takes judicial notice of Petitioner's prior cases. See Colonial Penn Ins. Co. v. Coil, 887 F.2d 1236, 1239 (4th Cir. 1989) ("The most frequent use of judicial notice of ascertainable facts is in noticing the content of court records.") (citation omitted).
Petitioner filed this petition arguing FCI-Estill has failed to apply his earned-time credits for evidence-based recidivism-reduction programming pursuant to the First Step Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3632(d)(4)(A). II. Discussion
A. Standard of Review
Under established local procedure in this judicial district, a careful review has been made of this petition pursuant to the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings for the United States District Court, the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, and other habeas corpus statutes. Pro se complaints are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys. Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). A federal court is charged with liberally construing a complaint filed by a pro se litigant to allow the development of a potentially meritorious case. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). In evaluating a pro se complaint, the plaintiff's allegations are assumed to be true. Fine v. City of N.Y., 529 F.2d 70, 74 (2d Cir. 1975). The mandated liberal construction afforded to pro se pleadings means if the court can reasonably read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so. Nevertheless, the requirement of liberal construction does not mean the court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts that set forth a claim currently cognizable in a federal district court. Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 390-91 (4th Cir. 1990).
The Rules Governing Section 2254 are applicable to habeas actions brought under § 2241. See Rule 1(b). --------
The petition is subject to summary dismissal for Petitioner's failure to exhaust his administrative remedies. Petitioner is required to exhaust his administrative remedies within the BOP before submitting a § 2241 petition in this case. Although § 2241 does not contain a statutory exhaustion requirement, courts consistently require prisoners to exhaust their administrative remedies prior to seeking habeas review under § 2241. See Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484, 490-91 (1973) (requiring exhaustion in 28 U.S.C. § 2241 matter); McClung v. Shearin, 90 F. App'x 444, 445 (4th Cir. 2004) ("Federal prisoners must exhaust their administrative remedies prior to filing § 2241 petitions."). This requirement of exhaustion allows prison officials to develop a factual record and "an opportunity to resolve disputes concerning the exercise of their responsibilities before being haled into court." Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 204 (2007).
Although Petitioner states that he filed an informal resolution and a Request for Administrative Remedy (Form BP-9), he admits that he did not pursue his administrative remedies further, arguing that further exhaustion would be futile. [ECF No. 1 at 5-6]. Although Petitioner argues "Any further exhaustion would be futile due to a narrow dispute of statutory construction[,] which is exempt from the exhaustion process," id. at 6, he fails to provide any authority for this position. Accordingly, Petitioner's § 2241 petition is subject to summary dismissal for lack of exhaustion. III. Conclusion and Recommendation
The undersigned recommends the petition be dismissed without prejudice for failure to exhaust his administrative remedies.
IT IS SO RECOMMENDED. February 3, 2021
Columbia, South Carolina
Shiva V. Hodges
United States Magistrate Judge
The parties are directed to note the important information in the attached
"Notice of Right to File Objections to Report and Recommendation."
Notice of Right to File Objections to Report and Recommendation
The parties are advised that they may file specific written objections to this Report and Recommendation with the District Judge. Objections must specifically identify the portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections are made and the basis for such objections. "[I]n the absence of a timely filed objection, a district court need not conduct a de novo review, but instead must 'only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation.'" Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 72 advisory committee's note).
Specific written objections must be filed within fourteen (14) days of the date of service of this Report and Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a), (d). Filing by mail pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5 may be accomplished by mailing objections to:
Robin L. Blume, Clerk
United States District Court
901 Richland Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
Failure to timely file specific written objections to this Report and Recommendation will result in waiver of the right to appeal from a judgment of the District Court based upon such Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985); Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841 (4th Cir. 1985); United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d 91 (4th Cir. 1984).