United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
following recommended disposition has been sent to United
States District Court Judge Billy Roy Wilson . You may file
written objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If
you do so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain
the factual and/or legal basis for your objection; and (2) be
received by the Clerk of this Court Clerk within fourteen
(14) days of this Recommendation. By not objecting, you may
waive the right to appeal questions of fact.
Anthony Flemons (Flemons”), in the custody of the
Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC), brings this habeas
corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He
challenges the manner in which his sentence is being
executed, alleging that he was wrongfully convicted of a
disciplinary infraction at the ADC's East Arkansas
Regional Max Unit.
pertinent facts are largely undisputed. On January 12, 2018,
Flemons was convicted of disciplinary infractions for failing
to obey verbal and/or written orders of staff and for
indecent exposure. Flemons alleges he requested three inmates
and the video camera footage as evidence at the disciplinary
hearing. Flemons contends he was denied due process by ADC
employees Keith Waddle, Glenda Bolden, and Daryl Morris.
Flemons was convicted of the disciplinary charges and
sentenced to reduction to class 4, 30 days punitive
isolation, 60 days loss of commissary, phone, and visitation
privileges, and loss of his personal property. Flemons'
appeal of the disciplinary convictions was unsuccessful.
Flemons contends his disciplinary convictions were obtained
in violation of his due process rights and his right to be
free from cruel and unusual punishment.
Wendy Kelley (“Kelley”) contends this petition
should be dismissed for failure to state a cognizable claim.
There is merit in this argument, and we recommend that the
petition be dismissed and the relief requested be denied.
federal habeas corpus actions are brought to secure release
from illegal custody. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S.
475 (1973). Habeas corpus actions are contrasted with civil
rights complaints brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which
are available to challenge the conditions of prison life but
not the fact or length of imprisonment. Id. at 499.
Here, it is conceded that the prison disciplinary
determination resulted in reduction to class 4, 30 days
punitive isolation, 60 days loss of commissary, phone, and
visitation privileges, and loss of his personal property, but
there was no loss of good-time credits. Since there was no
loss of good-time credits, the prison disciplinary sentence
had no effect on the term of incarceration and a prisoner
challenging the decision “raise[s] no claim on which
habeas relief could have been granted. . .”
Muhammad v. Close, 540 U.S. 749, at 754-55. The
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Spencer v.
Haynes, 774 F.3d 467, 469-470 (8thCir. 2014),
guides us in this instance: “As we stated in Kruger
v. Erickson, ‘[i]f the prisoner is not challenging
the validity of his conviction or the length of his
detention, such as loss of good time, then a writ of habeas
corpus is not the proper remedy.' 77 F.3d 1071, 1073 (8th
Cir.1996) (per curiam) (citing Preiser v. Rodriguez,
411 U.S. 475, 499, 93 S.Ct. 1827, 36 L.Ed.2d 439
(1973)).” See also Khaimov v. Crist, 297 F.3d
783, 785-86 (8th Cir. 2002) (habeas claims
regarding prison mail and segregation were improperly brought
pursuant to § 2254 because there was no allegation that
the petitioner's sentence was illegally extended). Since
Flemons' allegations are deficient, this Court is without
subject matter jurisdiction, and the case should be
summary, the sanctions imposed by the ADC disciplinary
committee did not include a loss of accrued good-time
credits. There is no allegation or showing that success on
his claims would result in any change in the duration of his
confinement in the ADC. As a result, the claims would more
appropriately be brought in a § 1983 civil rights action
rather than in a habeas corpus proceeding. Whether couched as
a failure to state a cognizable claim or a lack of
jurisdiction, the result is the same. We recommend
Flemons' case be dismissed and the relief requested be
to 28 U.S.C. § 2253 and Rule 11 of the Rules Governing
Section 2554 Cases in the United States District Court, the
Court must determine whether to issue a certificate of
appealability in the final order. In § 2254 cases, a
certificate of appealability may issue only if the applicant
has made a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)-(2). The
Court finds no issue on which petitioner has made a
substantial showing of a denial of a constitutional right.
Thus, we recommend the certificate of appealability be