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Charles Scott Saide v. Matthew Cate

October 5, 2011

CHARLES SCOTT SAIDE, PETITIONER,
v.
MATTHEW CATE,
RESPONDENT.



ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with an application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner raises two claims in his federal habeas application filed with this court March 11, 2011.

In his first claim, petitioner contends that he has been transferred to a private prison in Arizona without his consent in violation of state law and his federal constitutional right to due process. By order filed May 19, 2011, this court found that petitioner's first claim constitutes a challenge to his conditions of confinement and is not cognizable in this habeas corpus proceeding. (Doc. No. 7.) For that reason, the court did not require respondent to respond to that claim. (Id.) Petitioner has moved for reconsideration of that order. (Doc. No.11.)

Petitioner's second claim for federal habeas relief is that his constitutional rights were violated in connection with probation revocation proceedings that commenced with his arrest on August 28, 2002 and led to a hearing on January 7, 2003, at which time his probation was revoked. Respondent has moved to dismiss petitioner's second habeas claims as being barred by the statute of limitations. (Doc. No. 13.)

Below, the court will address both petitioner's motion for reconsideration and respondent's motion to dismiss.

I. Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration

As noted above, petitioner seeks reconsideration of this court's finding that his challenge to his out-of-state transfer is not cognizable in this federal habeas corpus action because it is a challenge to the conditions of his confinement rather than to the fact or duration of his confinement. In his motion for reconsideration, petitioner contends that when California transferred him to Arizona without his consent, he became a citizen of Arizona, California lost jurisdiction over him, and he must therefore be released from custody.

Assuming arguendo that petitioner's first claim should be construed as a habeas corpus claim because he contends that he is entitled to release from custody, see Trimble v. City of Santa Rosa, 49 F.3d 583, 586 (9th Cir. 1995), the claim so-characterized is plainly without any merit.*fn1

Petitioner has no federal constitutional right to be housed in a particular prison or state. See Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238 (1983). Moreover, neither the Interstate Corrections Compact nor the Western Interstate Corrections Compact are federal law. See Ghana v. Pearce, 159 F.3d 1206, 1209 (9th Cir. 1998). Thus, habeas corpus relief is not available for any alleged violation of the terms of either compact. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (habeas corpus relief available only for violation of federal Constitution, laws or treaties). Finally, neither the compacts nor other applicable state laws give rise to a liberty interest in freedom from out of state transfer protected by the federal due process clause under the circumstances of this case. Petitioner has alleged no facts suggesting that his transfer to an institution in Arizona imposed an "'atypical and significant hardship on [him] in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life'" sufficient to give rise to an interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Ghana, 159 F.3d at 1208-09 (quoting Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995)). Petitioner's sole complaint is that his transfer was involuntary; the holding in Olim precludes a finding that an involuntary out-of-state transfer of an inmate, without more, constitutes an "atypical and significant hardship."

For these reasons, petitioner's motion for reconsideration will be granted and, upon reconsideration, the court will recommend that he be denied federal habeas relief with respect to his first claim.

II. Statute of Limitations

Respondent has moved to dismiss petitioner's second claim on the ground that it is barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Petitioner opposes the motion.

Section 2244(d)(1) of title 28 of the United States Code provides: A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of --

(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review;

(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant ...


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