United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
ROBERT C. KLUTTS, JR., Petitioner,
M. BOLSTER, Respondent.
Roderick C. Young, United States Magistrate Judge
C. Klutts, Jr., a federal inmate proceeding pro se,
filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2241 ("§ 2241 Petition," ECF No.
6) challenging the Bureau of Prisons' ("BOP")
failure to award him additional good conduct time pursuant to
the First Step Act. Respondent has moved to dismiss on the
grounds that, inter alia, Klutts failed to exhaust
his administrative remedies. For the reasons set forth below,
Respondent's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 9) will be
Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
is an important doctrine in both administrative and habeas
law . . . ." Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 88
(2006). Prior to seeking judicial relief, an inmate filing a
§ 2241 Petition must properly exhaust his or her
administrative remedies. McClung v. Shearin, 90
Fed.Appx. 444, 445 (4th Cir. 2004) (citing Carmona v.
U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 243 F.3d 629, 634 (2d Cir.
2001); Little v. Hopkins, 638 F.2d 953, 953-54 (6th
Cir. 1981)). "Proper exhaustion demands compliance with
an agency's deadlines and other critical procedural
rules," Woodford, 548 U.S. at 90, "so that
the agency addresses the issues on the merits."
Id. (quoting Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d
1022, 1024 (7th Cir. 2002)). An inmate's failure to
properly exhaust the administrative grievance process prior
to filing his or her habeas petition may warrant dismissal of
the petition. See Timms v. Johns, 627 F.3d 525, 531
(4th Cir. 2010) (noting courts require "exhaustion of
alternative remedies before a prisoner can seek federal
habeas relief (citation omitted) (internal quotation marks
omitted)). The applicable prison rules "define the
boundaries of proper exhaustion." Jones v.
Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 218 (2007).
The BOP's Grievance Procedure
manages an Administrative Remedy Program "to allow an
inmate to seek formal review of an issue relating to any
aspect of his/her own confinement." 28 C.F.R. §
542.10(a). Generally, a federal prisoner exhausts
administrative remedies by first attempting to resolve the
matter informally. See Id. § 542.13(a). If
informal resolution is unsuccessful, the inmate must then
submit "a formal written Administrative Remedy Request,
on the appropriate form (BP-9)," id. §
542.14(a), at his place of incarceration. See Id.
§ 542.14(d). "An inmate who is not satisfied with
the Warden's response may submit an Appeal on the
appropriate form (BP-10) to the appropriate Regional Director
within 20 calendar days of the date the Warden signed the
response." Id. §542.15(a).
Klutts's Lack of Exhaustion
acknowledges that he has not exhausted his administrative
remedies. (§ 2241 Pet. 2.) Klutts suggests that
insufficient time exists before his scheduled release to
exhaust his administrative remedies. (ECF No. I, at2.) That
argument is unpersuasive. Klutts filed his initial 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 Petition on March 20, 2019. (Id. at 1.)
Prior to the recalculation of Klutts's good conduct time
pursuant to the First Step Act, Klutts was scheduled to be
released on April 8, 2020. (ECF No. 10, at 6 n.2.) According
to Klutts, he will receive an additional 73 days of good
conduct time pursuant to the First Step Act, thus moving his
release date to January 26, 2020. (Id. at 8
(citation omitted).) Klutts fails to demonstrate this roughly
nine-month window would be insufficient to exhaust his
administrative remedies as it generally takes six months or
less to exhaust the administrative remedy process.
Gallardo v. Rios, No. 18-CV-293 (ECT/HB), 2019 WL
3225771, at *3 (D. Minn. Feb. 1, 2019) (citing 28 C.F.R.
§ 542.18), report and recommendation adopted,
No. 18-CV-00293 (ECT/HB), 2019 WL 3219694 (D. Minn. July 17,
2019); Breazeale v. Shultz, No. 09-2118 (NLH), 2009
WL 1438236, at *3 (D.N.J. May 19, 2009) (requiring petitioner
to at least initiate administrative remedy process where he
had two months before his release date). Accordingly, the
action will be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to Klutts's
refiling after he has exhausted his administrative remedies.
Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 9) will be GRANTED. The action
will be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to Klutts's refiling
after he has exhausted his administrative remedies.
appropriate Order will accompany this Memorandum Opinion.
 The Court employs the pagination
assigned to the parties' submissions by the CM/ECF