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Ellis v. Madden

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 28, 2016

RANDALL E. ELLIS, Petitioner,
v.
RAYMOND MADDEN, Warden, [1] Respondent.

          ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner, a state prisoner currently incarcerated at Centinela State Prison, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the constitutionality of disciplinary proceedings against him. Dkt. 1.

         Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero issued an order to show cause on October 27, 2015, before this matter was reassigned to the undersigned Judge. Dkt. 5. Magistrate Judge Spero specifically directed Respondent to file a response to the petition on or before January 25, 2016, and to address whether Nettles v. Grounds, 788 F.3d 992 (9th Cir. 2015) required dismissal of this action, stating as follows:

This Court's jurisdiction over a petition for habeas relief from a prison disciplinary decision has been called into question by Nettles v. Grounds, 788 F.3d 992 (9th Cir. 2015). In his first response to the petition, respondent shall address, preferably by way of a motion to dismiss, whether (1) Nettles requires dismissal of the instant action, and (2) petitioner can or should bring his claims through a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Id. at 1.

         On January 25, 2016, Respondent filed the instant motion to dismiss on the grounds that that Petitioner's claim does not state a cognizable basis for federal habeas relief. Specifically, Respondent argues that habeas corpus is not the proper remedy for Petitioner's claim because he has not shown that success in this action will necessarily accelerate his release from prison. Id. at 3-4. As further explained below, Respondent has also followed Magistrate Judge Spero's instructions relating to addressing Nettles and its relevance to this matter. Id. at 3. Petitioner has filed an opposition to the motion, and Respondent has filed a reply. Dkts. 11, 12.

         Having considered all of the papers filed by the parties, the Court GRANTS Respondent's motion to dismiss the petition.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On June 24, 1983, Petitioner was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of twenty-six years to life with the possibility of parole. Dkt. 1-1 at 6.

         Petitioner filed the instant federal habeas petition on June 16, 2015. Dkt. 1. In 2013, prison officials at Pelican Bay State Prison, where Petitioner was previously incarcerated, found him guilty of a charge of promoting gang activity. Dkt. 1-2 at 2. Petitioner was assessed 30 days of credit loss. Id. at 7.

         Petitioner contends that his due process rights were violated during the disciplinary hearing because there was no evidence of his guilt, he was prevented from defending himself, and the hearing officer refused to accept his documentary evidence. Dkt. 1 at 5. In addition, Petitioner argues that the negative impact of the guilty finding "will have adverse consequences on Petitioner's chances for parole." Id.

         Petitioner seeks reversal of the guilty finding on the disciplinary charge, expungement of the disciplinary action, appointment of counsel, and an evidentiary hearing.[2]

         III. ...


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