United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
W. Grimm United States District Judge
April 4, 2016, Byron Bowie, a prisoner at Eastern
Correctional Institution ("Eastern") on protective
custody, submitted a self-represented filing for injunctive
relief which he titled a "Temporary Restraining
Order" to compel his transfer to another correctional
facility. Compl., ECF No. 1. Bowie asks to be transferred to
a protective custody unit in Hagerstown, Maryland where he
will have opportunities for vocational training not available
at Eastern. Id. Bowie explains that at his March 23,
2016, parole hearing, David Blumberg, Chairman of the
Maryland Parole Commission, agreed that Bowie has had little
opportunity for vocational programming at Eastern, and asked
the Division of Correction to consider transferring Bowie.
Id. Bowie asks the Court to direct his transfer and
to award him $10, 000 because he has been prevented from
pursuing training, which will help him gain parole.
Id. Bowie has neither paid the civil filing fee nor
moved to proceed in forma pauperis. For the limited purpose
of preliminary screening of this matter, I will grant him
leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
forma pauperis statute at 28 U.S.C. § 1915 permits an
indigent litigant to commence an action in federal court
without prepaying the filing fee. To protect against possible
abuses of this privilege, the statute requires a court to
dismiss any claim that "fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); see also 28 U.S.C. §
order to sustain a prisoner civil rights action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must demonstrate that: (1) he
suffered a deprivation of rights secured by the Constitution
and laws of the United States; and (2) the act or omission
causing the deprivation was committed by a person acting
under color of law. West v. Atkins, 487
U.S. 42, 48 (1988). Bowie, however, does not allege an
abridgement of a Constitutional right or federal law.
mindful of my obligation to construe liberally the pleadings
of pro se litigants such as Bowie. See Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). In evaluating a pro
se complaint, a plaintiffs allegations are assumed to be
true. Id. at 93 (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007)). Nonetheless,
liberal construction does not mean that a court can ignore a
clear failure in the pleading to allege facts which set forth
a claim cognizable in a federal district court. See
Wetter v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391
(4th Cir. 1990) (citations omitted); see also Beaudett
v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th
Cir. 1985) (stating a district court may not "conjure up
questions never squarely presented").
reasons that follow, the Court finds this case must be
dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted. First, although educational programming may
promote rehabilitation goals, the law is well-settled that
inmates have no constitutional due process right to
participate in a rehabilitative program. See Moody v.
Daggett, 429 U.S. 78, 88 n.9 (1976); Meachum v.
Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 223-24 (1976) (due process clause
not implicated by prisoner classification and eligibility for
rehabilitative programs, even where inmate suffers
prisoners do not have a constitutional right to be housed in
one prison versus another. "[G]iven a valid conviction,
the criminal defendant has been constitutionally deprived of
his liberty to the extent that the State may confine him and
subject him to the rules of its prison system so long as the
conditions of confinement do not otherwise violate the
Constitution." Meachum 477 U.S. at 224 (1976).
Inmates have no constitutional right to be housed in any
particular prison or jail, regardless of security
classification. Further, inmates have no liberty interest in
placement in a particular prison, and prison officials have
broad discretion to classify inmates and assign them to
appropriate prison housing. See 18 U.S.C. §
3621(b); Cochran v. Morris, 73 F.3d 1310,
1318 (4th Cir. 1996) (citing Meachum, 477 U.S. at
the Constitution does not create a right to receive parole.
See Greenholtz v. Inmates of Neb. Penal &
Corr. Complex, 442 U.S. 1, 7 (1979); see also Jago
v. Van Curen, 454 U.S. 14, 18-21 (1981) (holding that a
'"mutually explicit understanding' that inmate
will be paroled does not create a protected liberty
interest). The Maryland parole statute itself does not create
a legitimate expectation of parole release because the
decision whether to grant parole to any inmate is vested
solely in the discretion of the Parole Commission.
See Md. Code Ann., Corr. Serv. §§
7-205(a)(l), 7-301, 7-305 (1999); Code of Maryland
Regulations § 12.08.01.18. No liberty interested is
created by the Maryland parole statute, and no due process
rights are implicated in these decisions. See Moss
v. Clark, 886 F.2d 686, 689 (4th Cir. 1989) (no
fundamental right to parole or other form of early release).
It bears noting too that decisions to deny or grant parole
are based on a number of factors including inmate conduct and
the nature of the crime. Parole decisions are not based
solely an inmate's educational programming achievements,
as Bowie appears to assert.
complaint fails to implicate a cognizable federal claim.
Insofar as Bowie seeks a temporary restraining order or
preliminary injunctive relief, he fails to satisfy the
standard for redress set forth in Winter v.Nat.
Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008) ("A
plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish
that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely
to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of ...