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Weast v. Entzel

United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia

January 8, 2019

CHRISTOPHER ROBERT WEAST, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN ENTZEL, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ROBERT W. TRUMBLE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On January 4, 2019, the pro se Petitioner, an inmate[1] at FCI Hazelton, in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, filed the above-styled action petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. ECF No. 1.[2] On January 4, 2019, the Clerk issued a Notice of Deficient Pleading which advised Petitioner of the requirement to file an application to proceed in forma pauperis, along with necessary documentation, or to pay a filing fee of $5.00. ECF No. 2. Although Petitioner has yet to pay the filing fee or file an application to proceed in forma pauperis, this Court is reviewing the matter based on Petitioner's request for an injunction to order the Respondent to stop preventing inmates from accessing the courts, and to stop limiting access to incoming and outgoing mail. ECF No. 1 at 8.

         This matter is pending before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 636 and 1915A.

         II. INSTANT PROCEEDINGS

         Petitioner filed this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging his jail or prison conditions. ECF No. 1 at 1. He raises a single ground for relief, wherein he alleges that the institution of FCI Hazelton is “actively preventing access to the courts by limiting access to materials and the improper seizure of legal materials, ” and drafted filings. Id. at 5. As relief, Petitioner seeks an emergency injunction “preventing such interference.” Id. Petitioner claims that FCI Hazelton is “confiscating/discarding attempts to submit [the matter] to the administrative remedy procedure.” Id. at 7.

         Petitioner requests the following relief:

I seek an immediate order commanding BCI Hazelton to immediately cease its active efforts to prevent inmates' access to the courts, to cease [its] limitation of access to the law materials, to cease [its] harassment of those preparing legal materials, and to cease it's prevention of using the court and administrative remedy processes designed [for] use by inmates. Injunctive order commanding FCI Hazelton to stop denying inmates' First Amendment Right of Access to the mail and the ongoing policy of arbitrarily and capriciously denying inmate's incoming mail.

Id. at 8.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Review of Petitions for Relief

         Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and this Court's local rules, this Court is authorized to review such petitions for relief and submit findings and recommendations to the District Court. This Court is charged with screening Petitioner's case to determine if “it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court.” Rule 4, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the U.S. District Courts (2014); see also Rule 1(b) Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the U.S. District Courts (2014) (“The district court may apply any or all of these rules to a habeas corpus petition” not filed pursuant to § 2254).

         B. Pro Se Litigants.

         Courts must read pro se allegations in a liberal fashion and hold those pro se pleadings “to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915A(b), the Court is required to perform a judicial review of certain suits brought by prisoners and must dismiss a case at any time if the Court determines that the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. A complaint is frivolous if it is ...


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