United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division
WILLIAM F. JUNG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause comes before the Court on the Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus (Dkt. 1) filed by Cleon Edward Major pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, and the response (Dkt. 29). After
careful consideration of the submissions of the parties and
the entire file, the Court concludes the petition should be
Major is a federal inmate who was housed at the Federal
Correctional Institution Williamsburg, located in Salters,
South Carolina, when he filed his petition. Dkts. 1,
He is serving a 110-month term of incarceration imposed by
the United States District Court in the Southern District of
Florida. Dkt. 29-1 at 4-5. In July 2015, Mr. Major was
disciplined by the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”).
Id. at 24-26. He contends he did not commit the
imposed disciplinary infraction and seeks to overturn the
sanctions imposed. Dkt. 1. His current release date is
calculated at February 6, 2021.
Major properly filed this petition in his “district of
confinement, ” which at the time was in the United
States District Court for the District of South Carolina,
Anderson/Greenwood Division. See Dkts. 21, 23;
Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 447 (2004);
Meriweather v. Augustine, No. 5:10-cv-236/RS/EMT,
2010 WL 5152979, at *1 (N.D. Fla. Nov. 22, 2010) (citing
Padilla). Once jurisdiction is properly acquired,
“the petitioner's subsequent removal to another
judicial district does not destroy the court's
jurisdiction.” Elcock v. Streiff, 554
F.Supp.2d 1279, 1282 (S.D. Ala. 2008) (citing
Padilla). “[J]urisdiction attaches upon the
initial filing of the § 2241 petition and will not be
destroyed by a petitioner's subsequent
Government-effectuated transfer and accompanying change in
physical custodian.” Id. (citing Tang v.
Gonzales, No. 4:06cv277-MP/WCS, 2006 WL 3628061 (N.D.
Fla. Aug. 18, 2006)); see also Dotson v. United
States, No. CV 312-004, 2013 WL 1786568, at *1 n.1 (S.D.
Ga. Mar. 7, 2013) (transferring prisoner to other prison
facilities does not defeat otherwise properly acquired
jurisdiction) (citations omitted), adopted by 2013
WL 1786559 (S.D. Ga. Apr. 25, 2013).
early 2018, Mr. Major filed a notice of change of address to
the Federal Correctional Institution Coleman - Low (Coleman).
Dkt. 18. The District Court of South Carolina held that it
did not retain jurisdiction after the inmate was moved to
another federal penitentiary and transferred the case to this
Court. Dkts. 21, 23. In reaching this conclusion, the court
noted conflicting law among the district courts in the Fourth
Circuit. Dkts. 21 at 3 n.2, 23. Although Eleventh Circuit law
supports the finding that the transferor court retained
jurisdiction, this Court will not return the case but defer
to the District Court of South Carolina's decision that
it no longer has jurisdiction. Mr. Major is now within this
district and this Court will consider the petition on the
and Disciplinary Proceedings
5, 2015, Mr. Major was housed at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Estill, South Carolina. Dkt. 29-1 at 7
¶3, 9 ¶8. He was written up that day for stealing a
used insulin syringe (Incident No. 2734566) in violation of
28 C.F.R.. § 541.3, Table 1, Code 219. Dkt. 29-1 at
15-16. The incident occurred at 5:00 p.m. and was described
in the report as follows:
[The inmate] did drop a Lancet in the sharps container to
simulate the sound of a syringe being dropped. I did observe
a portion of the safety sleeved in the inmate's left hand
which is the hand away from this observer. Inmate was exiting
the room door when confronted and the inmate quickly
retreated and dropped the syringe in the sharps container.
Id. at 15. The report was delivered to Mr. Major the
following morning. Id. at 15. At that time, an
investigating BOP lieutenant advised him of his rights, and
he stated that he understood his rights and the charges.
Id. at 16. He stated that he did not try to steal
the syringe, but was only playing a trick on Mr. Crosby, a
staff member. Id. at 16.
the Unit Discipline Committee (“the UDC” or
“the Committee”), Mr. Major stated, “It was
an innocent prank, a joke and that's it. It [wasn't]
suppose to go this far. It was only a joke. It was not
intentional.” Id. at 15. The Committee
referred the charge to a Discipline Hearing Officer (DHO) for
further hearing. Id. at 15. The Committee
recommended that should he be found guilty, thirty days'
loss of good conduct time among other sanctions would be
appropriate. Id. at 15. Mr. Major received notice of
the hearing and he was informed of his rights. Id.
at 18, 20.
Major invoked his right to be represented at the disciplinary
hearing by a staff member, Dr. Contino. Id. at 22.
At the hearing before the DHO, his due process rights were
again reviewed with him. Id. at 25. He admitted his
guilt for trying take a syringe from health services, even
though he maintained the position that he was merely playing
a prank on Mr. Crosby. Id. at 24, 25. Dr. Contino
stated that Mr. Major was “always appropriate”
and she never had any problem with him. Id. at 25.
Mr. Major did not call any witnesses. Id. at 18, 24.
found Mr. Major guilty of attempting to steal. Id.
at 25. Mr. Major's defense of pranking was unpersuasive
because “it is obvious [he was] trying to deceive Mr.
Crosby” when he “dropp[ed] something in the box
to make a simulation sound of a needle.” Id.
The DHO found the statement of staff member Crosby more
credible and gave the following admonishment: “Stealing
cannot and will not be tolerated in this environment as it
creates more cost for the operation of the
institution.” Id. The DHO imposed 30 days'