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Agramonte v. Bragg

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

November 7, 2014

Joseph Agramonte, Petitioner,
Travis Bragg, Warden, FCI Bennettsville, Respondent

Joseph Agramonte, Petitioner, Pro se, Bennettsville, SC.



The petitioner, Joseph Agramonte (" Petitioner"), a self-represented prisoner confined at Federal Correctional Institution (" FCI") Bennettsville, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. This matter is before the court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c) DSC. Having reviewed the Petition in accordance with applicable law, the court concludes that it should be summarily dismissed.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

The Petition states that, while incarcerated at FCI Fort Dix on March 12, 2012, Petitioner was charged with " Giving Or Receiving Money From Any Person For Any Illegal Contraband or Prohibited Purpose." (ECF No. 1 at 11.) The Petition alleges that an incident report was prepared on August 8, 2012, and written notice of the charge was presented to Petitioner that same day. (Id.) However, Petitioner claims that the disciplinary hearing was extended by the Warden, without notice to Petitioner in violation of 28 C.F.R. § 541. (Id.) Petitioner further claims that he never received notice of the postponed hearing date. (Id.) Petitioner asks this court to vacate the disciplinary conviction, which he claims resulted in the loss of good-time credits. (Id. at 1, 9.)

Because Petitioner did not provide all of the documents necessary for initial review, the court issued an order on September 5, 2014, directing him to bring this case into proper form. (ECF No. 6.) The order specifically directed Petitioner to clarify whether the instant Petition challenges the same disciplinary conviction at issue in a previous § 2241 action filed by Petitioner in this court. (Id. at 1-2; see also ECF No. 1 at 8.) In response to the court's order, Petitioner filed a reply indicating that " the underlining case was previously challenged" in Agramonte v. Bragg, C/A No. 0: 13-1956-MGL-PJG, (D.S.C. July 18, 2013) (dismissed without prejudice June 10, 2014). (ECF No. 11 at 1.) Petitioner also provided documents reflecting " the date and other information concerning the challenged disciplinary conviction." (Id.; see also ECF No. 11-1 at 2-4.) However, the documents submitted relate to a disciplinary hearing conducted on July 5, 2012, for the possession, manufacture, introduction of a hazardous tool on June 8, 2012. (ECF No. 11-1 at 2.) As the instant Petition cites a different disciplinary charge from March of 2012, it remains unclear whether Petitioner is attempting to re-litigate the issues discussed in his prior habeas petition.

II. Discussion

A. Standard of Review

Under established local procedure in this judicial district, a careful review has been made of the pro se petition filed in this case pursuant to the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, [1] 28 U.S.C. § 2254; the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (" AEDPA"), Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214; and in light of the following precedents: Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 112 S.Ct. 1728, 118 L.Ed.2d 340 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324-25, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 104 L.Ed.2d 338 (1989); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 92 S.Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972); Nasim v. Warden, Md. House of Corr., 64 F.3d 951 (4th Cir. 1995) (en banc); Todd v. Baskerville, 712 F.2d 70 (4th Cir. 1983).

This court is required to liberally construe pro se petitions. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007). Pro se petitions are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys, id.; Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), and a federal district court is charged with liberally construing a petition filed by a pro se litigant to allow the development of a potentially meritorious case. Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9, 101 S.Ct. 173, 66 L.Ed.2d 163 (1980); Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319, 92 S.Ct. 1079, 31 L.Ed.2d 263 (1972). When a federal court is evaluating a pro se petition the petitioner's allegations are assumed to be true. Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93 (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)).

However, the requirement of liberal construction does not mean that the court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts which set forth a claim currently cognizable in a federal district court. Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990). The mandated liberal construction afforded to pro se pleadings means that if the court can reasonably read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which the petitioner could prevail, it should do so; however, a district court may not rewrite a petition to include claims that were never presented, Barnett v. Hargett, 174 F.3d 1128 (10th Cir. 1999), construct the petitioner's legal arguments for him, Small v. Endicott, 998 F.2d 411 (7th Cir. 1993), or " conjure up questions never squarely presented" to the court, Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).

B. Analysis

1. Giving or receiving money from any person for any illegal contraband or prohibited purpose on ...

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