RUMPH v. SUPERIOR COURT OF HOUSTON JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
ORDER to Recast Complaint or Petition on the appropriate form and to pay the appropriate filing fee or file a complete motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to forward Petitioner a copy of the § 2254, § 1983 forms and the standard motion to proceed without prepayment of fees and affidavit and account certification form. Ordered by US MAGISTRATE JUDGE CHARLES H WEIGLE on 1/10/2022. (ggs)
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
RYAN CORNELIUS RUMPH,
SUPERIOR COURT OF HOUSTON :
Pro se Petitioner Ryan Cornelius Rumph, an inmate at the Rutledge State Prison in
Columbus, Georgia, has filed a pleading that has been docketed as a 28 U.S.C. § 2254
habeas petition. ECF No. 1. Petitioner is challenging his 2012 conviction in the Houston
County Superior Court. Id. at 1. His request for relief is for this Court to “vacate
designation of record” and award him monetary damages. 1 Id. at 13. Petitioner is hereby
advised that habeas corpus claims requesting release from custody and civil rights claims
Petitioner has also filed a Houston County Superior Court “Demand for a Speedy Trial”
and requests that this Court order the Superior Court of Houston County to set him a
hearing date for his pleadings pending in that Court. ECF No. 1-1. However, this is a
request for relief that is unavailable in a federal court. See Moye v. Clerk, DeKalb Cty.
Superior Ct., 474 F.2d 1275, 1276 (5th Cir. 1973) (citations omitted); Lawrence v. MiamiDade Cty. State Att’y Office, 272 F. App'x 781 (11th Cir. 2008) (“Because the only relief
[petitioner] sought was a writ of mandamus compelling action from state officials, not
federal officials, the district court lacked jurisdiction to grant relief and did not err in
dismissing the petition.”).
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requesting monetary damages may not be presented together in a single pleading. Because
Petitioner has appeared to have done so here, the Petitioner must recast his complaint.
As a general rule, “a challenge to the fact or duration of a prisoner’s confinement is
properly treated as a habeas corpus matter, whereas challenges to conditions of
confinement may proceed under [42 U.S.C.] § 1983 . . . .” McKinnis v. Mosely, 693 F.2d
1054, 1057 (11th Cir. 1982) (per curiam) (quoting Johnson v. Hardy, 601 F.2d 172, 174
(5th Cir. 1979)). “Federal habeas corpus relief is appropriate when a petitioner alleges
that his custody itself is illegal.” Jones v. Augusta State Med. Prison, No. CV 313-012,
2013 WL 1736782, at *1 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 21, 2013) (citing Prieser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S.
475, 484 (1973)). “[W]hen a prisoner alleges that he has been deprived of his rights under
federal law by prison officials, the proper cause of action is § 1983.” Id. (citing McKinnis,
693 F.2d at 1057). Monetary damages are available in a § 1983 action but not in a habeas
action. See Preiser, 411 U.S. at 493, 500. Release is not available as a remedy in a §
1983 action. Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 481 (1994).
If Petitioner is challenging the fact or validity of his confinement and seeks his
release, then Petitioner must recast his Complaint on the Court’s standard § 2254 form
petition for federal habeas corpus relief. Petitioner is advised that his petition is subject
to the exhaustion doctrine. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b). In other words, a petitioner is
required to exhaust all available state remedies before he may go forward with an action in
federal court. See Dill v. Holt, 371 F.3d 1301, 1302 (11th Cir. 2004); Skinner v. Wiley,
355 F.3d 1293, 1295 (11th Cir. 2004) (holding that administrative exhaustion is required
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“in all habeas cases”). A petitioner generally “cannot satisfy the exhaustion requirement
if . . . he has failed to avail himself of ‘any available procedure’ by which he has the right
to raise his claim in state court.” Gore v. Crews, 720 F.3d 811, 815 (11th Cir. 2013) (per
If Petitioner instead wishes to complain about the events surrounding his arrest,
conviction, or the conditions of his confinement and seek damages, he should recast his
Complaint on the Court’s § 1983 form.
However, Petitioner is advised that this Court may be presently barred from hearing
a § 1983 claim regarding his conviction. The United States Supreme Court has held that:
in order to recover damages for allegedly unconstitutional conviction or
imprisonment, or for other harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness
would render a conviction or sentence invalid, (footnote omitted), a § 1983
plaintiff must prove that the conviction or sentence has been reversed on
direct appeal, expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state
tribunal authorized to make such determination, or called into question by a
federal court's issuance of a writ of habeas corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-487.
The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to forward Petitioner a copy of the § 2254 and
§ 1983 forms. If Petitioner wishes to challenge his conviction and seek release, then he
should submit his pleading on the § 2254 form.
If instead, the Petitioner wants to
complain of a civil rights violation and seek damages, then he should submit his claim on
the § 1983 form. Conversely, if Petitioner wants to pursue both a habeas corpus claim and
a § 1983 claim then he must file separate actions for the different type of claims and pay
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the filing fees for each. Petitioner should include this civil action number on only one of
the recast complaints and the other claim will be assigned a new civil action number since
it is a separate suit.
Petitioner shall have FOURTEEN (14) DAYS from the date of this Order to recast
his Complaint on the appropriate form. The recast pleading shall supersede (take the place
of) his initial pleading The Court will not look back at his initial pleading to determine
whether Petitioner has an actionable federal claim.
In addition, Petitioner did not pay any sort of filing fee in this action or file a motion
to proceed without the prepayment of the filing fee. The filing fee for a habeas corpus
petition is $5.00; the filing fee for a § 1983 case is $402.00. Accordingly, Petitioner shall
have FOURTEEN (14) DAYS from the date shown on this Order to file a motion to
proceed without the prepayment of the filing fee or pay the required filing fee for the type
of claim he submits. The Clerk is DIRECTED to mail Petitioner a copy of the standard
motion to proceed without prepayment of fees and affidavit and account certification form
for this purpose. A prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis must submit (1) an affidavit in
support of his claim of indigence and (2) “a certified copy of [his] trust fund account
statement (or institutional equivalent) . . . for the 6-month period immediately preceding
the filing of the complaint.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1)-(2).
To reiterate, Petitioner shall have FOURTEEN (14) DAYS from the date of this
Order to (1) recast his Complaint on the appropriate form and (2) pay the appropriate filing
fee or file a complete motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis which includes a
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certified copy of his inmate trust account for the preceding six months.
While this action is pending, Petitioner must also immediately inform the Court in
writing of any change in his mailing address. Failure to fully and timely comply with
this Order may result in the dismissal of Petitioner’s pleadings. There will be no
service of process in this case until further order.
SO ORDERED AND DIRECTED, this 10th day of January, 2022.
s/ Charles H. Weigle
Charles H. Weigle
United States Magistrate Judge
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