United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER OF DISMISSAL; INSTRUCTIONS TO CLERK
JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge.
an inmate at the Santa Clara County Jail, filed this pro se
civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
the Santa Clara County Department of
Corrections. Plaintiff's application to proceed
in forma pauperis is granted in a separate order.
For the reasons explained below, the complaint is dismissed
courts must engage in a preliminary screening of cases in
which prisoners seek redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The Court must identify cognizable claims or
dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, ” or
“seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b). Pro se
pleadings must be liberally construed. Balistreri v.
Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” “Specific facts are not
necessary; the statement need only give the defendant fair
notice of what the . . . . claim is and the grounds upon
which it rests.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted). Although to state a claim
a complaint “does not need detailed factual
allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide
the grounds of his entitle[ment] to relief requires more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do. . . . Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). A
complaint must proffer “enough facts to state a claim
for relief that is plausible on its face.” Id.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege two 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. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
states that he has been convicted and sentenced, and he is in
the custody of Defendant, the Santa Clara Department of
Corrections. He alleges that Defendant is depriving him of
the time credits to which he is entitled under California
Penal Code § 4019, and consequently has set an
inaccurate date for his release. He seeks to have Defendant
change his release date to accurately reflect his time
law opens two main avenues to relief on complaints related to
imprisonment: a petition for habeas corpus, 28 U.S.C. §
2254, and a complaint under the Civil Rights Act of 1871,
Rev. Stat. § 1979, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Challenges to the lawfulness of confinement or to particulars
affecting its duration are the province of habeas
corpus.'” Hill v. McDonough, 547 U.S. 573,
579 (2006) (quoting Muhammad v. Close, 540 U.S. 749,
750 (2004)). “An inmate's challenge to the
circumstances of his confinement, however, may be brought
under § 1983.” Id. Habeas is the
“exclusive remedy” for the prisoner who seeks
“‘immediate or speedier release'” from
confinement. Skinner v. Switzer, 561 U.S. 521, 525
(2011) (quoting Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 82
(2005)). This includes inmates who are seeking reinstatement
of time credits to the extent that such reinstatement would
“necessarily spell speedier release.”
Skinner, 561 U.S. at 525. Plaintiff seeks
reinstatement of time credits to which he claims to be
entitled under state law, and to advance his release date. To
obtain that remedy in federal court, he must file a petition
for a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, not a civil
rights complaint. Accordingly, Plaintiff's complaint is
dismissed without prejudice to bringing his claims in a
federal habeas petition. See Trimble v. City of Santa
Rosa, 49 F.3d 583, 586 (9th Cir. 1995) (civil rights
complaint seeking habeas relief should be dismissed without
prejudice to bringing as petition for writ of habeas corpus).
foregoing reasons, the complaint is DISMISSED without
prejudice to bringing it as a petition for a writ of habeas
Clerk shall enter judgment and close the file, and send
Plaintiff this Court's form habeas petition and in forma
pauperis application, instructions for completing the forms,
and postage-paid return envelopes.