United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
DEBORAH BARNES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed a document
entitled application for a writ of mandamus. Petitioner
appears to be seeking relief from actions of the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Sacramento
County Superior Court, and the County of Sacramento.
writ of mandamus is a ‘drastic and extraordinary’
remedy ‘reserved for really extraordinary
causes.’” In re Van Dusen, 654 F.3d 838,
840 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Ex parte Fahey, 332
U.S. 258, 259–60 (1947)); see also Gulfstream
Aerospace Corp. v. Mayacamas Corp., 485 U.S. 271, 289
(1988) (“This Court repeatedly has observed that the
writ of mandamus is an extraordinary remedy, to be reserved
for extraordinary situations.”).
federal mandamus statute provides: “The district courts
shall have original jurisdiction of any action in the nature
of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of the United
States or any agency thereof to perform a duty owed to the
plaintiff.” 28 U.S.C. § 1361. “The federal
courts are without power to issue writs of mandamus to direct
state courts or their judicial officers in the performance of
their duties....” Clark v. Washington, 366
F.2d 678, 681 (9th Cir. 1966). Nor do the federal courts have
the general power to compel action by state officials.
Davis v. Lansing, 851 F.2d 72, 74 (2d Cir. 1988).
extraordinary remedy of mandamus is not available in the
instant case because none of the named respondents are
officers, employees, or agencies of the United States, and
the court lacks jurisdiction to compel action by California
state officials. Accordingly, the petition for writ of
mandamus and declaratory relief should be dismissed for lack
of jurisdiction. See Workman v. Mitchell, 502 F.2d
1201, 1205 (9th Cir. 1974) (“The Federal Declaratory
Judgment Act does not establish a new basis for jurisdiction
in the federal court; it merely establishes a new remedy,
available in cases in which jurisdiction otherwise exists.
The question, therefore, is whether the mandamus statute
provides a jurisdictional basis for the declaratory relief
extent petitioner is attempting to challenge the conditions
of his confinement as unconstitutional, such claims should be
brought, if at all, in a civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, which “creates a private right of
action against individuals who, acting under color of state
law, violate federal constitutional or statutory
rights.” Hall v. City of Los Angeles, 697 F.3d
1059, 1068 (9th Cir. 2012) (internal quotation mark omitted)
(quoting Devereaux v. Abbey, 263 F.3d 1070, 107 (9th
Cir. 2001)); see also Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S.
475, 499 (1973) (“[A] § 1983 action is a proper
remedy for a state prisoner who is making a constitutional
challenge to the conditions of his prison life.”). This
court further notes that mandamus and prisoner civil rights
actions differ in a variety of respects, such as filing fees,
exhaustion requirements,  and restrictions on future filings
(e.g., the Prison Litigation Reform Act’s three-strikes
extent petitioner it attempting to challenge the
constitutionality of his conviction and/or his sentence,
petitioner is advised that he must bring that challenge by
way of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. See Nettles v. Grounds, 830 F.3d 922,
927 (9th Cir. 2016) (habeas corpus is the exclusive vehicle
for relief affecting the duration of confinement). Prior to
bringing a habeas action in this court, petitioner must
exhaust his state court remedies. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(b)(1). Petitioner is further warned that a
one-year statute of limitations applies to federal habeas
corpus petitions. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).
these reasons, this court will recommend this action be
dismissed. Such dismissal would not preclude plaintiff from
filing a § 1983 action or a habeas corpus petition in
the future, and this court takes no position on the merits of
the Clerk of the Court is HEREBY ORDERED to randomly assign a
district judge to this case;
IT IS RECOMMENDED that the petition for writ of mandamus be
dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
findings and recommendations will be submitted to the United
States District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Within fourteen
days after being served with these findings and
recommendations, petitioner may file written objections with
the court. The document should be captioned “Objections
to Magistrate Judge's Findings and
Recommendations.” Petitioner is advised that failure to
file objections within the specified time may result in
waiver of the right to appeal the district court’s
order. Martinez v. Ylst 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir.
 The filing fee for § 1983 civil
rights cases is $350, plus a $50 administrative fee. Even if
petitioner is granted in forma pauperis status, he would be
required to pay the $350 filing fee by way of deductions from
income to ...