July 28, 2014

Tenth Circuit: District Court Lacked Jurisdiction to Consider whether Confinement Violated Extradition Treaty

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in Palma-Salazar v. Davis on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the district court’s decision. Petitioner “was indicted in 1995 for conspiracy to distribute cocaine; he was arrested in Mexico in 2002. After he was extradited to the United States pursuant to an extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico, [Petitioner] pleaded guilty and began serving his sentence. In 2010, [he] filed a 28 U.S.C. § 2241 petition for a writ of habeas corpus, challenging his confinement at the Administrative Maximum Prison in Florence, Colorado (ADX). He alleged his confinement at ADX violates his Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights and also the extradition treaty. The district court denied [the] petition. It concluded it lacked jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to consider his Fifth and Eighth Amendment claims because they are challenges to the conditions of his confinement and must, therefore, be brought under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).” However,  it did conclude that Petitioner’s confinement at ADX does not violate the extradition treaty.

The Tenth Circuit held that the district court lacked jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to consider any of Petitioner’s claims, including whether his confinement violated the treaty. “Because he seeks a change in the place of his confinement, which is properly construed as a challenge to the conditions of his confinement, [Petitioner]’s claims must be brought pursuant to Bivens.”

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