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Ellington v. Secretary of Dep't of Corrections and Rehabilitation

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 20, 2019

Marcus R. Ellington, Sr.
v.
Secretary of the Dep't of Corrections and Rehabilitation

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

          CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

         Proceedings: Order to Show Cause Why this Action Should Not Be Summarily Dismissed for Failure to State a Cognizable Habeas Claim

         I.

         INTRODUCTION

         On November 12, 2019, Petitioner Marcus R. Ellington (“Petitioner”), an inmate at California State Prison - Los Angeles County in Lancaster, California, constructively filed[1] a pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (“Petition”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See Dkt. 1, Pet. Petitioner appears to be challenging a January 6, 2019 prison disciplinary decision removing him from the prison's Kosher Diet Program. As discussed below, the Court orders Petitioner to show cause why his Petition should not be summarily dismissed for failure to state a cognizable habeas claim.

         II.

         BACKGROUND

         On October 1, 2017, after a jury trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Petitioner was convicted of “criminal threat; sexual battery; weapon possession.” Dkt. 1 at 2. On April 20, 2018, Petitioner was sentenced to “55 years to life.” Id.

         On November 12, 2019, Petitioner filed the instant Petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging a January 6, 2019 prison disciplinary decision removing him from the prison's Kosher Diet Program. Dkt. 1. Petitioner argues his First Amendment right to freely practice his religion was violated when he was removed from the Kosher Diet Program. Id. at 6. Petitioner seeks injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief. Id. at 7.

         III.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Applicable Law

         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); see also Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 67-68, 112 S.Ct. 475, 116 L.Ed.2d 385 (1991). “Suits challenging the validity of the prisoner's continued incarceration lie within ‘the heart of habeas corpus,' whereas ‘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.'” Ramirez v. Galaza, 334 F.3d 850, 856 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Preiser v.Rodriguez,411 U.S. 475, 484, 93 S.Ct. 1827, 1833, 36 L.Ed.2d 439 (1973)). “[A] prisoner may seek a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 ...


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