United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Tallahassee Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
ELIZABETH M. TIMOTHY, CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Jeffrey Jerome Walker (“Walker”) filed a petition
for writ of habeas corpus and supporting memorandum under 28
U.S.C. § 2254 (ECF No. 1). Respondent (“the
State”) filed a motion to dismiss with relevant
portions of the record (ECF No. 13). Walker responded in
opposition to the motion (ECF No. 15).
case was referred to the undersigned for the issuance of all
preliminary orders and any recommendations to the district
court regarding dispositive matters. See N.D. Fla.
Loc. R. 72.2(B); see also 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B), (C) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). After careful
consideration of the parties' pleadings and the record,
the undersigned concludes that no evidentiary hearing is
required for the disposition of this matter, and that the
State's motion to dismiss should be granted.
habeas petition challenges four disciplinary reports
(“DRs”) issued by the Florida Department of
Corrections, Log #110-051410, #110-141590, #150-180842, and
#150-180885 (ECF No. 1 at 1). The State contends Walker's
challenges to DR Log #150-180885 are moot because the DR was
overturned (ECF No. 13 at 7-9). The State contends
Walker's challenges to DR Log #150-180842 are
unexhausted, and his challenges to DR Log #110-051401 and
#110-141590 are untimely, unexhausted, and procedurally
barred (id. at 9-14). The State additionally
contends Walker's substantive and procedural due process
challenges to DR Log #110-051410, #110-141590, and
#150-180842 are without merit, because none of the
disciplinary decisions resulted in a deprivation of a
constitutionally recognized liberty interest (id. at
15-23). Further, Walker completed his terms of disciplinary
confinement, so his constitutional challenges to the DRs are
moot (id. at 21).
case is moot when the issues presented are no longer
‘live' or the parties lack a legally cognizable
interest in the outcome.” Powell v. McCormack,
395 U.S. 486, 496, 89 S.Ct. 1944, 23 L.Ed.2d 491 (1969).
“Put another way, [a] case is moot when it no longer
presents a live controversy with respect to which the court
can give meaningful relief.” Fla. Ass'n of
Rehab. Facilities, Inc. v. Fla. Dep't of Health
& Rehab. Servs., 225 F.3d 1208, 1217 (11th Cir.
2000) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
Whether an action is moot is a jurisdictional matter. See
Bailey v. Southerland, 821 F.2d 277, 278 (5th Cir.
1987). “Striking at the very heart of federal subject
matter jurisdiction, a mootness issue quite clearly can be
raised sua sponte if not addressed by the parties.”
Sannon v. United States, 631 F.2d 1247, 1250 (5th
Cir.1980) (internal footnote and citation omitted).
Medberry v. Crosby, 351 F.3d 1049 (11th Cir. 2003),
the Eleventh Circuit applied the mootness doctrine to a
prison disciplinary proceeding and held that where a prisoner
has completed an imposed term of administrative segregation
before he files his federal habeas petition, the petition is
moot when filed and cannot be revived by collateral
consequences. 351 F.3d at 1053 (internal quotation marks and
the record demonstrates that with respect to DR Log
#110-051410, Walker was sentenced to 30 days in disciplinary
confinement on October 4, 2005 (Ex. A at 1-2). Walker lost no
gain time (id.). Walker does not dispute he
completed service of his term of disciplinary confinement
prior to filing this habeas action. Therefore, Walker's
constitutional challenges to this DR are moot.
same is true with respect to DR Log #110-141590. Walker was
sentenced to 30 days in disciplinary confinement on December
5, 2014 (Ex. B at 1-2). Again, he lost no gain time
(id.). Walker previously challenged this DR in a
habeas action in this court, Walker v. Fla. Dep't of
Corr., No. 5:15cv25/MW/EMT. The court determined that
Walker's petition was moot, because Walker finished
service of his disciplinary sentence on December 31, 2014,
prior to the date he filed his habeas petition.
Walker, No. 5:15cv25/MW/EMT, 2016 WL 1426011, at *1
(N.D. Fla. Mar. 18, 2016), Report and Recommendation
Adopted by, 2016 WL 1436672, at *1 (N.D. Fla. Apr. 10,
2016). Walker's constitutional challenges to this DR are
respect to DR Log #150-180842, Walker was sentenced to 60
days in disciplinary confinement on August 7, 2018, but he
was given credit for 30 days of administrative confinement
“for a total of thirty (30) days disciplinary
confinement time remaining to serve” (Ex. C at 1-2).
Walker lost no gain time (id.). He does not dispute
he completed service of his term of disciplinary confinement
prior to filing this habeas actin. Therefore, Walker's
constitutional challenges to this DR are also moot.
with respect to DR Log #150-180885, Walker was sentenced to
15 days in disciplinary confinement on August 23, 2018 (Ex. D
at 1-2). On September 21, 2018, the DR was overturned during
the appeal process (id.). Walker's challenges to
this DR are moot.
because Walker completed service of his sentences in
disciplinary confinement by the time he filed his § 2254
petition, on January 31, 2019 (see ECF No. 1 at 26,
28), his challenges to all of the DRs are moot.
contention that the disciplinary decisions will delay his
release on parole, or adversely affect his presumptive
release date, does not remove the mootness impediment. Walker
is serving a life sentence (see ECF No. 13 at 16).
Florida's parole system creates no constitutional right
to release on parole. See Jonas v. Wainwright, 779
F.2d 1576, 1577 (11th Cir. 1986); Hunter v. Fla. Parole
& Probation Comm'n, 674 F.2d 847, 848 (11th Cir.
1982). Walker does not have a legitimate expectation of
liberty or right to expect release on a certain date even if
he has been given a presumptive parole release date. See
Tooma v. David, 381 F.Appx. 977, 979 (11th Cir. 2010)
(unpublished). Further, the Florida parole authority has
discretion to give such weight as it might deem necessary, or
no weight at all, to administrative disciplinary decisions.
See Ferguson v. Buss, No. 4:10cv232/MMP/WCS, 2011 WL
3625703, at *1 (N.D. Fla. June 17, 2011) (unpublished),
Report and Recommendation Adopted by, 2011 WL
3611407 (N.D. Fla. Aug. 17, 2011). Any effect of the DRs on
Walker's presumptive parole release date or future parole
prospects is too speculative to satisfy the “live case
or controversy” requirement of Article III. See
Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 487, 115 S.Ct. 2293, 132
L.Ed.2d 418 (1995) ...