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Gipson v. West Valley Detention Center

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 2, 2019

Bruce Lee Gipson
v.
West Valey Detention Center

          Present: The Honorable KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

          CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

         Proceedings: (In Chambers) Order To Show Cause Why This Action Should Not Be Dismissed For Failure To Exhaust, Failure To Name Proper Respondent, and Mootness

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On March 26, 2019, Petitioner Bruce Lee Gipson (“Gipson” or “Petitioner”) constructively filed an amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (“Section 2254”) (“Amended Petition”). ECF Docket No. (“Dkt.”) 9. The Amended Petition challenges a disciplinary action that resulted in 120 days of lost good and work time. Id. However, the Amended Petition is subject to dismissal because: (1) Gipson has not exhausted his state remedies with respect to the grounds raised in the Amended Petition; (2) the Amended Petition fails to name a proper respondent; and (3) the Amended Petition appears to be moot in light of Gipson's apparent release from prison. The Court will provide Gipson an opportunity to address these issues before making a final determination regarding whether the Amended Petition should be dismissed.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On January 10, 2019, Gipson was involved in an incident in his cell at the West Valley Detention Center where “dangerous contraband” was allegedly planted in Gipson's wheelchair. Dkt. 9 at 5. Because he was found to have been in possession of the contraband, Gipson was subject to a “discipline” action that revoked 120 days of his “good and work time”. Id. at 2. Gipson appears to allege the procedures resulting in his loss of good and work time were unconstitutional. See id.

         On February 12, 2019, Gipson constructively filed the original Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody (“First Petition”). Dkt. 1. The First Petition was construed as challenging a 2019 probation violation for which Gipson was sentenced to an additional 120 days in custody. Id. Gipson alleged he was incorrectly found to have possessed “dangerous contraband.” Id. at 2-3. Gipson contended that someone “plant[ed]” the “dangerous contraband” in the wheelchair. Id. at 3. Gipson acknowledged he did not appeal his case to the California Court of Appeal or California Supreme Court. Id. at 5.

         On March 22, 2019, the Court issued an Order To Show Cause as to why Petitioner's First Petition should not be dismissed for (1) failure to exhaust state remedies with respect to the grounds raised; (2) failure to name a proper respondent; and (3) failure to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 and Rule 2(c) of the Rules Governing Habeas Corpus Cases Under Section 2254. Dkt. 3. The Court found the First Petition was subject to dismissal and instructed Petitioner to amend his petition to correct the deficiencies, and (1) explain the First Petition had been exhausted, (2) request a Rhines stay; or (3) voluntarily dismiss the action without prejudice. Id. at 3-4.

         On March 26, 2019, Petitioner constructively filed the instant Amended Petition. Dkt. 9. Based on the Amended Petition, it appears Gipson seeks to challenge a disciplinary action involving the finding that he possessed dangerous contraband, rather than a probation violation. Id. In the Amended Petition, Gipson attaches further supporting documentation showing he filed grievances, corresponded with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, and received review of some grievances. Id. at 5-10. Gipson again acknowledges he has not presented his claim to the California Court of Appeal or California Supreme Court. Id. at 4.

         On May 2, 2019, the Court filed a Report and Recommendation, recommending the First Petition be dismissed for the reasons stated in the March 22, 2019 Order. Dkt. 6.

         On June 3, 2019, Gipson notified the Court that his address had changed to 60805 29 Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree, CA 92252.[1] Dkt. 8.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. THE AMENDED PETITION IS WHOLLY UNEXHUASTED

         A state prisoner must exhaust his or her state court remedies before a federal court may consider granting habeas corpus relief. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A); O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842, 119 S.Ct. 1728, 144 L.Ed.2d 1 (1999); Cavanagh v. Dir., Ventura Cty. Probation, No. CV 12-6712-R (RNB), 2012 WL 4792863, at *4 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 9, 2012) (applying state exhaustion requirements to a petitioner's claims regarding his probation violation). To satisfy the exhaustion requirement, a habeas petitioner must fairly present his or her federal claims in state courts to give the state the opportunity to pass upon and correct alleged violations of the prisoner's federal rights. Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365, 115 S.Ct. 887, 130 L.Ed.2d 865 (1995) (per curiam). A habeas petitioner must give the ...


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