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Moralez v. Winn

United States District Court, D. Arizona

April 14, 2014

Gilberto Garcia Moralez, Petitioner,
v.
Louis Winn, Respondent.

ORDER

LESLIE A. BOWMAN, Magistrate Judge.

On June 5, 2013, Gilberto Garcia Moralez, an inmate confined in the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, AZ, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 2241. (Doc. 1) Moralez claims his Constitutional rights were violated by the Discipline Hearing Officer (DHO) who found he had engaged in disruptive conduct similar to stealing and sanctioned him with a loss of good time sentencing credit. Id.

The respondent, Louis Winn, filed a combined answer and motion to dismiss opposing the petition on October 21, 2013. (Doc. 12)

Magistrate Judge Bowman presides over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (Doc. 14)

The petition will be denied. The decision of the DHO is supported by some evidence. Moralez's due process rights were not violated.

Summary of the Case

At the time of the incident, Moralez was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary Coleman II in Sumterville, Florida. (Doc. 12-1, ¶ 7) On July 16, 2011, staff at the penitentiary intercepted a letter and several documents that Moralez was trying to mail to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Id. One of the documents was a tax return reflecting $10, 085.40 in "other income." Id. Also included were notices of intent to levy in the amounts of $10, 085.40 and $300.64, which the IRS previously had sent to him. Id. On the notices, Moralez wrote a sort of endorsement labeled "accept for value" and "charge back" and referencing the UCC 3-419 and the House Joint Resolution 192 of June 5, 1933. (Doc. 12-3, p. 7) In his letter, Moralez instructs the IRS to file the tax return "for a return to the source" and "zero the account." (Doc. 12-3, p. 4)

Coleman staff wrote an Incident Report charging Moralez with attempted stealing. (Doc. 12-1, ¶ 8) The report was delivered to Moralez on July 16, 2011. Id. Moralez was advised of his rights under the disciplinary process by a lieutenant after which he made a statement. Id. The lieutenant directed that Moralez proceed to a United Discipline Committee (UDC) hearing. Id.

On July 19, 2011, the UDC referred the matter to the Discipline Hearing Officer (DHO) and provided Moralez with a notice of hearing and an advisement of his rights. (Doc. 12-1, ¶ 9) Moralez acknowledged receipt of the notice and advisement and requested a staff member to serve as his representative at the hearing. Id.

The DHO hearing took place on August 2, 2011. (Doc. 12-1, ¶ 10) Moralez was represented by a staff member and offered the testimony of a lieutenant who vouched for his good character. Id.

Moralez denied the charges against him and argued he had not been interviewed by a lieutenant when he was given the incident report. (Doc. 12-1, ¶ 11) He admitted, "I am aware of owing the government money (10, 000) and using a direct treasury account' which is actually credit." Id. He further admitted that the signature on the "money order" was his. Id.

The DHO concluded that Moralez had attempted to satisfy his IRS debt by presenting a fraudulent "money order" designed to look like a "real bank draft." (Doc. 12-1, ¶ 11) He found Moralez committed a Code 299 prohibited act, disruptive conduct, most like Code 219, stealing. (Doc. 12-1, ¶ 12) He imposed 30 days of disciplinary segregation and disallowed 27 days of good conduct time and 60 days of non-vested good time. (Doc. 12-1, ¶ 13)

Moralez appealed the decision of the DHO through all administrative levels. (Doc. 12-1, ¶ ¶ 14-15)

On June 5, 2013, Moralez filed the pending Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 2241. (Doc. 1) He argues he did not engage in fraudulent conduct and his due process rights were violated. Id. The respondent filed a combined answer and motion to dismiss on October 21, 2013. He argues Moralez's claims ...


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