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Jones v. Fresno County Jail

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 13, 2009

LATONIA JONES, PETITIONER,
v.
FRESNO COUNTY JAIL, RESPONDENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Wunderlich United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING PETITION WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se on a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 2241.

Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases requires the court to make a preliminary review of each petition for writ of habeas corpus. The court must dismiss a petition "[i]f it plainly appears from the face of the petition . . . that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court." Rule 4 of the Rules Governing 2254 Cases; see, also, Hendricks v. Vasquez, 908 F.2d 490 (9th Cir. 1990).

Although Petitioner is a state prisoner, Petitioner has brought this petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. This statute provides relief to a federal prisoner if he can show he is "in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). This court may entertain a petition for 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," under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). A habeas corpus petition is the correct method for a prisoner to challenge "the very fact or duration of his confinement," and where "the relief he seeks is a determination that he is entitled to immediate release or a speedier release from that imprisonment." Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 489 (1973).

Where a petitioner seeks to challenge the conditions of his confinement rather than the legality of the confinement itself, the proper method is through a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In this case, Petitioner expressly states that Petitioner is challenging conditions at the Fresno County Jail. Accordingly, the proper vehicle for Petitioner to pursue Petitioner's claims is through a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Based on the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows:

1) The petition for writ of habeas corpus is DISMISSED without prejudice to Petitioner's right to file an appropriate civil rights action; and

2) The Clerk of the Court is directed to enter judgment for Respondent and to close this case.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20090113

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