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Cranford v. Smith

United States District Court, E.D. California

August 29, 2014

ARCHIE CRANFORD, Petitioner,
v.
EBONY SMITH, Respondent.

ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, DIRECTING CLERK OF COURT TO TERMINATE ACTION, AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY. (ECF No. 1)

STANLEY A. BOONE, District Judge.

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

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), Petitioner consented to the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge on August 25, 2014. Local Rule 302.

Petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus on June 23, 2014. Petitioner is currently confined at Coalinga State Hospital pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator Act. For the reasons detailed below, the petition for writ of habeas corpus must be dismissed.

I.

DISCUSSION

A. Procedural Grounds for Dismissal

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).

B. Failure to State a Cognizable Federal Claim

This Court has a duty to determine its own subject matter jurisdiction, and lack of subject matter jurisdiction can be raised on the Court's own motion at any time. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3); CSIBI v. Fustos , 670 F.2d 134, 136 n.3 (9th Cir. 1982) (citing City of Kenosha v. Bruno , 412 U.S. 507, 511-512 (1973)). A court will not infer allegations supporting federal jurisdiction. A federal court is presumed to lack jurisdiction in a particular case unless the contrary affirmatively appears. Thus, federal subject matter jurisdiction must always be affirmatively alleged. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a); Stock West, Inc., v. Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation , 873 F.2d 1221, 1225 (9th Cir. 1989).

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 contends that Ebony Smith failed to provide him adequate medical and dental care and used excessive force upon him. Petitioner is challenging the conditions of his confinement, not the fact or duration of that confinement. Thus, Petitioner is not entitled to habeas corpus relief, and this petition must be dismissed. Should Petitioner wish to pursue his claims, he must do so by other legal means.

II.

ORDER

Based on the foregoing,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. The instant petition for writ of habeas corpus is DISMISSED;
2. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate this action; and
3. The Court declines to issue a certificate of appealability. 28 U.S.C. § 2253If a court denies a petitioner's petition, the court may only issue a certificate of appealability "if jurists of reason could disagree with the district court's resolution of his constitutional claims or that jurists could conclude the issues presented are adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further." Miller-El, 537 U.S. at 327; Slack v. McDaniel , 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). While the petitioner is not required to prove the merits of his case, he must demonstrate "something more than the absence of frivolity or the existence of mere good faith on his... part." Miller-El, 537 U.S. at 338. In the present case, the Court finds that reasonable jurists would not find the Court's determination that Petitioner is not entitled to federal habeas corpus relief debatable, wrong, or deserving of encouragement to proceed further. Petitioner has not made the required substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right. Accordingly, the Court hereby DECLINES to issue a certificate of appealability.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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