United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO GRANT
RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS THE PETITION (ECF NO. 12)
THIRTY (30) DAY OBJECTION DEADLINE
MICHAEL J. SENG, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for
writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Respondent
Daniel Paramo, Warden of R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility,
is hereby substituted as the proper named respondent pursuant
to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Respondent is represented by Pamela B. Hooley of the Office
of the California Attorney General.
Relevant Procedural History
is currently in the custody of the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation pursuant to the 2010 judgment
of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego.
(ECF No. 12-2 at 4.) He is serving a term of life without the
possibility of parole on a murder conviction. (Id.)
In this proceeding, he challenges disciplinary proceedings
that occurred while he was incarcerated at California State
Prison, Corcoran. (ECF No. 1.)
specifically, on January 20, 2016, Petitioner was charged in
a CDCR Form 115 Rules Violation Report with Behavior Which
Could Lead to Violence. (ECF No. 12-2 at 9.) It was alleged
that, on January 18, 2016, during a cell search, Petitioner
demanded that an officer return a bag that covered
Petitioner's typewriter and, when the officer did not
comply, Petitioner followed him and called him a
“fucken bitch.” (Id.)
was adjudicated on February 18, 2016. (Id. at 10.)
Petitioner pled not guilty. (Id.) The hearing
officer found Petitioner guilty of the charge but, in the
interests of justice, dismissed the formal RVR and reported
the misconduct as a Custodial Counseling Chrono on a CDCR
Form 128A. Petitioner was counseled and reprimanded. He was
not assessed a loss of credits, nor was a term of
disciplinary segregation imposed.
Petitioner filed an administrative grievance, claiming that
the RVR was “phony” and written in retaliation
for Petitioner's prior grievances. Additionally, he
alleged that he was denied an interpreter required under the
ADA because he is hearing impaired, and also was denied
various other procedural and substantive due process
protections. (Id. at 14-18.) After exhausting his
administrative remedies, he presented his claims to the
California state courts by way of writs of habeas corpus,
proceeding eventually to the California Supreme Court where
his petition was summarily denied. (ECF Nos. 12-1 through
October 6, 2017, Petitioner filed the instant petition
challenging his disciplinary proceedings. (ECF No. 1.) On
November 1, 2017, Respondent filed a motion to dismiss,
arguing that the Court lacks habeas jurisdiction over the
petition. (ECF No. 12.) On November 17, 2017, Petitioner
filed an opposition. (ECF No. 13.) On November 20, 2017,
Respondent filed a reply. (ECF No. 14.) The matter is
by way of a writ of habeas corpus extends to a prisoner under
a judgment of a state court if the custody violates the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. 28
U.S.C. § 2254(a); 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3);
Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 375 n.7 (2000).
However, federal courts lack habeas jurisdiction over claims
for constitutional violations that are not within the
“core” of habeas corpus. Nettles v.
Grounds, 830 F.3d 922, 927 (9th Cir. 2016) (en banc),
cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 645, 196 L.Ed.2d 542 (2017).
The core of habeas corpus includes only those claims that
challenge the fact or duration of the conviction or sentence.
Id. at 934. “[W]hen a prisoner's claim
would not necessarily spell speedier release, that claim does
not lie at the core of habeas corpus[.]” Skinner v.
Switzer. 562 U.S. 521, 535 n.13 (2011) (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted). Such claims must be
brought, if at all, in a civil rights complaint.
Nettles, 830 F.3d at 934.
respect to disciplinary proceedings, the Ninth Circuit has
concluded that the mere fact that a disciplinary decision may
be considered as a factor in denying parole is insufficient
to confer habeas jurisdiction on the court. Nettles,
830 F.3d at 934-35. Thus, a prisoner serving an indeterminate
sentence, who will not directly benefit from the restoration
of good time credits, may be foreclosed from seeking habeas
relief in relation to disciplinary proceedings. See
id. at 928-29.
Petitioner did not lose any credits in relation to the
disciplinary proceeding. Even if he had lost credits, he,
like Nettles, would not directly benefit from the restoration
of lost good time credits due to the nature of his sentence.
Because there is no relief the Court could offer that would
necessarily spell speedier release, the Court does not have
habeas jurisdiction over Petitioner's claims. While
Petitioner contends that the disciplinary decision has
affected the potential for him to receive clemency or a
commutation of his sentence (ECF No. 13.), the disciplinary
decision is but one factor that will be considered in
determining whether to grant these requests. In other words,
reversal of the disciplinary decision will not necessarily
result in the grant of clemency or a commutation of
Petitioner's sentence. Cf. id. at 935; Cal Penal
Code § 4800, et seq. In this regard, his claim does not
fall within the core of habeas corpus.
on the foregoing, the Court does not have habeas jurisdiction
over the petition and the claims must be brought, if at all,
in a § 1983 civil rights action.
Conversion to ...