United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable Autumn D. Spaeth, United States
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(IN CHAMBERS) ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY PETITION SHOULD NOT BE
November 1');">19, 201');">19, Ronald Robinson (“Petitioner”)
filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in
State Custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254
(“Petition”). [Dkt. No. 1');">1]. Petitioner asserts
(1');">1) retaliation by prison staff for appealing an
unsatisfactory work evaluation and (2) due process violations
when prison staff issued the work evaluation depicting
Petitioner's performance as “sub-par”.
[Id. at 5].
reasons set forth below, the Petition appears subject to
dismissal for failure to name a proper respondent and failure
to state a cognizable claim for habeas relief. The Court will
not make a final determination regarding whether the Petition
should be dismissed, however, without giving Petitioner an
opportunity to address these issues.
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, this court
is required to conduct a preliminary review of all petitions
for writ of habeas corpus filed by state prisoners. Pursuant
to Rule 4, this court must summarily dismiss a petition if it
“plainly appears from the petition and any attached
exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the
NOTICE OF DEFICIENCIES
Petition fails to name a proper respondent but rather lists
as defendant, Ralph M. Diaz, Secretary of Corrections. [Dkt.
No 1');">1, p.1');">1]. The Ninth Circuit has held that the
“[f]ailure to name the correct respondent destroys
personal jurisdiction.” Ortiz v. Gomez, 81');">1
F.3d 891');">1, 894 (9th Cir. 1');">1996) (as amended May 8,
1');">1996). The proper respondent to a habeas petition is
“the person who has custody over the petitioner.”
Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 434 (2004)
(citing 28 U.S.C. § 2242). “The default rule is
that the proper respondent is the warden of the facility
where the prisoner is being held.” Id. As
such, it appears the Court lacks jurisdiction over the
Petition as filed.
Failure to State a Cognizable Claim for Habeas
Court has the authority to dismiss habeas actions sua
sponte, pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing §
2254 Cases. See Mayle v. Felix, 545 U.S. 644, 656
(2005); see also Pagtalunan v. Galaza, 1');">1 F.3d 639');">291');">1 F.3d 639,
641');">1, n.1');">1 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Rule 4). Under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254, a federal court shall entertain an application
for writ of habeas corpus “only on the ground that [the
petitioner] is in custody in violation of the Constitution or
laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a). Habeas corpus proceedings are the proper
mechanism for challenging the legality or duration of a
prisoner's confinement while a civil rights action is the
proper method to challenge circumstances of confinement.
Badea v. Cox, 1');">1 F.2d 573');">931');">1 F.2d 573, 574 (9th Cir. 1');">1991');">1);
Nettles v. Grounds, 830 F.3d 922, 927 (9th Cir.
201');">16) (internal citation omitted). When success of a
petitioner's claim would not necessarily lead to his
immediate or earlier release from confinement, the claim does
not fall within “the core of habeas corpus” and
the claim must be brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1');">1983.
Nettles, 830 F.3d at 935.
the Court has screened the instant Petition and finds it
clear on the face of the Petition that Petitioner is not
entitled to federal habeas relief for the claims he asserts.
Petitioner's grounds for relief appear to solely
challenge the circumstances of his incarceration by asserting
claims such as retaliation for appealing a prison staff
decision and due process violations for a negative work
performance evaluation. [Dkt. No. 1');">1, p. 5]. Those challenges
concern the circumstances of his confinement and must be
raised in a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1');">1983.
Because Petitioner does not appear to challenge the legality
or duration of his confinement and his claims would not
necessarily lead to his immediate or earlier release, the
Petition fails to state a cognizable claim for federal habeas