United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS FOR FAILING TO STATE COGNIZABLE CLAIM
ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF COURT TO ASSIGN DISTRICT COURT JUDGE TO THE PRESENT
MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.
Petitioner is the custody of the Fresno County Jail and proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus under the authority of 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus on October 16, 2014. (Pet., ECF No. 1.) In the petition, Petitioner challenges the conditions of his confinement specifically with regard to treatment of his medical conditions and he also requests better access to legal facilities. (Id.)
A. Procedural Grounds for Summary Dismissal
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases provides in pertinent part:
If it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court, the judge must dismiss the petition and direct the clerk to notify the petitioner.
The Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 8 indicate that the court may dismiss a petition for writ of habeas corpus, either on its own motion under Rule 4, pursuant to the respondent's motion to dismiss, or after an answer to the petition has been filed. A petition for habeas corpus should not be dismissed without leave to amend unless it appears that no tenable claim for relief can be pleaded were such leave granted. Jarvis v. Nelson , 440 F.2d 13, 14 (9th Cir. 1971).
B. Failure to State Cognizable Claim
The instant petition must be dismissed because it does not challenge the fact or duration of Petitioner's confinement.
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.
Petitioner's claim does not implicate the fact or duration of his confinement. Petitioner seeks relief for the conditions of his confinement. (See Pet.) Petitioner brings claims relating to his medical treatment, specifically relating to treatment for colon cancer, rectal dysfunction, orthopedic trauma, hypertension, asthma, and post-traumatic stress disorder. (Pet. at 6.) Petitioner also brings claims relating to his lack of access to legal facilities. (Id. at 2.) Petitioner does not challenge his underlying conviction. Petitioner's claims are not cognizable grounds for federal habeas corpus relief and must be dismissed. Should Petitioner wish to pursue his claims, he must do so by way of a civil rights complaint. The Court expresses no opinion as to the merits of such a civil rights complaint.
As it does not appear possible that the deficiencies identified herein can be cured by amending the complaint, Petitioner is not entitled to leave to amend prior to dismissal of the entire action. See Lopez v. ...