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John E. Barrington v. Michael Babcock

May 30, 2012

JOHN E. BARRINGTON, PETITIONER,
v.
MICHAEL BABCOCK,*FN1 WARDEN, FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTE, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James K. Singleton, Jr. United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION

John E. Barrington, a federal prisoner appearing pro se, filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Barrington is now in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institute, Herlong, California. Respondent has answered, and Barrington has replied.

I. BACKGROUND/PRIOR PROCEEDINGS

Barrington was convicted in the Middle District of Florida of various federal crimes, including fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion. In August 2007 Barrington was sentenced to an aggregate prison term of 175 months, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Barrington does not challenge his conviction or sentence in this proceeding.

In September 2009 Barrington was issued an incident report charging him with "Offering an Official Anything of Value."*fn2 On September 24, 2009, a Disciplinary Hearing Officer ("DHO") found Barrington guilty and disallowed twenty-seven days good time credits, imposed thirty days of disciplinary segregation, and 180 days loss of commissary privileges. After exhausting his administrative remedies on December 8, 2010, Barrington timely filed his Petition for relief in this Court on February 7, 2011.

The facts underlying the charge were stated in the Incident Report:

On Sunday, September 20, 2009, at approximately 7:55 pm, Inmate Barrington Reg # 26320-018 entered the B-1 Officer's Station and offered to teach me how to make millions on real estate investing and tax advice if I would fax federal documents to a federal judge and to the federal court house. I told Barrington no several times. He continued becoming more persistent with each attempt until I told him to leave the office. Operations Lieutenant Carey was notified. Please see attached memo.*fn3

II. GROUNDS RAISED/DEFENSES

In his Petition Barrington raises four grounds: (1) denial of due process; (2) conviction based upon falsified evidence; (3) gross injustice/abuse of power; and (4) unequal treatment. Respondent does not assert any affirmative defense.*fn4

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Prison disciplinary proceedings are not part of a criminal prosecution; therefore, the full panoply of rights due to a defendant in such a proceeding do not apply.*fn5 In the context of prison disciplinary proceedings, the minimum requirements of due process are: (1) advance written notice of the charges brought against the inmate; (2) the right to call witnesses and present documentary evidence in his defense; (3) a written statement of the fact finder of the evidence relied on and the reasons for the disciplinary action taken;*fn6 and (4) the findings must be supported by some evidence in the record.*fn7 Inmates do not, however, have a right of confrontation and cross-examination.*fn8

The applicable constitutional standard by which federal habeas courts are bound in reviewing prisoner disciplinary findings is whether "there is any evidence in the record that could support the conclusion reached by the disciplinary board."*fn9 This standard does not require that the court independently assess the credibility of the witnesses or re-weigh the evidence.*fn10

Because a prison disciplinary proceeding "is not comparable to a criminal conviction, . . . , neither the amount of evidence necessary to support such a conviction, . . . , nor any other standard ...


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