Argueta-Anariba v. Lara

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Rights

New York Law Journal

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Judge Thomas Griesa

A 2010 search of inmate petitioner Argueta-Anariba's cell disclosed a weapon secreted in the ventilation system, an area of the cell readily accessible by petitioner. Petitioner and his cell mate denied ownership. The next day, after a Unit Discipline Committee hearing, petitioner was given notice the committee decided to refer the matter to a disciplinary hearing officer. Following a hearing on the 19th, the officer noted that despite denying the weapon's ownership "inmates are responsible for any and all contraband found in their living area." The sanctions included 30 days of segregated disciplinary housing, and loss of privileges and good time credit. Appeal of the decision—a written copy of which was given petitioner—was twice denied. District court denied petitioner 28 USC §2241 habeas relief, finding that he was provided all due process to which he was entitled. Also, the decision was supported by evidence including an "incident report" and a photo of the weapon. Citing 28 CFR §541.13, the court observed that an inmate need not hold or use a weapon to be considered "in possession" of one. An inmate is "in possession" of a weapon if it is readily accessible to him.

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