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Steven Leroy Deason v. James D. Heartly

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 23, 2012

STEVEN LEROY DEASON,
PETITIONER,
v.
JAMES D. HEARTLY, RESPONDENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS WITH LEAVE TO AMEND [Doc. 1]

Petitioner is proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1), Petitioner has consented to the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge. Local Rule 305(b).

DISCUSSION

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." Rule 4 of the Rules Governing 2254 Cases; see also Hendricks v. Vasquez, 908 F.2d 490 (9th Cir.1990). A federal court may only grant a petition for writ of habeas corpus if the petitioner can show that "he is in custody in violation of the Constitution . . . ." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). A habeas corpus petition is the correct method for a prisoner to challenge the "legality or duration" of his confinement. Badea v. Cox, 931 F.2d 573, 574 (9th Cir. 1991), quoting, Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 485 (1973); Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 1 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. In contrast, a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is the proper method for a prisoner to challenge the conditions of that confinement. McCarthy v. Bronson, 500 U.S. 136, 141-42 (1991); Preiser, 411 U.S. at 499; Badea, 931 F.2d at 574; Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 1 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.

In this case, Petitioner's petition consists of incomprehensible rambling regarding certain unspecific actions by various law enforcement agencies and prison staff. An application for federal habeas relief must specify all grounds for relief, state facts supporting each ground, and state the relief requested. Rule 2, Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires "a short and plain statement of [each] claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief" and "a demand for the relief sought." While the court must liberally construe the allegations of a prison proceeding without counsel (see Roy v. Lampert, 465 F.3d 964, 970 (9th Cir. 2006)), the court cannot grant relief based on conclusory allegations unsupported by specific facts. Jones v. Gomez, 66 F.3d 199, 204-205 (9th Cir. 1995); James v. Borg, 24 F.3D 20, 26 (9th Cir. 1994). At this juncture, the Court cannot reasonably discharge its responsibility under the applicable Rules. After a review of the petition, the Court simply cannot determine exactly what Petitioner is challenging or the relief he seeks. The petition will therefore be dismissed with leave to amend for Petitioner to file a petition that clearly and simply sets forth his claims and supporting facts.

Accordingly, it is HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. Petitioner has thirty days from the date of this order to file an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus curing the deficiencies identified herein. The amended petition must bear the docket number assigned to this action and be labeled, "First Amended Petition."

2. The Clerk of Court is directed to send Petitioner the standard Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus form; and

3. The failure to comply with this order will result in dismissal.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120323

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