Jason E. Huber, Esq.
V. McGraw, Jr., Esq.
Forman & Huber Attorney General
Charleston, West Virginia Charles Houdyschell, Jr., Esq.
Attorney for Petitioner Assistant Attorney General
Charleston, West Virginia
Attorneys for Respondent
The Opinion of the Court was delivered PER CURIAM.
corpus lies to secure relief from conditions of imprisonment which constitute
cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the provisions of Article III,
Section 5, of the Constitution of West Virginia and of the Eighth Amendment
to the Constitution of the United States. Syllabus point 1, State
ex rel. Pingley v. Coiner, 155 W. Va. 591, 186 S.E.2d 220 (1972).
general rule is that where an administrative remedy is provided by statute
or by rules and regulations having the force and effect of law, relief must
be sought from the administrative body, and such remedy must be exhausted
before the courts will act. Syllabus point 1, Daurelle v. Traders
Federal Savings & Loan Association, 143 W. Va. 674, 104 S.E.2d
This matter was filed as a habeas corpus proceeding under the original jurisdiction of this Court by a pro se litigant, Carlos Fields (hereinafter referred to as Mr. Fields). Mr. Fields is an inmate at Mount Olive Correctional Complex. In this proceeding Mr. Fields contends that good time credit has been improperly taken away from him and that he is a victim of physical abuse by prison guards. Based upon the allegations in his petition, this Court issued a rule to show cause to the respondent, Thomas McBride, Warden of Mount Olive (hereinafter referred to as the Warden). (See footnote 1) The Warden has filed a response to the rule to show cause. (See footnote 2) After a careful review of the pleadings, the writ is denied.
During Mr. Fields' incarceration,
he was the subject of a number of disciplinary proceedings that resulted in the loss of good time credit.
Mr. Fields has alleged that the Warden has improperly taken good time credit
that had not yet accumulated. Mr. Fields also alleges that in 2002 and 2003,
he was the victim of several incidents of physical abuse by prison guards.
The alleged abuse included having his head thrown against a cell door, having
mace sprayed in his face, and being kicked and punched throughout his body.
Mr. Fields then filed a
habeas proceeding in the Circuit Court of Fayette County seeking relief for
his loss of good time credit and/or physical abuse. The circuit court dismissed
the petition on October 2, 2003, concluding that Mr. Fields had not exhausted
his administrative remedies. Subsequent to the circuit court's dismissal,
Mr. Fields filed the instant proceeding with this Court.
Pursuant to W. Va. C.S.R. § 90-9-3,
an administrative procedure is set out for [a]ny inmate who wishes
to seek formal review of an issue that relates to any aspect of his or her
confinement[.] W. Va. C.S.R. § 90-9-3.1.1. Under the administrative
procedure, an inmate must first submit a grievance to his or her assigned
Unit Manager or appropriate Staff Supervisor. W. Va. C.S.R. § 90-9-3.1.4.
In the event the Unit Manager or appropriate Staff Supervisor does not resolve the grievance to the inmate's satisfaction,
the inmate may appeal to the Warden or Administrator. W. Va.
C.S.R. § 90-9-3.2. Further, [s]hould the inmate believe the Warden's
or Administrator's response does not resolve his or her grievance, . . .
the inmate may submit an appeal to the Commissioner[.] W. Va. C.S.R. § 90-9-3.3.1.
Finally, it is provided in W. Va. C.S.R. § 90-9-3.6.2 that [a]ny
inmate who fails to fully comply with the [grievance procedure] shall not
be considered to have taken full advantage of administrative remedies afforded
him or her.
The record submitted by
Mr. Fields in this proceeding shows no indication that he followed all of
the enumerated administrative procedures before filing the instant petition.
Federal courts have noted that a prisoner must plead his claims with
specificity and show that they have been exhausted by attaching a copy of
the applicable administrative dispositions to the [petition] or, in the absence
of written documentation, describe with specificity the administrative proceeding
and its outcome. Knuckles El v. Toombs, 215 F.3d 640, 642 (6th Cir.
2000). Without evidence that Mr. Fields has exhausted his administrative
remedies, we simply cannot reach the merits of the issues raised. (See