United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
D. STICKNEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
cause of action was referred to the United States Magistrate
Judge pursuant to the provisions of Title 28, United States
Code, Section 636 (b), as implemented by an order of the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas. The Findings, Conclusions and Recommendation of the
United States Magistrate Judge follow:
is an inmate in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice,
Correctional Institutions Division (“TDCJ-CID”).
He filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner does not challenge the
validity of his underlying conviction and sentence. Instead,
he challenges a prison disciplinary violation, number
20160131804, in which he was convicted of possession of a
cell phone charger while incarcerated. For the foregoing
reasons, the petition should be denied.
January 8, 2016, Petitioner was found guilty of the
disciplinary offense. Punishment was assessed at forty-five
days loss of commissary privileges, forty-five days loss of
phone privileges, a reduction in line-class status, a
reduction in custody status, and loss of 30 days of good-time
August 19, 2016, Petitioner filed the instant § 2254
petition. He argues there was no evidence to support the
challenges the loss of his good-time credits. Prisoners
charged with disciplinary violations are entitled to certain
due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment when the
disciplinary action results in a sanction that infringes on a
liberty interest. Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472,
484 (1995). In Texas, only those sanctions that result in the
loss of good-time credits for inmates who are eligible for
release on mandatory supervision, or that otherwise directly
and adversely affect release on mandatory supervision,
impinge on a protected liberty interest. Malchi v.
Thaler, 211 F.3d 953, 957-58 (5th Cir. 2000).
case, Petitioner is not eligible for release to mandatory
supervision. Petitioner was previously convicted of capital
murder and was sentenced to life in prison. The mandatory
supervision statute in effect at the time Petitioner
committed capital murder stated that an inmate is ineligible
for mandatory supervision if the inmate was incarcerated for
capital murder. Tex. Gov't Code § 42.18 sec. 8(c)
(West 1994). Since Petitioner is ineligible for mandatory
supervised release, the loss of good-time credits did not
implicate a protected liberty interest. Malchi, 211
F.3d at 956-58.
also challenges the loss of commissary privileges, reduction
in line classification, loss of phone privileges, and
demotion in custody status. These claims, however, do not
implicate a protected constitutional interest. See
Madison v. Parker, 104 F.3d 765, 768 (5th
Cir. 1997) (stating commissary and cell restrictions do not
impose a significant or atypical hardship on the inmate in
relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life); Luken
v. Scott, 71 F.3d 192, 19395th Cir. 1995)
(stating reductions in line-class status do not implicate due
process concerns); Hernandez v. Velasquez, 522 F.3d
556, 562-64 (5th Cir. 2008) (finding that in the
absence of extraordinary circumstances, administrative
segregation does not impose atypical and significant hardship
required to trigger due process protection); Allums v.
Phillips, 444 Fed.Appx. 840, 841 (5th Cir.
2011) (“Placement in administrative segregation or a
change in custodial classification as a result of a
disciplinary infraction, without more, does not constitute a
deprivation of a constitutionally cognizable liberty
interest, and, therefore, there is no right to due
process.”). Petitioner's claims should be denied.
Court recommends that the petition for writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to ...