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BOP Early Release Suit Subject to PLRA

The Bureau of Prisons' determination that petitioner is ineligible for early release is something that happened at the prison rather than a continuation of the criminal case, so the PLRA applies, rather than habeas rules. The petitioner filed a notice of appeal. The court construed his failure to pay the fee as a request to proceed IFP and directed submission of the required financial information. It got the financial statement and proceeded to grant IFP status without waiting for the affidavit and without making a formal determination of whether his appeal would be taken in good faith.

Now, reviewing Newlin v. Helman, the court concludes it may have been improper to ask for a partial payment before deciding the appeal would not be taken in good faith. It decides that the appeal is taken in good faith even though it is legally frivolous and doomed to failure, and muses about subjective vs objective indicia in good/bad faith determination. See: Thomas v. Pitzer, 27 F.Supp.2d 1367 (W.D.Wis. 1998).

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Related legal case

Thomas v. Pitzer