Courts v. United State District Court for the Eastern District

Filing 8

FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS recommending that the complaint be DISMISSED for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief; the Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to terminate this action re 1 Prisoner Civil Rights Complaint filed by Rene Courts ; referred to Judge Drozd,signed by Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on 03/8/17. Objections to F&R (14-Day Deadline) (Martin-Gill, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR ) ) THE EASTERN DISTRICT, et al., ) ) Defendant. ) RENE COURTS, Case No.: 1:17-cv-00305-DAD-SAB (PC) FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF ACTION, WITHOUT PREJUDICE [ECF No. 1] Plaintiff Rene Courts 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 March 3, 2017. 20 I. 21 SCREENING REQUIREMENT 22 The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a 23 governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The 24 Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally 25 “frivolous or malicious,” that “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted,” or that “seeks 26 monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). 27 28 1 A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is 1 2 entitled to relief. . . .” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but 3 “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, 4 do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 5 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must demonstrate that each named defendant personally 6 participated in the deprivation of his rights. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676-677; Simmons v. Navajo County, 7 Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1020-1021 (9th Cir. 2010). 8 Prisoners proceeding pro se in civil rights actions are still entitled to have their pleadings 9 liberally construed and to have any doubt resolved in their favor, but the pleading standard is now 10 higher, Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012) (citations omitted), and to survive 11 screening, Plaintiff’s claims must be facially plausible, which requires sufficient factual detail to allow 12 the Court to reasonably infer that each named defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 13 556 U.S. at 678-79; Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009). The “sheer 14 possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully” is not sufficient, and “facts that are ‘merely 15 consistent with’ a defendant’s liability” falls short of satisfying the plausibility standard. Iqbal, 556 16 U.S. at 678; Moss, 572 F.3d at 969. 17 II. 18 COMPLAINT ALLEGATIONS Plaintiff names the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, as the 19 20 sole Defendant. 21 In his first claim, Plaintiff states “found watches on the ground not me on video[,]” and 22 references absconding and probation/parole. In the second claim, Plaintiff states “[F]ifth Amendment 23 my right is not to say anything because might be incriminated[,]” and references the claim as criminal. 24 In the third claim, Plaintiff references absconding and a parole warrant hold. As relief, Plaintiff requests modification of disposition. 25 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 2 1 III. 2 DISCUSSION 3 A habeas corpus petition is the correct method for a prisoner to challenge the “legality or 4 duration” of his confinement. Badea v. Cox, 931 F.2d 573, 574 (9th Cir. 1991), quoting, Preiser v. 5 Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 485 (1973); Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 1 of the Rules Governing 6 Section 2254 Cases. In contrast, a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is the proper 7 method for a prisoner to challenge the conditions of that confinement. McCarthy v. Bronson, 500 8 U.S. 136, 141-42 (1991); Preiser, 411 U.S. at 499; Badea, 931 F.2d at 574; Advisory Committee Notes 9 to Rule 1 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. “[R]elief is available to a prisoner under the 10 federal habeas statute … if success on the claim would ‘necessarily spell speedier release’ from 11 custody, which . . . include termination of custody, acceleration of the future date of release from 12 custody, or reduction of the level of custody.” Nettles v. Grounds, 788 F.3d 992, 1001 (9th Cir. 2015) 13 (quoting Skinner v. Switzer, 562 U.S. 521, 534 (2011)). 14 Plaintiff is seeking to challenge the constitutionality of his conviction and/or his custody rather 15 than the conditions of his confinement. In order for a modification of the disposition, it would have to 16 be determined Plaintiff’s present conviction is invalid. Thus, Plaintiff’s claims effectively challenge 17 his current custody and release therefrom which cannot be raised by way of a section 1983 complaint. 18 Plaintiff must file a habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.1 Accordingly, Plaintiff’s 19 complaint must be dismissed, without prejudice. Although the Court would generally grant Plaintiff 20 leave to amend in light of his pro se status, amendment is futile in this instance because the 21 deficiencies cannot be cured by amendment. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 22 2000); Schmier v. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 279 F.3d 817, 824 (9th Cir. 2002) 23 (recognizing “[f]utility of amendment” as a proper basis for dismissal without leave to amend); see 24 also Trimble v. City of Santa Rosa, 49 F.3d 583, 586 (9th Cir. 1995) (a civil rights complaint seeking 25 habeas relief should be dismissed without prejudice to filing as a petition for writ of habeas corpus). 26 27 1 28 Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d), venue for a habeas action challenging the validity of the conviction and/or sentence is proper in the district of conviction. 3 1 2 3 IV. 4 RECOMMENDATIONS 5 Based on the foregoing, it is HEREBY RECOMMENDING that: 6 1. The complaint be dismissed for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief; and 7 2. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate this action. 8 These Findings and Recommendations will be submitted to the United States District Judge 9 assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within fourteen (14) days 10 after being served with these Findings and Recommendations, Plaintiff may file written objections 11 with the Court. The document should be captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and 12 Recommendations.” Plaintiff is advised that failure to file objections within the specified time may 13 result in the waiver of rights on appeal. Wilkerson v. Wheeler, 772 F.3d 834, 838-39 (9th Cir. 2014) 14 (citing Baxter v. Sullivan, 923 F.2d 1391, 1394 (9th Cir. 1991)). 15 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 Dated: 18 March 8, 2017 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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