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Danny M. Coston v. M.D. Mcdonnell

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


September 13, 2011

DANNY M. COSTON, PETITIONER,
v.
M.D. MCDONNELL, RESPONDENT.

ORDER

Petitioner is state prisoner proceeding without counsel seeking a writ of habeas corpus. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Examination of the in forma pauperis affidavit reveals that petitioner is unable to afford the costs of suit. showing. Therefore, the request is granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). However, petitioner's application for a writ of habeas corpus must be dismissed with leave to amend. See Rule 4, Rules Governing § 2254 Cases (requiring summary dismissal of habeas petition if, upon initial review by a judge, it plainly appears "that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court").

A district court must entertain a habeas petition "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). A judge entertaining a habeas petition "shall forthwith 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." 28 U.S.C. § 2243. The petition must be dismissed if on initial review the court finds that "it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court." Rule 4, Rules Governing § 2254 Proceedings. An application for federal habeas relief must specify all grounds for relief, state facts supporting each ground and state the relief requested. Rule 2(c), Rules Governing § 2254 Cases. While under Ninth Circuit precedent, this court must liberally construe the allegations of a prisoner proceeding without counsel, see Roy v. Lampert, 465 F.3d 964, 970 (9th Cir. 2006), the court cannot grant relief based on conclusory allegations not supported by any specific facts, Jones v. Gomez, 66 F.3d 199, 204-05 (9th Cir. 1995); James v. Borg, 24 F.3d 20, 26 (9th Cir. 1994). Moreover, a petitioner who seeks relief from multiple judgments must file a separate petition as to each judgment. See Rule 2(e), Rules Governing § 2254 Cases.

The instant petition violates Rule 2 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases. It appears from the petition that petitioner is challenging two separate disciplinary convictions, one dated May 6, 2008, and the other dated July 24, 2008. See Dckt. No. 1. Petitioner provides very little information as to the nature of these proceedings, but appears to allege that he was not provided with sufficient notice that the conduct leading to his disciplinary convictions was prohibited. Id. Accordingly, petitioner's application for writ of habeas corpus will be dismissed with leave to amend. Petitioner is cautioned that any amended petition must challenge only one disciplinary conviction and must state facts to support each ground for relief.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. Petitioner's request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted.

2. Petitioner's March 21, 2011 petition for writ of habeas corpus is dismissed.

3. Petitioner is granted 30 days from the date of this order to file an amended petition curing the deficiencies identified in this order. The petition must bear the docket number assigned to this action and be styled, "First Amended Petition." The petition must also be complete in itself without reference to any prior petition. Failure to comply with this order will result in this action being dismissed.

4. The Clerk of the Court is directed to send petitioner two copies of the court's form for application for writ of habeas corpus.

20110913

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