United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
ANDREW R. SPENGLER, Petitioner,
ERIC D. WILSON, Warden, FMC-Fort Worth, Respondent.
OPINION AND ORDER
R. MEANS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 filed by Petitioner, Andrew R.
Spengler, a federal prisoner confined at FMC-Fort Worth,
against Eric D. Wilson, warden of FMC-Fort Worth, Respondent.
After having considered the petition and relief sought by
Petitioner, the Court has concluded that the petition should
be dismissed without prejudice to filing a civil-rights suit.
Factual and Procedural History
is serving a total term of 188 months' imprisonment for
his convictions in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Wisconsin for conspiracy against rights
of citizens and deprivation of citizens of their rights. (J.,
United States v. Spengler, No. 2:06-cr-00273-CNC-2, ECF No.
203.) By way of this petition, Petitioner claims that certain
conditions of his confinement at the prison-overcrowding and
inadequate cell space, medical care, and sanitation-violate
his constitutional rights under the Eighth Amendment. (Pet.
2, doc. 1.) He seeks a “sentence credit in order to end
his incarceration” and “maximum prerelease
placement.” (Id. at 7.)
Petitioner characterizes this action as a habeas action under
28 U.S.C. § 2241, this not a habeas
action. “Which statutory vehicle to use
depends on the nature of the claim and the type of relief
requested, the instructive principle being that challenges to
the fact or duration of confinement are properly brought
under habeas, while challenges to the conditions of
confinement are properly brought[, for federal prisoners, ]
under [Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau
of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971)].” Poree v.
Collins, 866 F.3d 235, 243 (5th Cir. 2017) (footnotes
omitted) (involving challenges to conditions of confinement
by state prisoner in context of 28 U.S.C. § 2254 and 42
U.S.C. § 1983). Because Petitioner challenges only the
conditions of his confinement, his allegations must be
pursued under Bivens. See Klein v. Chandler, No.
4:13-CV-372-Y, 2013 WL 2634400, at *3 (N.D. Tex. June 11,
2013). Petitioner's request for sentence credit and/or
release to maximum prerelease placement does not convert his
civil-rights claims to habeas claims. See Rios v.
Commandant, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, 100 Fed.
App'x 706, 708 (10th Cir. 2004) (providing “[i]n
our view, a prisoner may not transform a civil rights action
involving the conditions of his confinement into a §
2241 petition merely by seeking sentencing relief in a manner
not connected to his substantive claims.”).
reasons discussed, the Court DISMISSES Petitioner's
petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 without prejudice to filing a civil-rights suit.
Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 22 provides that an
appeal may not proceed unless a certificate of appealability
is issued under 28 U.S.C. § 2253. The certificate of
appealability may issue “only if the applicant has made
a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
right.” Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322,
336 (2003). “Under this standard, when a district court
denies habeas relief by rejecting constitutional claims on
their merits, ‘the petitioner must demonstrate that
reasonable jurists would find the district court's
assessment of the constitutional claims debatable or
wrong.'” McGowen v. Thaler, 675 F.3d 482,
498 (5th Cir. 2012) (quoting Slack v. McDaniel, 529
U.S. 473, 484 (2000)). When the district court denies the
petition on procedural grounds without reaching the merits,
the petitioner must show “that jurists of reason would
find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim
of the denial of a constitutional right and that jurists of
reason would find it debatable whether the district court was
correct in its procedural ruling.” Id.
(quoting Slack, 529 U.S. at 484). This inquiry
involves two components, but a court may deny a certificate
of appealability by resolving the procedural question only.
Petitioner has not made a showing that reasonable jurists
would question this Court's procedural ruling. Therefore,
a certificate of appealability should not issue.
The fact that the form § 2241
provides an option concerning “jail or prison
conditions, ” is not determinative of the nature of