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Gonzalez v. Uribe

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

September 24, 2013

JAIME GONZALEZ, Petitioner,
v.
DOMINGO URIBE, Warden, Respondent.

ORDER: (1) GRANTING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND (2) DISMISSING PETITION WITHOUT PREJUDICE

WILLIAM Q. HAYES, District Judge.

Petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has submitted a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, together with a request to proceed in forma pauper's.

REQUEST TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS

Petitioner has $.02 on account at the California correctional institution in which he is presently confined. Petitioner cannot afford the $5.00 filing fee. Thus, the Court GRANTS Petitioner's application to proceed in forma pauperis, and allows Petitioner to prosecute the above-referenced action as a poor person without being required to prepay fees or costs and without being required to post security. The Clerk of the Court shall file the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus without prepayment of the filing fee.

FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM ON HABEAS CORPUS

Upon review of the Petition, it appears to the Court that a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus brought pursuant to § 2254 is not the proper vehicle for the claims Petitioner presents. Petitioner lists various problems he claims he is facing in prison. Petitioner claims that prison officials improperly destroyed his personal property, specifically a radio. ( See Pet. at 18.) He asks that his radio be repaired or replaced. ( See Pet. at 27.) Petitioner's claim is not cognizable on habeas because it does not challenge the constitutional validity or duration of confinement. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a); Preiser v. Rodriguez , 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973); Heck v. Humphrey , 512 U.S. 477, 480-85 (1994). "Section 2254 applies only to collateral attacks on state court judgments." McGuire v. Blubaum , 376 F.Supp. 284, 285 (D. Ariz. 1974).

In no way does Petitioner claim his state court conviction violates the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States. Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases provides for summary dismissal of a habeas petition "[i]f it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court." Rule 4, 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Here, it is plain from the petition that Petitioner is not presently entitled to federal habeas relief because he has not alleged that the state court violated his federal rights.

Challenges to the fact or duration of confinement are brought by petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254; challenges to conditions of confinement are brought pursuant to the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Preiser , 411 U.S. at 488-500. When a state prisoner is challenging the very fact or duration of his physical imprisonment, and the relief he seeks is a determination that he is entitled to immediate release or a speedier release from that imprisonment, his sole federal remedy is a writ of habeas corpus. Id. at 500. On the other hand, a § 1983 action is a proper remedy for a state prisoner who is making a constitutional challenge to the conditions of his prison life, but not to the fact or length of his custody. Id. at 499; McIntosh v. United States Parole Comm'n , 115 F.3d 809, 811-12 (10th Cir. 1997). It appears that Petitioner challenges the conditions of his prison life, but not the fact or length of his custody. Thus, Petitioner has not stated a cognizable habeas claim pursuant to § 2254.

CONCLUSION

Based on the foregoing, the Court GRANTS Petitioner's request to proceed in forma pauperis. The Clerk of the Court shall file the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus without prepayment of the filing fee. Further, the Court DISMISSES this case without prejudice for failure to state a cognizable claim on habeas corpus. IT IS HEREBY ADJUDGED THAT JUDGMENT BE ENTERED DISMISSING THE PETITION AND THE ACTION.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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