Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Federal Prisoners Must Exhaust Before Bringing Habeas Claims Surrounding Halfway House Placement

Federal prisoners challenging the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) implementation of the Second Chance Act must exhaust their administrative remedies before bringing suit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit decided February 17, 2010.

After the BOP denied Agapito Garza’s request to serve the remainder of his sentence, some four years, in a halfway house, Garza filed a habeas petition contesting the denial. Garza did not exhaust his administrative remedies before bringing suit, though.

The district court dismissed Garza’s petition on exhaustion grounds, and the Tenth Circuit affirmed. Garza had argued on appeal that exhaustion was futile because of the BOP’s categorical practice of denying halfway house to prisoners with more than six months remaining to serve. Nonetheless, the Tenth Circuit concluded that Gorza had administrative remedies available because of the higher levels of review afforded by the grievance process (BOP’s regional and national office).

Furthermore, Garza could not escape exhaustion by couching his attack against the validity of a BOP regulation itself since the regulation at issue did not plainly forbid the relief Garza was seeking, the court concluded.

See: Garza v. Davis, 596 F.3d 1198 (10th Cir. 2010).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Garza v. Davis