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McTigue v. Kobayashi

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

January 7, 2019

JENNIFER ANN MCTIGUE, Petitioner,
v.
H. KOBAYASHI, Warden, et al., Respondents.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          PATRICK J. WALSH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This Report and Recommendation is submitted to the Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall, United States District Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.6 of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. For the reasons discussed below, it is recommended that the Petition be denied and the action be dismissed with prejudice.

         I. SUMMARY OF FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

         Petitioner is a federal prisoner who is currently housed at the T.J. Mahoney Hale halfway house in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Opposition to Petition at 2.) Her anticipated release date is January 16, 2019. (Petition at 13.)

         In July 2015, Petitioner pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering, and was sentenced to 60 months in prison. (United States v. McTigue, et al., CR 14-0010-CBM (Doc. Nos. 191, 192, 235, 236).) In February 2018, she was transferred from FCI Tallahassee to T.J. Mahoney to complete the final phase of the BOP residential drug abuse program (“RDAP”).[1] Petitioner alleges that she was treated more severely than other residents at T.J. Mahoney because one of the victims of her underlying crime was a U.S. Probation officer. (Petition at 7.) Nevertheless, in May 2018, Petitioner was transferred to home confinement, under the auspices of the RDAP program. (Petition at 8.) On June 12, 2018, she was placed back in the halfway house after employees became concerned that she was drinking excessive amounts of water to dilute her urine samples, which could mask drug use. (Petition at 8-9.) Petitioner alleges that, despite being informally assured that she would be returned to home confinement, on June 15, 2018, she was placed in prison in Honolulu. (Petition at 10-11.)

         On July 17, 2018, she filed the instant Petition, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, complaining:

1. Her continued detention at FDC Honolulu violates her right to due process and equal protection.
2.spondents violated her procedural due process rights when they terminated her participation in the home confinement program.

(Petition at 14-20.)

         Petitioner seeks release from her “unlawful” detention, an order compelling Respondents to provide the Court with her inmate file for in camera review, a declaration that her detention violates her constitutional rights, an order that any future disciplinary actions be referred to this Court, an order referring Respondents for investigation, and an award of attorney fees and costs. (Petition at 21-22.) On August 10, 2018, Respondents filed an Opposition to the Petition, in which they noted that, on August 2, 2018, Petitioner was transferred from FDC Honolulu back to the T.J. Mahoney halfway house. (Opposition at 2.)

         II.

         ANALYSIS

         The sum and substance of Petitioner's complaint is that Respondents improperly removed her from the residential drug program and returned her to prison. For the following reasons, the Court concludes that the Petition is moot. In addition, the Court finds that, even if it was not moot, her claims are not cognizable in federal habeas corpus proceedings.

         “[T]he essence of habeas corpus is an attack by a person in [] custody upon the legality of that custody, and . . . the traditional function of the writ is to secure release from illegal custody.” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973); Burnett v. Lampert, 432 F.3d 996, 999 (9th Cir. 2005). Because Petitioner is no longer in federal prison and has been returned to the halfway house, the Court can no longer grant her the relief she seeks. Thus, her request for habeas corpus relief is moot. See Abbott v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 771 F.3d 512, 513 (9th Cir. 2014) (holding claims regarding legality of RDAP eligibility rule rendered moot by BOP's decision to re-admit prisoner to RDAP program); Kittel v. Thomas, 620 F.3d 949, 951 (9th Cir. 2010) (holding ยง 2241 petition ...


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