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Jones v. Polland

United States District Court, S.D. California

November 18, 2019

GARLAND JONES, Petitioner,
v.
M. POLLARD, Warden, Respondent.

          ORDER DISMISSING CASE WITHOUT PREJUDICE AND WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          HON. MICHAEL M. ANELLO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         FAILURE TO SATISFY FILING FEE REQUIREMENT

         Petitioner has failed to pay the $5.00 filing fee and has failed to move to proceed in forma pauperis. Because this Court cannot proceed until Petitioner has either paid the $5.00 filing fee or qualified to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court DISMISSES the case without prejudice. See Rule 3(a), 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254. If Petitioner wishes to proceed with this case, he must submit, no later than January 13, 2020, a copy of this Order with the $5.00 fee or with adequate proof of his inability to pay the fee.

         FAILURE TO STATE A COGNIZABLE CLAIM ON FEDERAL HABEAS

         Additionally, in accordance with Rule 4 of the rules governing § 2254 cases, Petitioner has failed to allege that his state court conviction or sentence violates the Constitution of the United States.

         Title 28, United States Code, § 2254(a), sets forth the following scope of review for federal habeas corpus claims:

The Supreme Court, a Justice thereof, a circuit judge, or a district court shall entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(a) (emphasis added). See Hernandez v. Ylst, 930 F.2d 714, 719 (9th Cir. 1991); Mannhalt v. Reed, 847 F.2d 576, 579 (9th Cir. 1988); Kealohapauole v. Shimoda, 800 F.2d 1463, 1464-65 (9th Cir. 1986). Thus, to present a cognizable federal habeas corpus claim under § 2254, a state prisoner must allege both that he is in custody pursuant to a “judgment of a State court, ” and that he is in custody in “violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a).

         Here, Petitioner claims that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation “purposely withheld documents, ” seemingly related to a civil rights complaint. (Pet. at 6, ECF No. 1.) Petitioner further alleges prison officials have failed to adequately protect him while in custody. (Id. at 8.) In no way, however, does Petitioner claim he is “in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner's claims are not cognizable on habeas because they do not challenge the constitutional validity or duration of confinement. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a); Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973); Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 480-85 (1994).

         Challenges to the fact or duration of confinement are brought by petition for a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254; challenges to conditions of confinement are brought pursuant to the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Preiser, 411 U.S. at 488-500. When a state prisoner is challenging the very fact or duration of his physical imprisonment, and the relief he seeks is a determination that he is entitled to immediate release or a speedier release from that imprisonment, his sole federal remedy is a writ of habeas corpus. Id. at 500. On the other hand, a § 1983 action is a proper remedy for a state prisoner who is making a constitutional challenge to the conditions of his prison life, but not to the fact or length of his custody. Id. at 499; McIntosh v. United States Parole Comm'n, 115 F.3d 809, 811-12 (10th Cir. 1997).

         Further, the Court notes that Petitioner cannot simply amend his Petition to state a federal habeas claim and then refile the amended petition in this case. He must exhaust state judicial remedies before bringing his claims via federal habeas. State prisoners who wish to challenge their state court conviction must first exhaust state judicial remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b), (c); Granberry v. Greer, 481 U.S. 129, 133-34 (1987). To exhaust state judicial remedies, a California state prisoner must present the California Supreme Court with a fair opportunity to rule on the merits of every issue raised in his or her federal habeas petition. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b), (c); Granberry, 481 U.S. at 133-34. Moreover, to properly exhaust state court judicial remedies a petitioner must allege, in state court, how one or more of his or her federal rights have been violated. The Supreme Court in Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364 (1995) reasoned: “If state courts are to be given the opportunity to correct alleged violations of prisoners' federal rights, they must surely be alerted to the fact that the prisoners are asserting claims under the United States Constitution.” Id. at 365-66 (emphasis added). For example, “[i]f a habeas petitioner wishes to claim that an evidentiary ruling at a state court trial denied him the due process of law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, he must say so, not only in federal court, but in state court.” Id. (emphasis added).

         Additionally, the Court cautions Petitioner that under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, a one-year period of limitation shall apply to a petition for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of:

(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time ...

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