United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSING
COMPLAINT AS NOT COGNIZABLE UNDER SECTION 1983 ORDER
DIRECTING CLERK OF THE COURT TO RANDOMLY ASSIGN DISTRICT
JUDGE (ECF NO. 1) OBJECTIONS DUE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS
Foster (“Plaintiff”), a state prisoner, is
appearing pro se and in forma pauperis in
this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's complaint,
filed on October 17, 2019.
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous
or malicious, ” that “fail to state a claim on
which relief may be granted, ” or that “seek
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. . .
.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations
are not required, but “[t]hreadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Moreover, Plaintiff must demonstrate that each defendant
personally participated in the deprivation of Plaintiff's
rights. Jones v. Williams, 297 F.3d 930, 934 (9th
proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are entitled to
have their pleadings liberally construed and to have any
doubt resolved in their favor. Wilhelm v. Rotman,
680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted). To
survive screening, Plaintiff's claims must be facially
plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow
the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d
962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The “sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and
“facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a
defendant's liability” falls short of satisfying
the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678;
Moss, 572 F.3d at 969.
Court accepts Plaintiff's allegations in the complaint as
true only for the purpose of the sua sponte
screening requirement under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
is in the custody of the California Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation and is housed at California State Prison,
Corcoran. Plaintiff brings this action against Defendants L.
Carrol, S. Babb, J. Ceballos, C. Brown, M Kimbrell, and K.
Field alleging violation of his due process rights under the
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
is a participant in the MHSDS at the enhanced outpatient
level of care. Due to this classification, Plaintiff is
qualified for assignment to work group M and minimum custody
credits as well as other credits. Defendants Carrol and Babb
refused to follow the mandatory language of Title 15 by
refusing to properly classify Plaintiff and award him good
time credits. Plaintiff filed an inmate grievance that was
denied by Defendants Ceballos, Brown, Kimbrell, and Field.
The appeal was denied incorrectly stating that Level VI
inmates do not qualify for work group M. Plaintiff contends
that Title 15 clearly states that enhanced outpatient inmates
are qualified for work group M and that he should have been
released from custody ten days after being so designated. He
is seeking monetary damages.
long been established that state prisoners cannot challenge
the fact or duration of their confinement in a section 1983
action and their sole remedy lies in habeas corpus relief.
Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 78 (2005). Often
referred to as the favorable termination rule or the
Heck bar, this exception to section 1983's
otherwise broad scope applies whenever state prisoners
“seek to invalidate the duration of their
confinement-either directly through an injunction compelling
speedier release or indirectly through a judicial
determination that necessarily implies the unlawfulness of
the State's custody.” Wilkinson, 544 U.S.
at 81; Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 482, 486-487
(1994); Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 644
(1997). Thus, “a state prisoner's [section] 1983
action is barred (absent prior invalidation)-no matter the
relief sought (damages or equitable relief), no matter the
target of the prisoner's suit (state conduct leading to
conviction or internal prison proceedings)-if success in that
action would necessarily demonstrate the invalidity of
confinement or its duration.” Wilkinson, 544
U.S. at 81-82.
gravamen of Plaintiff's complaint is that he is entitled
to receive time credits which he is not receiving and, had he
received such credits, he should have been released from
custody. Plaintiff success in this action would necessarily
imply the invalidity of his deprivation of time credits.
Edwards, 520 U.S. at 646. Even though Plaintiff is
seeking damages in this action, if he were to obtain a
judgment in his favor it would affect the length of his
sentence. Plaintiff cannot seek damages for the
unconstitutional deprivation of time credits in this action
because if he were to prevail it would imply the invalidity
of his sentence. Nonnette v. Small 316 F.3d 872, 875
(9th Cir. 2002). Therefore, Plaintiffs sole remedy for the
denial of time credits is in habeas corpus and not under
section 1983. Nonnette, 316 F.3d at 875. The Court
finds that Plaintiffs complaint is not cognizable under
section 1983. Edwards, 520 U.S. at 648. Therefore,
it is recommended that Plaintiffs complaint be dismissed and
this action be closed.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
reasons discussed, Plaintiffs sole remedy for the claims
raised in this action is in habeas corpus. Accordingly, IT IS
HEREBY RECOMMENDED that Plaintiffs complaint be DISMISSED as