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Gbadamosi v. Stewart

United States District Court, D. Maryland

January 3, 2018

TAOFIK GBADAMOSI, Petitioner,
v.
TIMOTHY STEWART, WARDEN, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Paul W. Grimm United States District Judge

         Self-Represented Petitioner Taofik Gbadamosi, a federal inmate currently housed at the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging his prison disciplinary conviction for fighting with another inmate. Pet., ECF No. 1. Gbadamosi seeks an expungement of the guilty finding and a remand to the institution to restore 27 days of lost good conduct time (“GCT”) days. Id.

         Pending before this Court is Respondent Warden Timothy Stewart's Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment. Resp't's Mot., ECF No. 3. Stewart argues that Gbadamosi is not entitled to the relief he seeks because he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies regarding his disciplinary hearing and he has received all of the due process to which he was entitled. Id. Gbadamosi has filed a response in opposition, Pet.'s Opp'n, ECF No. 7, and Stewart has filed a reply, Resp't's Reply 10. After review of the record, exhibits, and applicable law, I have concluded that a hearing is unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016).

         For reasons set forth below, the Stewart's motion, construed as a Motion for Summary Judgment, shall be GRANTED, and the petition shall be DENIED and DISMISSED.

         Background

         Gbadamosi is currently serving an aggregated seven-year sentence following his convictions for conspiring to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Gyurke Aff. ¶ 3, ECF No. 3-2. On September 21, 2016, Gbadamosi was involved in an altercation with another inmate while standing in line for dinner. See Gyurke Aff. ¶ 5; Pet. 7. The inmate hit Gbadamosi in the face. See Gyurke Aff. ¶ 5; Pet. 7; Discipline Rep. 2, ECF 1-1. Gbadamosi then pushed the inmate back in his chest and grabbed him by his shirt, pinning the inmate against the sink behind the serving line. Discipline Report 2. Gbadamosi maintains that he was acting in self-defense. See Pet. 7. Both inmates were then separated, at the direction of staff. Id.

         The next day, Gbadamosi received an incident report charging him under Code 201 with fighting. Discipline Report. On September 28, 2016, the charge was presented to the Unit Discipline Committee (“UDC”), which found that the sanctions warranted were not available at the UDC level. Gyurke Aff. ¶ 6. The UDC referred the matter to the Discipline Hearing Officer (“DHO”) and recommended that if Gbadamosi was found guilty, he should receive the maximum loss of GCT and visitation. Id. That same day, Gbadamosi received and signed a “Notice of Discipline Hearing Before the DHO, ” acknowledging that he had read and understood his rights. Gyurke Aff. ¶ 7; Discipline Report 1. The form reflects that Gbadamosi was advised of his right to the assistance of a staff representative, to call witnesses, and present documentary evidence on his behalf at the discipline hearing. Discipline Report 1. Gbadamosi initially requested a staff representative, but ultimately stated that he wished to proceed with the hearing without one. Id. Gbadamosi also declined to call witnesses on his behalf. Id.

         The DHO conducted the discipline hearing on October 5, 2016, and concluded that the greater weight of the evidence supported the charge of fighting, based on the incident report written by an officer who witnessed the altercation as well as the supporting memoranda from staff, clinical assessments of both Gbadamosi and the inmate, and Gbadamosi's own statements.

         Gyurke Aff. ¶ 9-10. The DHO considered Gbadamosi's statement of self-defense and determined that Gbadamosi's actions demonstrated that he was a mutual participant in the argument and physical altercation. Id. at ¶ 10. The DHO sanctioned Gbadamosi with the loss of 27 days of GCT and 90 days of commissary privileges, and imposed seven days of disciplinary segregation. Id. These sanctions were within the applicable sanction guidelines for a Code 201 offense. Id.

         Gbadamosi appealed the DHO finding by filing an administrative remedy submission at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office level. Discipline Report 4. On January 31, 2017, [1]Gbadamosi's appeal was denied. Id. at 5. Gbadamosi alleges that he then appealed that denial to the Central Office. See Pet. 7; Discipline Report 6. There is nothing in the record, however, to indicate that the Central Office received such an appeal. Under the Administrative Program, upon receiving a request or appeal, the administrative remedy clerk stamps the form with the date received, and logs it into the Federal Bureau of Prisons' (“BOP”) SENTRY index as received on that date. Admin. Remedy Program 9, ECF 10-1. Nothing in the SENTRY records show that Gbadamosi appealed to the Central Office. According to Gbadamosi, Central Office “ignored [his] appeal submission” and as such, he urges this Court to deem his administrative remedies exhausted. Pet. 7.

         Standard of Review

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), “[t]he court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” The court should “view the evidence in the light most favorable to . . . the nonmovant, and draw all inferences in her favor without weighing the evidence or assessing the witness' credibility.” Dennis v. Columbia Colleton Med. Ctr., Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 645 (4th Cir. 2002). The Supreme Court has clarified that this does not mean that any factual dispute will defeat the motion:

By its very terms, this standard provides that the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is ...

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