Robledo-Valdez v. Falk et al
ORDER Directing Applicant to File Amended Application, by Magistrate Judge Boyd N. Boland on 6/03/2014. (slibi, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 14-cv-01301-BNB
J. FALK, and
ORDER DIRECTING APPLICANT TO FILE AMENDED APPLICATION
Applicant, Craig Robledo-Valdez, is a prisoner in the custody of the Colorado
Department of Corrections at the Sterling Correctional Facility in Sterling, Colorado. Mr.
Robledo-Valdez has filed pro se an Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241 (ECF No. 1) claiming his constitutional rights have been violated. As
relief he requests immediate release from prison, discharge of parole supervision, and
correction of his sentence computation.
The court must construe the application liberally because Mr. Robledo-Valdez is
not represented by an attorney. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972);
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). However, the court should not be
an advocate for a pro se litigant. See Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110. Mr. Robledo-Valdez will
be ordered to file an amended application if he wishes to pursue his habeas corpus
claims in this action.
The application is deficient. First, the law is well-established that the only proper
respondent to a habeas corpus action is the applicant’s custodian. See 28 U.S.C. §
2242; Rules 2(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts; Harris v. Champion, 51 F.3d 901, 906 (10th Cir. 1995). Mr. Robledo-Valdez
alleges that he is incarcerated at the Sterling Correctional Facility. Therefore, the
proper Respondent is the warden of that facility.
The application also is deficient because Mr. Robledo-Valdez fails to provide a
clear statement of the claims he is asserting. Mr. Robledo-Valdez asserts six claims for
relief in the application, including some that raise multiple issues, along with a lengthy
recitation of factual allegations that are not clearly relevant or linked to the claims being
asserted. The claims raise various issues regarding the computation of his sentences,
parole revocations and other parole issues, and the conditions of his confinement. Mr.
Robledo-Valdez specifically alleges in claim one that he was arrested without cause for
violating parole, apparently on December 19, 2013. He alleges in claim two that his
Fourth Amendment rights were violated when his parole officer searched his room
illegally and confiscated his cellphones. He also alleges in claim two that his parole
officer told him “this is what you get for filing grievances and lawsuits.” (ECF No. 1 at
5.) The third claim in the application is a due process claim in which Mr. RobledoValdez alleges he was held in jail for thirty days prior to a parole revocation hearing, he
was denied adequate procedures at his parole revocation hearing, his good and earned
time credits have not been calculated properly, and he completed his sentence in
January 2013. Mr. Robledo-Valdez alleges in his fourth claim that he was subjected to
cruel and unusual punishment as a result of excessive force. The fifth claim in the
application is a double jeopardy claim in which Mr. Robledo-Valdez alleges his release
date and earned time credits have not been calculated properly because he completed
his sentence in January 2013 and, after having his parole revoked twice for
technicalities, he should have been released on parole again on May 15, 2014. Mr.
Robledo-Valdez finally claims that he has been denied due process because a parole
revocation decision was upheld on appeal.
The court notes initially that Mr. Robledo-Valdez may not raise claim four, the
excessive force claim, in this habeas corpus action because claim four challenges the
conditions of his confinement and not the execution of his sentence. See PalmaSalazar v. Davis, 677 F.3d 1031, 1035 (10th Cir. 2012) (discussing distinction between
habeas corpus claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and conditions of confinement
claims raised in civil rights actions). Mr. Robledo-Valdez must raise the excessive force
claim in a separate civil rights action if he wishes to pursue that claim in federal court.
With respect to the habeas corpus claims in the application, Mr. RobledoValdez’s vague, conclusory, and disjointed factual allegations do not provide a clear
statement of the specific claims he is asserting and do not demonstrate he is entitled to
relief. Although the court must construe the application liberally, “the court cannot take
on the responsibility of serving as the litigant’s attorney in constructing arguments and
searching the record.” Garrett v. Selby Connor Maddux & Janer, 425 F.3d 836, 840
(10th Cir. 2005).
Habeas corpus relief is warranted only if Mr. Robledo-Valdez “is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. §
2241(c)(3). Pursuant to Rules 2(c)(1) and 2(c)(2) of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases in the United States District Courts, which apply to this habeas corpus action
pursuant to § 2241, Mr. Robledo-Valdez must provide specific factual allegations in
support of the federal constitutional claims he is asserting. These habeas corpus rules
are more demanding than the rules applicable to ordinary civil actions, which require
only notice pleading. See Mayle v. Felix, 545 U.S. 644, 655 (2005). “A prime purpose
of Rule 2(c)’s demand that habeas petitioners plead with particularity is to assist the
district court in determining whether the State should be ordered to ‘show cause why
the writ should not be granted.’” Id. at 656 (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2243). Naked
allegations of constitutional violations are not cognizable in a habeas corpus action.
See Ruark v. Gunter, 958 F.2d 318, 319 (10th Cir. 1992) (per curiam). Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that, within thirty (30) days from the date of this order, Mr.
Robledo-Valdez file an amended application that clarifies his claims in this action. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that Mr. Robledo-Valdez shall obtain the court-approved
Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 form (with the
assistance of his case manager or the facility’s legal assistant), along with the
applicable instructions, at www.cod.uscourts.gov. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that, if Mr. Robledo-Valdez fails within the time allowed to
file an amended application that clarifies his claims in this action, the action will be
dismissed without further notice.
DATED June 3, 2014, at Denver, Colorado.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Boyd N. Boland
United States Magistrate Judge
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