United States District Court, C.D. California
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING
HONORABLE GEORGE H. WU, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
March 13, 2015, Jacob Tellis (“Petitioner”), a
California state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State
Custody (the “Petition”), claiming he is entitled
to have custody credits apply to his sentence under a recent
policy implemented by Respondent California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation. For the reasons discussed
below, the Court finds the Petition's claims are not yet
ripe for adjudication. Accordingly, the Petition is denied
and this action is dismissed without prejudice.
March 13, 2015, Petitioner filed the instant Petition. (ECF
Docket No. (“dkt.”) 1). According to the
Petition, Petitioner is a California state prisoner currently
confined in the San Bernardino County Jail. Pet. at
In the Petition, Petitioner appears to claim Respondent
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
(“CDCR”) has agreed before a panel of three
federal judges to grant “minimum custody inmates”
(such as Petitioner) a “two-for-one” custody
credit, effective January 1, 2015. Id. at 3. Given
this policy, Petitioner claims “anything less in
[Petitioner's] case would be gross discriminatory,
unreasonable, and a violation of his constitutional
rights.” Id. at 4-5. Petitioner requests this
Court grant him custody credits under the two-for-one policy.
Id. at 5.
support of his claims, Petitioner attaches a February 24,
2015 decision regarding an inmate grievance he filed with the
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's
Detention and Correction Bureau. Id. at 6. In the
grievance, Petitioner appears to have complained the
two-for-one custody credit policy was not being applied to
his sentence. Id. The San Bernardino County
Sheriff's Department appears to have denied the
grievance, reasoning it was not cognizable because it did not
challenge the conditions of Petitioner's confinement.
Id. The Sheriff's Department also noted
“if [Petitioner] does qualify for the new credits, he
will be notified by the court and the appropriate time will
be adjusted and reflect[ed] accordingly in his
March 20, 2015, the Court issued an Order for Petitioner to
Show Cause (“OSC”) why the Petition should not be
dismissed without prejudice for lack of federal
subject-matter jurisdiction. (Dkt. 3). The Court reasoned the
Petition did not ever allege Petitioner has actually been
denied custody credits he claims entitlement to under the
two-for-one policy. (Id.). Hence, the Court
concluded the Petition did not present claims that are ripe
for adjudication. (Id.). Petitioner has failed to
file a timely response to the Court's OSC. The matter thus
stands submitted and ready for decision.
exercise of federal subject-matter jurisdiction under the
U.S. Constitution depends on the existence of a case or
controversy. United States Nat'l Bank v.
Independent Ins. Agents of America, Inc., 508 U.S. 439,
446, 113 S.Ct. 2173, 124 L.Ed.2d 402 (1993). In particular,
the Court has no jurisdiction to review claims unless they
are ripe. United States v. Streich, 560 F.3d 926,
931 (9th Cir. 2009). The U.S. Supreme Court has explained:
[The] basic rationale [of the ripeness doctrine] is to
prevent the courts, through avoidance of premature
adjudication, from entangling themselves in abstract
disagreements over administrative policies, and also to
protect the agencies from judicial interference until an
administrative decision has been formalized and its effects
felt in a concrete way by the challenging parties.
Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner, 387 U.S. 136,
148-49, 87 S.Ct. 1507, 18 L.Ed.2d 681 (1967).
the instant Petition's claims do not appear to be ripe
for adjudication. In the Petition, Petitioner does not ever
allege he has actually been deprived of custody credits he is
entitled to under the two-for-one policy. Indeed, the
February 24, 2015 decision attached to the Petition only
states Petitioner will be notified if and when he is deemed
eligible for credits under the two-for-one policy.
See Pet. at 6. Neither the decision nor the Petition
indicate Petitioner has been affirmatively told he is
ineligible for credits under the two-for-one policy. In
short, there exists the possibility California state agencies
may find Petitioner eligible for credits under the
two-for-one policy and grant them to him at some future date.
in the absence of allegations Respondent has actually denied
Petitioner custody credits he is entitled to, the Court finds
the dispute is not yet ripe for adjudication.