United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases requires
preliminary review of a habeas petition and allows a district
court to dismiss a petition before the respondent is ordered
to file a response, if it “plainly appears from the
petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not
entitled to relief in the district court.”
petitioner in state custody who is proceeding with a petition
for writ of habeas corpus must exhaust state judicial
remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). The exhaustion
doctrine is based on comity to the state court and gives the
state court the initial opportunity to correct the
state's alleged constitutional deprivations. Coleman
v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 731 (1991); Rose v.
Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 518 (1982). A petitioner can
satisfy the exhaustion requirement by providing the highest
state court with a full and fair opportunity to consider each
claim before presenting it to the federal court.
O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845
(1999); Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365 (1995);
Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 276 (1971).
Petitioner has not sought relief in the California Supreme
Court for the claims that he raises in the instant petition,
the Court cannot proceed to the merits of those claims. 28
U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). It does not appear that Petitioner
has presented his claims to the California Supreme Court.
(ECF No. 1 at 12, 14). It is possible, however, that Petitioner
has presented all of his claims to the California Supreme
Court and failed to indicate this to the Court. Thus,
Petitioner must inform the Court whether each of his claims
has been presented to the California Supreme Court, and if
possible, provide the Court with a copy of the petition filed
in the California Supreme Court that includes the claims now
presented and a file stamp showing that the petition was
indeed filed in the California Supreme Court.
statute, federal courts “shall entertain an application
for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody
pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground
that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or
laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a). A claim falls within the “core of
habeas corpus” when a prisoner challenges “the
fact or duration of his confinement” and “seeks
either immediate release from that confinement or the
shortening of its duration.” Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 489 (1973). 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
confinement. McCarthy v. Bronson, 500 U.S. 136,
141-42 (1991); Preiser, 411 U.S. at 499.
instant petition is difficult to read and comprehend. To the
extent the Court is able to decipher the petition, Petitioner
appears to challenge various conditions of confinement. For
instance, Petitioner mentions issues regarding indigent
stamps, soap, the canteen, hot water in his cell, and his
trust account. (ECF No. 1 at 8-11). The Ninth Circuit has
“long held that prisoners may not challenge mere
conditions of confinement in habeas corpus.”
Nettles v. Grounds, 830 F.3d 922, 933 (9th Cir. July
26, 2016) (en banc) (citing Crawford v. Bell, 599
F.2d 890, 891-92 (9th Cir. 1979)).
also appears to allege a breach of his plea agreement, in
connection with a case in the Monterey County Superior Court,
which provided for Petitioner to be transferred to Pelican
Bay State Prison. (ECF No. 1 at 4). Petitioner asserts that
he wishes to rescind his plea in light of the alleged breach
and proceed to trial. (Id. at 4). Petitioner's
claim relates to his conviction and sentence that occurred in
the Monterey County Superior Court, and therefore, venue is
more appropriate in the district of conviction, which is the
Northern District of California. See Laue v. Nelson,
279 F.Supp. 265, 266 (N.D. Cal. 1968).
also appears to challenge a prison disciplinary proceeding.
(ECF No. 1 at 13). If “success on [Petitioner]'s
claims would not necessarily lead to his immediate or earlier
release from confinement, [Petitioner]'s claim does not
fall within ‘the core of habeas corpus, ' and he
must instead bring his claim under § 1983.”
Nettles, 830 F.3d at 935 (quoting Skinner v.
Switzer, 562 U.S. 521, 535 n.13 (2011)). It is unclear
whether Petitioner was penalized with any credit loss or a
term in the Security Housing Unit. Therefore, it is unclear
whether success on Petitioner's challenge to the
disciplinary proceeding would necessarily lead to immediate
or earlier release from custody or a reduction of the level
of custody. Accordingly, Petitioner will be required
to show cause why the Court has habeas jurisdiction over this
claim in light of Nettles.