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Pierce v. Director of Corrections and Rehabilitation

July 20, 2010

MICHAEL DAVID PIERCE, PETITIONER,
v.
DIRECTOR OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION REGARDING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS [Doc. 1]

Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

BACKGROUND*fn1

Petitioner is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), following convictions in the Stanislaus County Superior Court in 2006 for robbery. He is serving a term of six years.

In the instant petition, Petitioner challenges a prison disciplinary action for which he was found guilty of violating California Code of Regulations, title 15, section 3004(a), manipulation of staff, a serious rules violation.

Petitioner exhausted his administrative appeal remedies and his appeal was denied at both the Second and Director's level.

Petitioner filed a state habeas corpus petition in the Kings County Superior Court in which he alleged the prison officials disciplined him for seeking mental health treatment. He also claimed that he told staff that he had suicidal thoughts, and as a result, prison officials charged him with a rules violation. He also claimed that the Senior Hearing Officer (SHO) denied him the opportunity to present witnesses and documents at the disciplinary hearing. The superior court denied the petition in a reasoned decision finding some evidence to support the decision.

Petitioner then filed a petition in the California Court of Appeal raising the same challenges as he did in the superior court petition. The petition was summarily denied.

Petitioner filed a petition in the California Supreme Court and raised the additional claim that he was improperly denied an investigative employee to aid in his defense. The court summarily denied the petition.

Petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus on March 3, 2010. Respondent filed an answer to the petition on June 4, 2010, and Petitioner filed an opposition on July 2, 2010.

DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

Relief by way of a petition for writ of habeas corpus extends to a person in custody pursuant to a judgment of a state court if the custody is in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a); 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3); Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 375 (2000). Petitioner asserts that he suffered violations of his rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Petitioner's claims for relief arise out of a disciplinary hearing at Corcoran Substance Abuse and Treatment Facility, California, which is located within the jurisdiction of this Court. 28 U.S.C. ยงยง 2254(a), 2241(d). If a constitutional violation has resulted in the loss of time credits, ...


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