The opinion of the court was delivered by: Vaughn R Walker United States District Chief Judge
Petitioner, a state prisoner incarcerated at Pelican Bay State Prison, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC § 2254 challenging the forfeiture of 120 days of time credits following a disciplinary hearing finding him guilty of possession of alcohol. Petitioner challenged the forfeiture of time credits in the state courts until the Supreme Court of California denied his final state habeas petition on February 27, 2008. The instant federal petition followed.
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 USC § 2254(a).
It shall "award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto." Id § 2243.
Petitioner seeks federal habeas corpus relief on the ground that the disciplinary finding that resulted in the forfeiture of 120 days of time credits is not supported by the evidence. Liberally construed, the claim appears cognizable under § 2254 and merits an answer from respondent. See Zichko v Idaho, 247 F3d 1015, 1020 (9th Cir 2001) (federal courts must construe pro se petitions for writs of habeas corpus liberally).
For the foregoing reasons and for good cause shown,
1. The clerk shall serve by certified mail a copy of this order and the petition, and all attachments thereto, on respondent and respondent's attorney, the Attorney General of the State of California. The clerk also shall serve a copy of this order on petitioner.
2. Respondent shall file with the court and serve on petitioner, within 60 days of the issuance of this order, an answer conforming in all respects to Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, showing cause why a writ of habeas corpus should not be granted. Respondent shall file with the answer and serve on petitioner a copy of all portions of the state trial record that have been transcribed previously and that are relevant to a determination of the issues presented by the petition. If petitioner wishes to respond to the answer, he shall do so by filing a traverse with the court and serving it on respondent within 30 days of his receipt of the answer.
3. Respondent may file a motion to dismiss on procedural grounds in lieu of an answer, as set forth in the Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. If respondent files such a motion, petitioner shall file with the court and serve on respondent an opposition or statement of non-opposition within 30 days of receipt of the motion, and respondent shall file with the court and serve on petitioner a reply within 15 days of receipt of any opposition.
4. Petitioner is reminded that all communications with the court must be served on respondent by mailing a true copy of the document to respondent's counsel. Petitioner must also keep the court ...