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Turner v. Davis

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 21, 2019

BILLY E. TURNER, Petitioner,
v.
RON DAVIS, Respondent.

          ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner is challenging a March 19, 2018 prison rules violation report. Presently before the court is petitioner's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 5) motion for an extension of time to file a writ of habeas corpus (ECF No. 1), motion to appoint counsel (ECF No. 10), and his petition (ECF No. 4) for screening.

         IN FORMA PAUPERIS

         Examination of the in forma pauperis application reveals that petitioner is unable to afford the costs of suit. Accordingly, the application to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).

         BACKGROUND

         Petitioner initiated this action by filing a motion for extension of time to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. (ECF No. 1.) Thereafter, the Clerk of the Court for the Northern District directed petitioner to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus and to file a motion to proceed in forma pauperis or pay the filing fee. (ECF Nos. 2, 3.) After petitioner filed the instant petition, the action was transferred to this court because the petition is directed toward the execution of petitioner's sentence and he is presently incarcerated at Deuel Vocational Institute, in Tracy, California which lies in this district. (ECF No. 6.)

         MOTION FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME

         As set forth above, petitioner's initial filing in this action was a motion for an extension of time to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Because petitioner filed the petition before this action was transferred, the court will deny as moot the motion for an extension of time and screen the petition.

         SCREENING

         I. Legal Standards

         The court is required to screen all actions brought by prisoners who seek any form of relief, including habeas relief, from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a habeas petition or portion thereof if the prisoner raises claims that are legally “frivolous or malicious” or fail to state a basis on which habeas relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). This means the court must dismiss a habeas petition “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief[.]” Rule 4 Governing Section 2254 Cases.

         Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases provides that “[t]he Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to the extent that they are not inconsistent with any statutory provisions or these rules, may be applied to a proceeding under these rules.” Drawing on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, when considering whether a petition presents a claim upon which habeas relief can be granted, the court must accept the allegations of the petition as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007), and construe the petition in the light most favorable to the petitioner, see Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by lawyers, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), but “[i]t is well-settled that ‘[c]onclusory allegations which are not supported by a statement of specific facts do not warrant habeas relief.'” Jones v. Gomez, 66 F.3d 199, 204 (9th Cir. 1995) (quoting James v. Borg, 24 F.3d 20, 26 (9th Cir. 1994)). See also Corjasso v. Ayers, 278 F.3d 874, 878 (9th Cir. 2002) (“Pro se habeas petitioners may not be held to the same technical standards as litigants represented by counsel.”); Porter v. Ollison, 620 F.3d 952, 958 (9th Cir. 2010) (“[T]he petitioner is not entitled to the benefit of every conceivable doubt; the court is obligated to draw only reasonable factual inferences in the petitioner's favor.”).

         Rule 2(c) of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases requires every habeas petition to (1) specify all the grounds for relief available to the petitioner; (2) state the facts supporting each ground; and (3) state the relief requested. Although, as stated above, pro se petitions receive less scrutiny for precision than those drafted by lawyers, a petitioner must give fair notice of his claims by stating the factual and legal elements of each claim in a short, plain, and succinct manner. See Mayle v. Felix, 545 U.S. 644, 648 (2005) (“In ordinary civil proceedings . . . Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires only ‘a short and plain statement[.] . . . Rule 2(c) of the Rules Governing Habeas Corpus Cases requires a more detailed statement.”). Allegations in a petition that are vague, conclusory, or palpably incredible, and that are unsupported by a statement of specific facts, are insufficient to warrant relief and are subject to summary dismissal. Jones v. Gomez, 66 F.3d 199, 204-05 (9th Cir. 1995); James, 24 F.3d at 26.

         II. ...


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