United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION TO DISMISS
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dexter Anderson, has filed a petition for writ of habeas
corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging his security
classification and conditions of confinement at the Federal
Correctional Institution at Danbury
(“FCI-Danbury”). See Pet. Writ Habeas
Corpus, ECF No. 1. Respondent, Warden D.K. Williams of
FCI-Danbury, has moved to dismiss the petition under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). For the
reasons set forth below, the motion will be GRANTED in part
and DENIED in part.
April 23, 2004, in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Wisconsin, a jury found Mr. Anderson
guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 50
grams of crack cocaine, one count of possession with intent
to distribute cocaine, one count of possession of a firearm
by a felon and five counts of distribution of cocaine.
See Mem. Supp. Pet., ECF No. 2 at 1-2. Under the
Sentencing Guidelines then in effect, Mr. Anderson's
“offense level of 44 and  criminal history category
of III” mandated a sentence of life imprisonment.
Id. at 2; see also United States v.
Anderson, 365 F. App'x 17, 18 (7th Cir. 2010).
November 23, 2004, the district judge decided not to impose
the life sentence called for by the Sentencing Guidelines
because he concluded that “a life sentence was too
severe absent violent conduct.” See Anderson,
365 F. App'x at 18. Applying Blakely v.
Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004), and United States
v. Booker, 375 F.3d 508 (7th Cir. 2004),
aff'd, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), the district court
declined to treat the guidelines as mandatory and imposed a
non-guideline sentence of 300 months, followed by twenty
years of supervised release. Id. The court
determined that “a sentence above the statutory minimum
was necessary to reflect [the petitioner's] aggravating
conduct” including his attempt “to retrieve a
loaded gun during his arrest.” See id.
9, 2006, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
affirmed the judgment of conviction and sentence. See
United States v. Anderson, 450 F.3d 294 (7th Cir. 2006).
Since then, Mr. Anderson has filed three motions to reduce
his sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). A judge in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Wisconsin denied all three motions and the Court of Appeals
for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the denials of those
motions. See United States v. Anderson, 549 F.
App'x 556, 557 (7th Cir. 2013); United
States v. Anderson, 488 F. App'x 129, 131 (7th Cir.
2012). Anderson, 365 F. App'x at 19.
Custody Designation at the Bureau of Prisons
Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) is responsible for
determining the classification and placement of prisoners, 18
U.S.C. § 3621, and created policies and procedures to
guide it in carrying out that mandate. BOP policies indicate
how to determine each inmate's “custody level,
” which indicates how much staff supervision a
particular inmate requires. See Policy Statement
5100.08 (“PS 5100.08”), Ch. 6, p.
Male correctional institutions are classified into five
different security levels: Minimum, Low, Medium, High, and
Administrative. Id. at Ch. 1 at 1. According to PS
5100.08, the “security designation” or
“security level” of each inmate is based on
several factors, including records from the inmate's
sentencing, background information from the Judgment and
reports completed by the Probation Office, the inmate's
history of escapes or attempts, and Public Safety Factors
(“PSFs”) designated by Bureau officials. See
Id. at Ch. 4, p. 7-14.
uses PSFs to account for “certain demonstrated
behaviors which require increased security measures to ensure
the protection of society.” PS 5100.08, Ch. 2, p. 4.
BOP officials normally apply PSFs before an inmate's
initial assignment to an institution, however,
“additions or deletions may be made at anytime
thereafter.” Id. at Ch. 5, p. 7. The
“sentence length” PSF applies to male inmates
with more than ten years remaining to serve, who must be
housed in at least a low security level institution, and
inmates with more than twenty years remaining in their
sentence, who will be housed in at least a medium security
level institution. Id. at Ch. 5, p. 9. The
“greatest severity offense” PSF applies to
inmates whose “current term of confinement falls into
the ‘“greatest severity” range, which
applies to certain identified offenses including
“assault.” See id.; see also
Offense Severity Scale, PS 5100.08 Appendix A. When an
inmate's record contains this PSF, the inmate must be
kept in an institution whose security level is at least
“low security.” Id. at Ch. 5, p. 7.
also designates the “Management Security Level”
(“MSL”) of each prisoner. The MSL “takes
precedence over … the scored security level and the
application of Public Safety Factors” to determine an
inmate's placement. Id. at Ch. 5, p. 2.
MSL's include “Work Cadre, ” which applies to
inmates allowed to perform work outside the perimeter of the
institution, and “Medical, ” which applies to
inmates who are designated to certain facilities based on
their medical needs. Id. at Ch. 5, p. 4. The BOP can
also apply the MSL designations of “lesser
security” and “greater security, ” which
override an inmate's security classification.
Id. at p. 5.
Mr. Anderson's Custody Determination
sentencing, the Federal Designation and Sentencing
Computation Center (the “Center”) determined Mr.
Anderson's security designation and custody
classification based on a number of factors. See
Decl. Supp. Pet Writ Habeas Corpus, ECF No. 3, ¶ 18
(hereinafter “Anderson Decl.”). The Center
assigned Mr. Anderson a PSF of “sentence length”
and concluded that the severity of his offense was moderate
and his security score level was medium. See Id.
Based on these determinations and other factors the Center
designated Mr. Anderson to a medium security prison facility.
Anderson was initially confined at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Pekin, Illinois. Anderson Decl. ¶ 5;
see also Security/Designation Form, Ex.
In June 2008, due to a change in Mr. Anderson's
management security level, FCI-Pekin officials transferred
him to the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota
(“FMC-RCH”), a low security prison facility.
See Id. at ¶ 6; see also Custody
Classification Form (May 27, 2010), Ex. 10, p. 20. In
September 2010, prison officials transferred Mr. Anderson to
an institution in Beaumont, Texas
(“FCI-Beaumont”), citing his medical needs.
Anderson Decl. ¶ 17. In April 2012, Mr. Anderson was
allegedly designated to be transferred to FMC-RCH.
Id. at ¶¶ 18-19. Eventually, prison
officials did not follow through with this request and
transferred him to a low security institution in Milan,
Michigan (“FMC-Milan”). Id. at ¶
21. In July 2014, the BOP transferred Mr. Anderson to his
current placement in FCI-Danbury. Id.
Alleged Retaliation against Mr. Anderson
Anderson alleges that “BOP officials … played a
role in retaliating against [him] for exercising his First
Amendment rights by either adding a PSF or refusing to remove
the PSF for “greatest severity.” Mem. Supp. Pet.,
11. Mr. Anderson points to several incidents in which he
complained to or challenged prison officials, prompting the
alleged retaliation. First, Mr. Anderson allegedly filed an
administrative remedy complaint against Julie Clark, his case
manager at FMC-RCH. See Anderson Decl. ¶ 6. Mr.
Anderson alleges that he filed an administrative complaint
against Ms. Clark because she “became very personal and
disrespectful” towards him and “would say things
… that [he] thought were inappropriate.”
Id. at ¶ 8.
Mr. Anderson filed a federal lawsuit alleging that BOP staff
violated his constitutional rights by “interfering with
his medical treatment and retaliating against me.”
Anderson Decl. ¶ 18. He alleges that staff-members at
FMC-RCH became aware of this lawsuit by April 2012, when he
returned to FMC-RCH after his 18 months of confinement at
BML. Id. at ¶ 19.
Anderson alleges that Ms. Clark and other prison officials
retaliated against him in various ways after becoming aware
of his federal lawsuit and administrative remedy complaint
against Ms. Clark. See Anderson Decl.
¶¶ 9-15. First, he alleges that Ms. Clark
retaliated against him by adding a PSF of “greatest
severity” to his file. Id. at ¶ 13.
Because of this additional PSF, Mr. Anderson became a
“medium security prisoner.” Id. The BOP
allegedly “lodged” a management variable against
Mr. Anderson to override the increase in his security status
so that he could remain in a low security prison.
Id. Despite the BOP's override, Mr. Anderson
alleges that the continued application of the “greatest
severity” PSF will have an impact on his future. Mem.
Supp. Pet., 16. He alleges that the PSF will
“ultimately interfere” with his eligibility for
Halfway Houses or furloughs. Id.
Anderson also alleges that Ms. Clark shared information about
him with U.S. Marshals, who shared it with a U.S. Attorney
who used the information during a hearing on Mr.
Anderson's motion to reduce his sentence. Anderson Decl.
¶ 9. He alleges that Ms. Clark shared his information
with other BOP staff, prompting them to treat him like a
“very dangerous prisoner” during medical trips.
Id. at ¶¶ 10-13.
September 2010, prison officials at FMC Rochester transferred
Mr. Anderson to the low security facility at FCI-Beaumont in
Beaumont, Texas. Anderson Decl. ¶ 17. In 2011, a case
manager at FCI-Beaumont removed the PSF factor of
“greatest severity” and reduced Mr.
Anderson's offense level to moderate. See Male
Custody Classification Form (Feb. 8, 2011), Ex. 11 (p. 31).
April 3, 2012, prison officials at FCI-Beaumont allegedly
determined that Mr. Anderson should be re-designated to a
facility that was closer to his home in Wisconsin. See
Anderson Decl. ¶ 8; Mem. Supp. Pet., 4. Mr.
Anderson alleges that Ms. Clark, who was at that point a case
manager coordinator (“CMC”), blocked his transfer
back to FMC Rochester because he had filed lawsuits against
prison officials at that facility. Mem. Supp. Pet.,
6. Ms. Clark also allegedly recommended that the case manager
at FCI-Beaumont give Mr. Anderson a PSF for “greatest
severity” and increase his custody score. See
Anderson Decl. ¶ 20. The case manager at FCI-Beaumont
did add the PSF of “greatest severity” and raised
Mr. Anderson's offense level, but maintained Mr.