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Spencer v. Haynes

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

December 17, 2014

Addones Spencer, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
Anthony Haynes, Disciplinary Hearing Officer, FCI - Forrest City, Defendant - Appellee

Submitted September 10, 2014

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Helena.

For Addones Spencer, Plaintiff - Appellant: John Wesley Hall, Jr., JOHN WESLEY HALL, JR., P.C., Little Rock, AR.

Addones Spencer, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Michigan City, IN.

For Anthony Haynes, Disciplinary Hearing Officer, FCI - Forrest City, Defendant - Appellee: Jamie Goss Dempsey, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Little Rock, AR.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, SMITH and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 468

SMITH, Circuit Judge.

Addones Spencer appeals the district court's order dismissing his habeas corpus petition alleging a conditions-of-confinement claim against his former custodian, Anthony Haynes, the former Warden of the Federal Correctional Institution - Forrest City. Our precedent precludes conditions-of-confinement claims using the vehicle of a habeas petition. The district court applied our precedent and dismissed Spencer's claim. However, the court dismissed the claim without prejudice. We hold that the district court should have liberally construed Spencer's pro se habeas petition and given Spencer the option to pursue the claim under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 91 S.Ct. 1999, 29 L.Ed.2d 619 (1971). We remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I. Background

While an inmate in Federal Correctional Institution - Forrest City,[1] Spencer was assigned a cell for a medical assessment. Correctional Officer Lieutenant Mark A. Sheldon entered the cell to assist staff with checking Spencer's restraints. Spencer

Page 469

backed himself into a corner, was verbally abusive, and claimed he did not need a medical assessment. Staff members told Spencer to sit down on the bunk, but Spencer was uncooperative and aggressively resisted the staff. While Spencer was forcibly being placed on the bed, he bit Sheldon's abdomen. Spencer was then placed in " four-point" restraints around 9:10 a.m. and was not removed from those restraints until 3:45 p.m. the following day according to Bureau of Prisons documents.[2] After a hearing, the Disciplinary Hearing Officer found that Spencer assaulted Sheldon and disciplined Spencer with losses of privileges.[3]

Spencer brought a petition for habeas corpus alleging, among other things, a Fifth Amendment due process violation for being put in four-point restraints without being afforded a hearing. The district court never reached the merits of this claim, but instead dismissed the habeas petition without prejudice because it concluded that ...


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