United States District Court, N.D. California
Charles Anthony Brooks, Plaintiff, Pro Se.
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
LABSON FREEMAN, District Judge.
a state prisoner at San Quentin State Prison
("SQSP"), filed the instant pro se civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983. Plaintiffs motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis will be
granted in a separate order.
Standard of Review
federal court must conduct a preliminary screening in any
case in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental
entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
See 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915A(a). In its review, the court
must identify any cognizable claims and dismiss any claims
that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted or seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See id. Â§
1915A(b)(1), (2). Pro se pleadings must, however, be
liberally construed. See Balistreri v. Pacifica
Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983, a plaintiff must allege
two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and
(2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. See West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
claims generally that his rights under the Sixth, Fifth,
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments have been violated, and
names as defendant Kevin James Allen of the Private Defender
Program of San Mateo County. (Compl. at 2.) He asserts that
"under state law, parole cannot be suspended or revoked
unless there is good ca[u]se to believe that a person has
violated the conditions of his or her parole" and that
"a criminal plaintiff be competent to stand trial."
( Id. at 3.) Plaintiff seeks damages for
"illegal detention as a direct result to deliberate
negligence[, ] breach of trust, [and] dereliction of
duty." ( Id. ).
for damages for an allegedly unconstitutional conviction or
imprisonment, or for other harm caused by actions whose
unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence invalid is
not cognizable under Â§ 1983. Heck v. Humphrey, 512
U.S. 477, 487 (1994). A plaintiff must prove that the
conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal,
expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state
tribunal authorized to make such determination, or called
into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus. Id. at 486-87. Heck may
apply to proceedings that call into question the fact or
duration of parole. Jackson v. Vannoy, 49 F.3d 175,
177 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 516 U.S. 851 (1995). A
challenge to the denial of parole, whether based upon
procedural defects in the parole hearing or upon allegations
that parole was improperly denied on the merits, directly
implicates the validity of the prisoner's continued
confinement. See Butterfield v. Bail, 120
F.3d 1023, 1024 (9th Cir. 1997) (noting that few things
implicate the validity of continued confinement more directly
than the allegedly improper denial of parole).
Plaintiffs allegation that he is suffering an "illegal
detention, " if successful, necessarily implies the
invalidity of the revocation of parole. However, Plaintiff
has failed to show that the revocation of parole has been
reversed. See id. As such, Plaintiffs claims are
barred by Heck and must be dismissed. Accordingly,
Plaintiffs complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice to his
filing a new complaint if the challenged revocation of parole
is later invalidated. See Trimble v. City Santa
Rosa, 49 F.3d 583, 585 (9th Cir. 1995) (claim barred by
Heck may be dismissed sua sponte without prejudice
under 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915).
although a district court may construe a habeas petition by a
prisoner attacking the conditions of his confinement as a
civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983, see
Wilwording v. Swenson, 404 U.S. 249, 251 (1971), the
opposite is not true: A civil rights complaint seeking habeas
relief should be dismissed without prejudice to bringing it
as a petition for writ of habeas corpus. See
Trimble v. City Santa Rosa, 49 F.3d 583, 586 (9th
Cir. 1995). Accordingly, Plaintiff may seek relieffor his
allegedly unlawful detention by filing a petition for a writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 2254.
reasons set forth above, this action is DISMISSED without