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HARRIS v. YATES
May 5, 2004.
ARTHUR HARRIS, Petitioner,
JAMES YATES, Respondent
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MAXINE CHESNEY, District Judge
ORDER OF DISMISSAL;
GRANTING LEAVE TO PROCEED
IN FORMA PAUPERIS
Arthur Harris ("petitioner"), currently incarcerated at the Pleasant
Valley State Prison ("PVSP"), filed this pro se petition for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in the Eastern District of
California. Thereafter, the case was transferred to this district.
This Court may entertain a petition for a writ of habeas corpus "in
behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court
only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution
or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a); Rose v.
Hodges, 423 U.S. 19, 21 (1975).
In the instant petition, petitioner alleges that PVSP officials have
unconstitutionally requested that he surrender blood samples for purposes
of recording his DNA information, and that he has refused those
requests. There is no allegation or indication that the fact or duration
of his custody is unlawful. Rather, petitioner's claims challenge the
conditions of his confinement. The preferred practice in this Circuit is
that challenges to conditions of confinement be brought in a civil rights
complaint, not in a habeas petition. See Badea v. Cox, 931 F.2d 573, 574
(9th Cir. 1991) (holding civil rights action is proper method of
challenging conditions of confinement); Crawford v. Bell 599 F.2d 890,
891-92 & n.1 (9th Cir. 1979) (affirming dismissal of habeas petition on
basis that challenges to terms and conditions of confinement must be brought in civil rights complaint).
Consequently, petitioner may bring his claim in a civil rights
complaint, but not in a habeas petition. Cf. Wilwording v. Swenson,
404 U.S. 249, 251 (1971) (finding challenge to constitutionality of
conditions of confinement more properly brought as civil rights action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983).
Accordingly, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is DISMISSED
without prejudice to petitioner's raising his claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
in a civil rights action.
The application to proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED in light of
petitioner's lack of funds.
The clerk shall close the file and terminate any pending motions.
IT IS SO ORDERED. JUDGMENT IN A CIVIL CASE
[ ] Jury Verdict. This action came before the Court for a trial by
jury. The issues have been tried and the jury has rendered its verdict.
[X] Decision by Court. This action came to trial or hearing before the
Court. The issues have been tried or heard and a decision has been
IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is
DISMISSED without prejudice to petitioner's raising his claim under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 in a civil rights action.
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