Butner Low FCI

Full title: Brian L. Jones, #12854-171, Petitioner, v. Warden, FCI Butner Low…

Court: United States District Court, D. South Carolina

Date published: Aug 4, 2008


Under established local procedure in this judicial district, a careful review has been made of the pro se petition in light of the following precedents: Haines v. Kerner,404 U.S. 519 (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 documents, Estelle v. Gamble,429 U.S. 97 (1976), holding them to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys, Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 9 (1980) ( per curiam). Even under this less stringent standard, however, the pro se petition is subject to summary dismissal. 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, but a district court may not rewrite a petition to include claims that were never presented, Barnett v. Hargett,174 F.3d 1128, 1133 (10th Cir. 1999), or construct the petitioner’s legal arguments for him, Small v. Endicott,998 F.2d 411,  417-18 (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). 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 petitioner filed the above-captioned matter to dispute the calculation of time-served credits. The prisoner has named the United States of America as the Defendant; however, a prisoner’s custodian is the proper respondent in a habeas corpus action. Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 434-35 (2004). Therefore, the proper respondent in this action is the Warden of FCI Butner Low. Since the United States is not the proper respondent, the petition should be summarily dismissed without prejudice as to that respondent, and the Warden of FCI Butner Low should be substituted as the respondent.

The respondent Warden of FCI Butner Low is located in North Carolina. A § 2241 or a § 2254 petition, whether filed by a state or federal prisoner, must be filed in the judicial district which can acquire in personam jurisdiction of a petitioner’s warden or other custodian. See Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484, 494-500 (1973); Rheuark v. Wade, 608 F.2d 304, 305 (8th Cir. 1979); Cox v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 643 F.2d 534, 536 n. 3 (8th Cir. 1981). Because § 2241 petitions are properly brought only in the Federal District in which the petitioner is incarcerated, In re Jones, 226 F.3d 328, 332 (4th Cir. 2000), and because Petitioners’ custodian is properly subject to service in the Eastern District of North Carolina, this case should be transferred to that court for further processing. 

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