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McKneely v. Fox

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 25, 2015

DRACY LAMONT McKNEELY, Petitioner,
v.
JACK FOX/BOP, et al., Respondents.

ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING HABEAS ACTION FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION

ROBERT J. TIMLIN, Senior District Judge.

Petitioner, a federal inmate, seeks 28 U.S.C. § 2241 habeas relief because he believes the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) erred in deciding to house him at a high security facility. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, the court has reviewed the Petition and the records on file, including the Declaration filed by the Petitioner on March 9, 2015. The Court will dismiss the action summarily for lack of jurisdiction.

I.

INTRODUCTION

Petitioner is imprisoned for a 1994 federal conviction in Colorado for trafficking what that district court determined was over four kilograms of cocaine. See generally U.S. v. McKneely, 69 F.3d 1067 (10th Cir. 1995) (affirming conviction and sentence). Now assigned to high security housing at Lompoc, Petitioner prefers to be housed in a lower security prison within the BOP system. The reason he remains in higher security housing is that the BOP found that Petitioner's drug trafficking organization was a "large scale" one. Petitioner disputes that finding, which automatically categorized his offense, for housing-assignment purposes, as one of the "Greatest Severity" necessitating higher security. See Pet. at 5. Petitioner seeks habeas to compel the BOP to remove its "large scale" finding, thus eliminating the "Greatest Severity" categorization, and to assign him corresponding lower-security housing. The Court lacks jurisdiction to review such individualized, fact-based and discretionary BOP decisions.

II.

APPLICABLE LAW

A. The BOP's Authority Over Its Prisoners' Housing Assignments

The BOP generally has the authority to choose where to locate federal prisoners within the federal prison system. Under 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b), the BOP may designate the place of an inmate's imprisonment, including transfers "at any time." Rodriguez v. Smith, 541 F.3d 1180, 1182, 1185 (9th Cir. 2008). Such decisions are discretionary, but the BOP must consider the following five factors in making them:

(1) the resources of the facility contemplated;
(2) the nature and circumstances of the offense;
(3) the history and characteristics of the prisoner;
(4) any statement by the court that imposed the sentence -
(A) concerning the purpose for which the sentence to imprisonment was ...

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