IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
August 6, 2008
VERLA N. JONES, ET AL., PETITIONERS,
SURPRISE VALLEY SKILLED NURSING FACILITY, RESPONDENT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge
Petitioners, who are proceeding pro se, bring this action seeking a writ of habeas corpus. Pursuant to the court's July 18, 2008, order, petitioners have submitted $5.00 as the filing fee.
This action is filed by Verla N. Jones and Annamarie Jones, who are listed on the docket as petitioners. Petitioners' initial pleading consists of a one-page California form petition for a writ of habeas corpus and one additional hand-written page. Verla N. Jones is listed as the petitioner, but the pleading is signed by Annamarie Jones. Petitioners assert that Verla N. Jones is ". . . being unlawfully restrained of liberty at Surprise Valley Skilled Nursing Facility by Modoc County Public Guardian & Osteopath Chuck Colas."
A review of the court's records reflects that Annamarie Jones was the plaintiff in a prior civil action before this court. See case no. CIV-S-06-1681-CMK. In that action, Ms. Jones claimed, among other things, that her mother's social security benefits were being improperly withheld. As a remedy, plaintiff seeks an order compelling defendant to "[r]elease my Mother in compliance with CA WIC 5276 (Writ of Habeas Corpus) and return the $40,000 plus another $60,000 for punitive damages." Ms. Jones' mother is Verla N. Jones, a petitioner in this case. The prior action was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
As with the prior action, which proceeded as a civil action and in which Ms. Jones paid a filing fee of $350.00, the instant action is a civil action and not a habeas corpus action subject to the $5.00 filing fee. Specifically, even though petitioners initiated this action by filing a California form petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and even though they style themselves as petitioners seeking habeas corpus relief, this is not a federal habeas corpus action because they are not attacking a state court criminal judgment. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241(d) and 2254(a). The Clerk of the Court will be directed to re-designate the parties to this action as "plaintiffs" and "defendant" for purposes of future orders in this case.
In order to resolve the fee status for this case as required by the court's July 18, 2008, order, either the full filing fee of $350.00 or an application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis must be submitted.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Petitioners/plaintiffs shall submit on the form provided by the Clerk of the Court, within 30 days from the date of this order, a complete application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, or the remainder of the civil filing fee;
2. The Clerk of the Court is directed to send petitioners a new form Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis; and
3. The Clerk of the Court is further directed to re-designate the parties to this action as "plaintiffs" and "defendant."
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