United States District Court, W.D. Washington
ORDER TO AMEND HABEAS PETITION
Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge
proceeding pro se, filed a Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Dkt. 4. The
filing is defective because petitioner has not presented his
federal habeas claims on the Court's form for § 2254
habeas petitions, it is directed to the wrong respondent, and
petitioner has not properly identified his claims or
indicated the procedural history relating to his claims.
Petitioner also attempts to include claims challenging the
conditions of his confinement. The Court provides petitioner
leave to file an amended petition by June 24, 2017 to cure
the deficiencies identified herein.
Improper Habeas Claims
“action lying at the core of habeas corpus is one that
goes directly to the constitutionality of the prisoner's
physical confinement itself and seeks either immediate
release from that confinement or the shortening of its
duration. With regard to such actions, habeas corpus is now
considered the prisoner's exclusive remedy.”
Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 503 (1973)
(internal quotation omitted). “A civil rights action,
in contrast, is the proper method of challenging conditions
of confinement.” Badea v. Cox, 931 F.3d 573,
574 (9th Cir. 1991); see also Bivens v Six Unknown Agents
of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).
petitioner challenges both the fact or duration of his
confinement and his conditions of confinement. The claims
challenging the fact or duration of his confinement may be
considered as part of this habeas petition, but the claims
challenging his conditions of confinement can only be
considered in a separate § 1983 civil rights complaint.
Petitioner challenges the fact and duration of his
confinement by alleging that he is wrongfully confined as a
sexually violent predator based on a fraudulent mental health
diagnosis. Dkt. 4 at 1, 53. Petitioner contends that the
state court failed to investigate his mental disorder. Dkt. 4
at 6. Petitioner contends that the state court refused to
dismiss the fraudulent probable cause warrant, failed to
disclose evidence, and denied his request for a Frye
hearing. Id. at 9, 11, 12. Petitioner contends that
the prosecution engaged in misconduct by providing erroneous
instructions and speculative evidence. Id. at 14.
Petitioner also contends he received ineffective assistance
of counsel. Dkt. 4 at 18.
challenges his conditions of his confinement by alleging that
his Eighth Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual
punishment was violated when petitioner was illegally
detained. Dkt. 4 at 18. Petitioner also contends that his
equal protection rights were violated because he has been
treated differently than others who are confined in
Washington state. Id. Petitioner's Eighth
Amendment and equal protection claims do not challenge the
fact or duration of his custody and cannot form the basis of
habeas relief. These claims must be brought in a §1983
civil rights complaint. See Alcala v. Rios, 434
Fed.Appx. 668, 669-70 (9th Cir. 2011) (finding claims
challenging the conditions of confinement were not cognizable
as a federal habeas petition and should be brought as a civil
rights action). Petitioner may file a separate civil cause of
action raising his § 1983 claims.
Amended Habeas Petition
petitioner wishes to proceed on his claims challenging the
fact or duration of his custody under § 2254, he must
file an amended petition containing only claims challenging
the fact or duration of his detention.
under Rule 2(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases,
“the petition must name as respondent the state officer
who has custody.” Here, petitioner names Brian Judd,
the SCC, the Attorney General's Office and the Department
of Social and Health Services as respondents. Dkt. 4. The
proper respondent to a habeas petition is the “person
who has custody over [the petitioner].” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2242; see also § 2243; Brittingham v. United
States, 982 F.2d 378 (9th Cir. 1992); Dunne v.
Henman, 875 F.2d 244, 249 (9th Cir. 1989). According to
his petition, petitioner is currently confined at the SCC.
The CEO of the SCC is William Van Hook, and therefore, Mr.
Van Hook is the appropriate respondent.
the petition must:
(1) specify all the grounds for relief available to the
petitioner; (2) state the facts supporting each ground; (3)
state the relief requested; (4) be printed, typewritten, or
legibly handwritten; and (5) be signed under penalty of
perjury by the petitioner or person authorized to sign it for
the petitioner under 28 U.S.C. §2242.
Id. at Rule 2(c). The petition must
“substantially follow” a form prescribed by the
local district court or the form attached to the Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases. Id. at Rule 2(d).
on petitioner's filing, the Court is unable to determine
whether petitioner properly exhausted the remedies available
in the Washington state courts. Petitioner is advised that he
may pursue federal habeas relief only after he has
exhausted his state judicial remedies. See Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973). The exhaustion of
state court remedies is a prerequisite to the granting of a
petition for writ of habeas corpus. 28 U.S.C. §
2254(b)(1). A petitioner can satisfy the exhaustion
requirement by providing the highest state court with a full
and fair opportunity to consider all claims before presenting
them to the federal court. Picard v. Connor, 404
U.S. 270, 276 (1971); Middleton v. Cupp, 768 F.2d
1083, 1086 (9th Cir. 1985).
the Court cannot determine whether the petition has been
timely filed in this Court. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A)
requires a prisoner to file a habeas petition within one year
of “the date on which the [state court] judgment [of
conviction] became final by the conclusion of ...