United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
BRENDA WARD (BOP Register No. 49221-177), Petitioner,
BUREAU OF PRISONS, Respondent.
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
L. HORAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Brenda Ward, a federal prisoner convicted in this Court and
in custody in this district, filed a pro se petition
for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241
requesting that the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”)
provide her “a full 12 months of halfway house and/or
home confinement as per First Step Act, title 5.” Dkt.
No. 3 at 5. This resulting action has been referred to the
undersigned United States magistrate judge for pretrial
management under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and a standing order
of reference from Senior United States District Judge Sidney
A. Fitzwater. See also Amended Special Order No.
3-250 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 24, 2011), ¶ 3 (“A petition
for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 will
be directly assigned to the judge in the division who
previously presided over a criminal case involving the
defendant, if any.”). The undersigned enters these
findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation that
the Court should summarily dismiss the habeas petition.
Court set out in denying Ward's motion to vacate, set
aside, or correct sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, she
pleaded guilty to health care fraud. See United States v.
Ward, No. 3:15-cr-67-D (01) (N.D. Tex.), Dkt. No. 29. A
Presentence Report (“PSR”) was prepared and later
amended through an addendum. See United States v.
Ward, No. 3:15-cr-67-D (01) (N.D. Tex.), Dkt. Nos. 20
& 26. The PSR proposed a total offense level of 25 under
the United States Sentencing Guidelines [ ]; that calculation
factored in a 16-level increase because Ward's intended
loss - $1, 639, 926.90 - was more than $1, 000, 000 but less
than $3, 500, 000, and a 2-level increase because her offense
involved more than 10 victims - Medicaid plus the 572
individuals whose means of identification she used
unlawfully. See United States v. Ward, No.
3:15-cr-67-D (01) (N.D. Tex.), Dkt. No. 26. The Court adopted
the PSR and sentenced Ward to 57 months in prison and two
years of supervised release. See United States v.
Ward, No. 3:15-cr-67-D (01) (N.D. Tex.), Dkt. Nos. 29
After an unsuccessful direct appeal, see United States v.
Ward, No. 16-10126 (5th Cir. Mar. 8, 2016), Ward timely
filed [the] Section 2255 motion[, which the Court denied with
Ward v. United States, No. 3:16-cv-3128-D-BN, 2018
WL 2031880, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 3, 2018), rec.
adopted, 2018 WL 2017587 (N.D. Tex. May 1, 2018).
records available online reflect that Ward's current
projected release date is April 26, 2020.
Standards and Analysis
courts are authorized, under 28 U.S.C. § 2243, to
dispose of habeas corpus matters ‘as law and justice
require, '” Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S.
770, 775 (1987). This statute “authorizes a district
court to summarily dismiss a frivolous habeas-corpus petition
prior to any answer or other pleading by the government,
” Gatte v. Upton, No. 4:14-cv-376-Y, 2014 WL
2700656, at *1 (N.D. Tex. June 13, 2014) (footnote omitted).
And, under the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the
United States District Courts - equally applicable “to
§ 2241 habeas cases, ” Romero v. Cole,
No. 1:16-cv-148, 2016 WL 2893709, at *2 & n.4 (W.D. La.
Apr. 13, 2016) (collecting authority, including Castillo
v. Pratt, 162 F.Supp.2d 575, 576 (N.D. Tex. 2001)),
rec. accepted, 2016 WL 2844013 (W.D. La. May 12,
2016) - “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and
any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the
petition, ” Rule 4, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases
in the United States District Courts.
As another federal district court in Texas recently
three statutes govern the discretion of the [BOP] to
place inmates in particular facilities: 18 U.S.C. §
3621(b) grants the BOP the authority to designate places of
confinement; 18 U.S.C. § 3624 (a part of the Second
Chance Act of 2007) authorizes the BOP to provide
post-imprisonment rehabilitation services in community
corrections facilities; and 34 U.S.C. § 60541 (a part of
the First Step Act of 2018) permits the BOP to grant
prisoners who participate in reentry and skills development
programs the maximum allowable period in a community
corrections facilities. It also allows the BOP to place
elderly prisoners in home confinement.
Burg v. Nicklin, No. EP-19-CV-24-FM, 2019 WL 369153,
at *2 (W.D. Tex. Jan. 29, 2019) (emphasis ...