United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO CORRECT DEFICIENCIES IN
IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION
RICHARD CREATURA, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on plaintiff's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) and
proposed complaint. See Dkt. 6. Because plaintiff
does not clearly specify whether he seeks relief through a
habeas petition or a § 1983 action, the undersigned
orders plaintiff to amend his IFP application by filing
either a completed § 1983 form or a completed §
2241 form in this matter.
states that defendants jailed him for 121 days without
“his right to appear before a judge” as a
pretrial detainee, which he alleges was a violation of due
process. See Dkt. 1-1, at 1. It is unclear what
court appearance plaintiff claims he did not receive.
also unclear from plaintiff's proposed complaint whether
plaintiff seeks to proceed with this matter as a civil action
for relief from unlawful conditions of confinement under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 or whether plaintiff seeks to challenge
the validity of his confinement through a habeas petition.
Although some of plaintiff's IFP application is on the
§ 1983 form (see Dkt. 1, at 1-3), a portion of
the application appears to be on a form for filing a habeas
petition. See Dkt. 1-1, at 3. And although plaintiff
seeks damages-a form of relief in a § 1983 action-he
also appears to be challenging whether his continued
incarceration is valid-a form of relief usually associated
with a habeas petition-by claiming that he is being held in
violation of due process and requesting that this Court
assume jurisdiction over his criminal proceedings.
See Dkt. 1-1, at 2-3.
pretrial detainee may bring an action under § 1983 for
“constitutional questions regarding the . . .
circumstances of [his] confinement[.]” See
Trueblood v. Wash. State Dep't of Soc. & Health
Servs., 822 F.3d 1037, 1043 (9th Cir. 2016) (quoting
Or. Advocacy Ctr. v. Mink, 322 F.3d 1101, 1120 (9th
Cir. 2003)). A prisoner who seeks monetary damages because of
an alleged violation of constitutional rights must file a
civil rights action pursuant to § 1983. See Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 482-83 (1994); see also
Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 494 (1973)
(“If a state prisoner is seeking damages, he is
attacking something other than the fact or length of his
confinement, and he is seeking something other than immediate
or more speedy release-the traditional purpose of habeas
corpus.”). Importantly, however, “when a state
prisoner is challenging the very fact or duration of [the
prisoner's] physical imprisonment, and the relief [the
prisoner] seeks is a determination that [the prisoner] is
entitled to immediate release or a speedier release from that
imprisonment, [the prisoner's] sole remedy is a writ of
habeas corpus.” Preiser, 411 U.S. at 500.
plaintiff is challenging the validity of his continued
pretrial detention, then the appropriate course of action is
for him to file a habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. §
2241. See McNeely v. Blanas, 336 F.3d 822, 824 n.1
(9th Cir. 2003) (“[B]ecause Petitioner is a pretrial
detainee, he is not being held ‘pursuant to the
judgment of a State court.' 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Therefore, his claims falls under 28 U.S.C. §
2241.”). An “action lying at the core of habeas
corpus is one that goes directly to the constitutionality of
the prisoner's physical confinement itself[.]”
Preiser, 411 U.S. at 503.
if plaintiff wishes to proceed on claims to challenge the
fact or duration of his custody under § 2241, he must
file a § 2241 petition on the form provided by the
Court. If plaintiff is seeking to challenge something other
than the fact or duration of his confinement- for instance,
if he is seeking damages for conditions of confinement in
violation of the U.S. Constitution-then he should file a
§ 1983 complaint on the form provided by the Court.
AND DIRECTIONS TO CLERK
the filing fees for § 2241 and § 1983 actions are
different, the Court declines to rule on plaintiff's IFP
application until plaintiff has clarified the nature of his
suit. The Court directs the Clerk's Office to re-note
plaintiff's IFP application for November 18,
2019 and to send plaintiff a copy of this Order, the
forms for filing a § 1983 and a § 2241, and the
Court's prisoner litigation guide.
shall file either a completed § 1983 complaint or a
§ 2241 petition on or before November 18, 2019. Failure
to do so or to otherwise show cause shall be treated as a
failure to ...