Taylor v. Martel et al

Filing 3

ORDER OF DISMISSAL. Signed by Judge JEFFREY S. WHITE on 4/24/12. (jjoS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/24/2012)

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1 2 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 3 4 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 RONALD EVANS TAYLOR, 7 8 9 Petitioner, MICHAEL MARTEL, et al., For the Northern District of California United States District Court Respondents. / 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER OF DISMISSAL v. 10 12 No. C 12-1108 JSW (PR) Petitioner, a California prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The claims in the petition do not challenge Petitioner’s conviction or sentence. Rather, the petition simply objects to a document placed in his prison file because it falsely states that Petitioner is related to another inmate. “Federal law opens two main avenues to relief on complaints related to imprisonment: a petition for habeas corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2254, and a complaint under the Civil Rights Act of 1871, Rev. Stat. § 1979, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Challenges to the lawfulness of confinement or to particulars affecting its duration are the province of habeas corpus." Muhammad v. Close, 540 U.S. 749, 750 (2004). Petitioner’s claims involve the conditions of his confinement and not the fact or duration of his confinement. As such, they are not the proper subject of a habeas action. See Moran v. Sondalle, 218 F.3d 647, 650-52 (7th Cir. 2000); Badea v. Cox, 931 F.2d 573, 574 (9th Cir. 1991) (civil rights action is proper method of challenging conditions of confinement); Crawford v. Bell, 599 F.2d 890, 891-92 & n.1 (9th Cir. 1979) (affirming dismissal of habeas petition on basis that challenges to terms and conditions of confinement must be brought in civil rights complaint). complaint. Wilwording v. Swenson, 404 U.S. 249, 251 (1971). Although the Court may 3 construe a habeas petition as a civil rights action, it is not required to do so. Since the 4 time when the Wilwording case was decided there have been significant changes in the 5 law. For instance, the filing fee for a habeas petition is five dollars, and if leave to 6 proceed in forma pauperis is granted, the fee is forgiven. For civil rights cases, however, 7 the fee is now $350 and under the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act the prisoner is 8 required to pay it, even if granted in forma pauperis status, by way of deductions from 9 income to the prisoner’s trust account. See 28 U.S.C. 1915(b)(1). A prisoner who might 10 be willing to file a habeas petition for which he or she would not have to pay a filing fee 11 For the Northern District of California In an appropriate case a habeas petition may be construed as a Section 1983 2 United States District Court 1 might feel otherwise about a civil rights complaint for which the $350 fee would be 12 deducted from income to his or her prisoner account. Also, a civil rights complaint 13 which is dismissed as malicious, frivolous, or for failure to state a claim would count as a 14 “strike” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), which is not true for habeas cases. 15 In view of these potential pitfalls for Petitioner if the petition were construed as a 16 civil rights complaint, the case is DISMISSED without prejudice to Petitioner filing a 17 civil rights action if he wishes to do so in light of the above. Furthermore, Petitioner has 18 failed to make a substantial showing that his claims amounted to a denial of his 19 constitutional rights and that a reasonable jurist would find this Court's denial of his 20 claim debatable or wrong. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). Consequently, 21 no certificate of appealability is warranted in this case. 22 The Clerk shall enter judgment in favor of respondent and close the file. 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. 24 25 26 DATED: April 24, 2012 JEFFREY S. WHITE United States District Judge 27 28 2 1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE 3 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 4 5 RONALD EVANS TAYLOR, Case Number: CV12-01108 JSW 6 Plaintiff, CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE 7 v. 8 MICHAEL MARTEL et al, 9 Defendant. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 / I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. 12 District Court, Northern District of California. 13 That on April 24, 2012, I SERVED a true and correct copy(ies) of the attached, by placing 14 said copy(ies) in a postage paid envelope addressed to the person(s) hereinafter listed, by depositing said envelope in the U.S. Mail, or by placing said copy(ies) into an inter-office delivery receptacle located in the Clerk's office. 15 16 17 Ronald Evans Taylor H-14836 San Quentin State Prison 18 3-W-44-L San Quentin, CA 94974 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Dated: April 24, 2012 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: Jennifer Ottolini, Deputy Clerk

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