Watkins v. Harrington

Filing 4

ORDER OF DISMISSAL. Signed by Judge Claudia Wilken on 9/14/2010. (ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/14/2010)

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Watkins v. Hedgpeth Doc. 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 BACKGROUND Petitioner Eric M. Watkins, a state prisoner incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP), has filed two separate actions in this Court, which were filed under two different case numbers. In Case No. C 10-3802 CW (PR), Petitioner filed a civil rights complaint form naming the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California as Defendant. In the caption, v. A. HEDGPETH, WARDEN HARRINGTON, Respondents. / v. KELLY HARRINGTON, Warden, Respondent. ERIC M. WATKINS, Petitioner, / No. C 10-3803 CW (PR) ORDER OF DISMISSAL IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA ERIC M. WATKINS, Petitioner, No. C 10-3802 CW (PR) ORDER OF TRANSFER Petitioner indicates the case number of his habeas corpus action filed in the Eastern District, Case No. 07-767 AWI DLB HC. Because it was filed on a civil rights complaint form, it was opened as a civil rights action in this Court. Petitioner also filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP); however, he did not Dockets.Justia.com 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 sign the motion. His complaint form is deficient because he has not answered any of the questions on the form aside from his "Place of Confinement" and the "Parties." Petitioner does not allege that he is challenging the conditions of his confinement because he has left blank the entire third page of the form relating to the "Statement of the Claim" and "Relief." Instead, he attaches two typewritten pages addressed to: (1) "Judge Dennis L. Beck" of the Eastern District; and (2) "the State board." A review of the typewritten pages reveals that Petitioner is confused about the status of his petition in the Eastern District. He seems to believe that the Eastern District Court "lost" his petition; however, the Eastern District's electronic database reveals it was dismissed almost three years ago.1 In Case No. C 10-3803 CW (PR), Petitioner filed a habeas petition form naming "A. Hedgpeth" and "Warden Harrington" as Respondents. Again, Petitioner indicates Eastern District Case No. He attaches the same two Petitioner has answered some of He 07-767 AWI DLB HC on the caption. typewritten pages mentioned above. the questions on the form, but most of them remain unanswered. claims that he is challenging his "sentence" for "seven years without a strike" and that his place of conviction and sentence was in "Fresno, CA." He also claims that he pled not guilty, had a jury trial, testified at his trial, and appealed his conviction of According to the Eastern District's electronic database, Case No. 07-767 AWI DLB HC ED was dismissed on December 20, 2007 for failure to comply with the Eastern District Court's Order Dismissing Petition With Leave to Amend dated July 23, 2007, which directed Petitioner to complete the entire habeas petition form because he had left most of the questions on his original petition form unanswered. 1 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 sentence. After the following statement on page four: "If you did "The Courts of the I sent for not appeal, state your reasons," he states: Federal Eastern District of California, lost my case. my transcripts and materials, but the Court said they could'nt [sic] find it." (Pet. at 4.) He also marks "YES" when asked if he "previously filed any petitions, applications or motions with respect to this conviction in any court, state or federal;" however, he leaves blank the remaining sections relating to the name of court, nature of proceeding, grounds raised and result. DISCUSSION I. Case No. C 10-3803 CW (PR) Petitioner currently has two separate actions pending, although he meant to file only one habeas action, which is evident from the fact that he indicated the same Eastern District case number on both pleading forms. The second action was opened in error when the Court received a habeas corpus petition form from Petitioner that was intended to be filed as an amended petition in his first action. proceed IFP. Accordingly, the Clerk is directed to remove Petitioner's habeas corpus petition form as well as his IFP application from Case No. C 10-3803 CW (PR), and to file it as an "Amended Petition" and IFP application in his first action (Case No. C 10-3802 CW (PR)). Case No. C 10-3803 CW (PR) is DISMISSED because it was Petitioner has also filed a motion for leave to opened in error. II. Case No. C 10-3802 CW (PR) Because Petitioner's habeas petition filed in Case No. C 103803 CW (PR) is now the amended petition in Case No. C 10-3802 CW 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 (PR), his first action is construed as a habeas corpus action instead of a civil right action. The Clerk is directed to reclassify Case No. C 10-3802 CW (PR) as a habeas corpus action. The Clerk is also directed to substitute Warden Kelly Harrington, the current warden of the prison where Petitioner is incarcerated, as Respondent in Case No. C 10-3802 CW (PR) pursuant to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Petitioner's amended petition. In this habeas action Petitioner seeks to challenge a conviction and sentence incurred in Fresno County. Fresno County The Court now reviews is in the venue of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. Furthermore, Petitioner is incarcerated at KSVP in Kern County, which is also in the Eastern District. Federal statute allows "the Supreme Court, any justice thereof, the district courts and any circuit judge" to grant writs of habeas corpus "within their respective jurisdictions." U.S.C. 2241(a). 28 A federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus made by a person in custody under the judgment and sentence of a State court is properly filed in either the district of confinement or the district of conviction. Id. 2241(d). Where a case is filed in the wrong venue, the district court has the discretion to transfer it to the proper federal court "in the interest of justice." See 28 U.S.C. 1406(a). The Eastern District of California is the proper venue for this action. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1406(a) and Habeas L.R. 2254-3(b), and in the interest of justice, the Clerk is ordered to TRANSFER Petitioner's first action (Case No. C 10-3802 CW (PR)) forthwith to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 California. All remaining motions in Case No. C 10-3802 CW (PR) are TERMINATED on this Court's docket as no longer pending in this district. CONCLUSION For the reasons stated above, 1. Petitioner's second action (Case No. C 10-3803 CW (PR)) The Clerk is directed is DISMISSED because it was opened in error. to remove Petitioner's habeas corpus petition form from his second action, to file it in his first action (Case No. C 10-3802 CW (PR)), and to docket it as Petitioner's "Amended Petition." The Clerk is further directed to mark it as filed on August 26, 2010, the date it was received by the Court. The Clerk is directed to do the same for the IFP application, which was also filed on August 26, 2010. No filing fee is due, and the Clerk shall close the file in Case No. C 10-3803 CW (PR). 2. The Clerk is directed to reclassify Case No. C 10-3802 CW Warden Kelly Harrington, the (PR) as a habeas corpus action. current warden of KVSP, the prison where Petitioner is incarcerated, has been substituted as Respondent in Case No. C 103802 CW (PR) pursuant to Rule 25(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. // // // // // 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3. The Clerk is ordered to TRANSFER Case No. C 10-3802 CW (PR) to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. All remaining motions in Case No. C 10-3802 CW (PR) are TERMINATED on this Court's docket as no longer pending in this district. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: 9/14/2010 CLAUDIA WILKEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Eric M. Watkins D-25198 Kern Valley State Prison P.O. Box 5103 Delano, CA 93216 v. ERIC M. WATKINS, Petitioner, ERIC WATKINS, Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA Case Number: CV10-03802 CW CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT et al, Defendant. / Case Number: CV10-03803 CW CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE A. HEDGPETH, WARDEN HARRINGTON, Respondents. / I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. That on September 14, 2010, I SERVED a true and correct copy(ies) of the attached, by placing 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. Dated: September 14, 2010 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: Nikki Riley, Deputy Clerk 7

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