Edgar v. Utah County Jail
MEMORANDUM DECISION and ORDER to AMEND DEFICIENT PETITION: It is hereby ordered that: Petitioner shall have THIRTY DAYS from the date of this Order to cure the deficiencies noted above. The Clerks Office shall mail Petitioner a copy o f the Pro Se Litigant Guide with a proper petition and/or civil rights complaint for him to complete, according to the directions. If Petitioner fails to timely cure the above noted deficiencies, as instruction herein, this action will be dismissed without further notice. Signed by Judge Robert J. Shelby on 1/14/2016. (kpf)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH
MICHAEL JOHN EDGAR,
& ORDER TO AMEND
Case No. 2:15-CV-351 RJS
UNKNOWN CUSTODIAL AUTHORITY,
District Judge Robert J. Shelby
Petitioner, Michael John Edgar, an inmate at Utah County Jail, filed a pro se habeas
See 28 U.S.C.S. ' 2254 (2015). Reviewing the Petition, the Court concludes
that the Petition is deficient as described below.
Petitioner must cure these
deficiencies if he wishes to pursue his claims.
Deficiencies in Petition:
does not name a custodian or warden;
does not show exhaustion of state process; and
has claims appearing to be based on the illegality of Petitioner's current confinement;
however, the petition was apparently not submitted using the legal help Petitioner is
entitled to by his institution under the Constitution--e.g., by contract attorneys. See
Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 356 (1996) (requiring prisoners be given "'adequate law
libraries or adequate assistance from persons trained in the law' . . . to ensure that inmates
. . . have a reasonably adequate opportunity to file nonfrivolous legal claims challenging
their convictions or conditions of confinement") (quoting Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817,
828 (1977) (emphasis added)).
Instructions to Petitioner
Under Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure an initial pleading is required to
contain "(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court's jurisdiction
depends, . . . (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief, and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks."
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a).
The requirements of Rule 8(a) are intended to guarantee "that [respondents] enjoy fair notice of
what the claims against them are and the grounds upon which they rest."
Network, Inc. v. ESPN, Inc., 767 F. Supp. 1062, 1069 (D. Colo. 1991), aff=d, 964 F.2d 1022 (10th
Pro se litigants are not excused from compliance with the minimal pleading requirements
of Rule 8. "This is so because a pro se [litigant] requires no special legal training to recount the
facts surrounding his alleged injury, and he must provide such facts if the court is to determine
whether he makes out a claim on which relief can be granted." Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106,
1009 (10th Cir. 1991). Moreover, "it is not the proper function of the Court to assume the role
of advocate for a pro se litigant." Id. at 1110.
Thus, the Court cannot "supply additional facts,
[or] construct a legal theory for [petitioner] that assumes facts that have not been pleaded."
Dunn v. White, 880 F.2d 1188, 1197 (10th Cir. 1989).
Petitioner should consider the following general points before refiling his petition. First,
the revised petition must stand entirely on its own and shall not refer to, or incorporate by
reference, any portion of the original petition or any other documents previously filed by
Petitioner. See Murray v. Archambo, 132 F.3d 609, 612 (10th Cir. 1998) (amendment
supercedes original). Second, the petitioner must clearly state whom his custodian is and name
that person (a warden or ultimate supervisor of an imprisonment facility) as the respondent.
R. 2, Rs. Governing ' 2254 Cases in the U.S. Dist. Courts.
Third, Petitioner may generally
not bring civil-rights claims as to the conditions of his confinement in a habeas corpus petition.
Fourth, any claims about Petitioner's underlying conviction and/or sentencing should be brought
under 28 U.S.C.S. ' 2254; any claims about the execution of Petitioner's sentence should be
brought under 28 U.S.C.S. ' 2241. Fifth, Petitioner should seek help to prepare initial
pleadings from legal resources (e.g., contract attorneys) available where he is held.
Based on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
(1) Petitioner shall have THIRTY DAYS from the date of this order to cure the
deficiencies noted above.
(2) The Clerk's Office shall mail Petitioner a copy of the Pro Se Litigant Guide with a
proper form petition and/or civil-rights complaint for him to complete, according to the
(3) If Petitioner fails to timely cure the above-noted deficiencies, as instructed herein, this
action will be dismissed without further notice.
DATED this 14th day of January, 2016.
BY THE COURT:
JUDGE ROBERT J. SHELBY
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