United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
W. GRIMM, 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. CompI., 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. S 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. S 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii);
see also 28 U.S.c. S 1915A(b)(1).
order to sustain a prisoner civil rights action under 42
U.S.C. S 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
Weller 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 "grievous loss").
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 427 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. S 3621(b);
Cochran v. Morris, 73 F.3d 1310, 1318 (4th Cir.
1996) (citing Meachum, 427 U.S. at 224).
the Constitution does not create a right to receive parole.
See Greenholtz v. Inmates of
Neb. Penal & Carr. 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. Servo SS
7-205(a)(1), 7-301, 7-305 (1999); Code of Maryland
Regulations S 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. Del
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 ...