United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
AARON L. STEPHEN, Petitioner,
NEAL JUMP, Respondent.
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Aaron L. Stephen (“Stephen”), who is currently
incarcerated at Glynn County Detention Center
(“GCDC”) in Brunswick, Georgia, filed a Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
(Doc. 1.) For the reasons which follow, the Court
DENIES Stephen's Motion to Proceed
in Forma Papueris, (doc. 2). Furthermore, I
RECOMMEND that the Court
DISMISS Stephen's Petition,
DIRECT the Clerk of Court to
CLOSE this case, and DENY
Stephen in forma pauperis status on appeal.
August 9, 2017, Stephen filed this Petition contesting the
conditions of his confinement. (Doc. 1.) In particular,
Stephen claims that Respondent violated his constitutional
rights by failing to provide him with an attorney and access
to an adequate law library. (Id. at p. 3.) Stephen
also alleges that his “conditions of confinement are
exactly parrallel [sic] to a accussed [sic] terrorist being
detained at [Guantanamo] Bay.” (Id.)
Whether Stephen Sets Forth Habeas Corpus Relief
Stephen brings this action under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, the
contentions he sets forth and the relief he seeks fall
outside the purview of that statute. Stephen's claims
would ordinarily be brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. The distinction between claims which may be brought
under Section 1983 and those which must be brought as habeas
petitions is reasonably well settled. Claims in which
prisoners challenge the circumstances of their confinement
are Section 1983 actions, not habeas actions. See,
e.g., Hill v. McDonough, 547 U.S. 573, 579
(2006). Habeas actions, in contrast, explicitly or by
necessary implication, challenge a prisoner's conviction
or the sentence imposed on him by a court (or under the
administrative system implementing the judgment). Preiser
v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973). Thus, for
example, when a prisoner makes a claim that, if successful,
could shorten or invalidate his term of imprisonment, the
claim must be brought as a habeas petition, not as a Section
1983 claim. See, e.g., Edwards v. Balisok,
520 U.S. 641 (1997); Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477
cannot bring the claims he asserts via a habeas petition. His
claims concerning lack of legal services at GCDC contest the
conditions of his confinement and are not cognizable pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Moreover, he does not seek to
challenge his sentence, conviction, or duration of
confinement. Rather, he simply requests that Respondent or
the Court provide him with an attorney. (Doc. 1, pp. 3-4.) In
fact, Plaintiff clearly states in his Petition that he
“has filed a 42 [U.S.C.] § 1983 petition/civil
action to contest the conditions of confinement, however that
may or may not be a proper remedy for the petitioner.”
(Id. at p. 4.)
the Court DENIES Stephen's Motion for
Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis, (doc. 2).
Additionally, I RECOMMEND that the Court
DISMISS Stephen's Petition.
Whether Stephen can Bring his Claims Pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
courts sometimes will ignore the legal label that a pro
se litigant attaches to a motion and recharacterize the
motion in order to place it within a different legal
category.” Retic v. United States, 215 F.
App'x 962, 964 (11th Cir. 2007) (quoting Castro v.
United States, 540 U.S. 375, 381 (2003)). This Court may
“recharacterize a pro se litigant's motion
to create a better correspondence between the substance of
the motion and its underlying legal basis.” Rameses
v. United States District Court, 523 F. App'x 691,
694 (11th Cir. 2013). Federal courts “may do so in
order to avoid an unnecessary dismissal, to avoid
inappropriately stringent application of formal labeling
requirements, or to create a better correspondence between
the substance of the motion and its underlying legal
basis.” Id. (quoting Castro, 540 U.S.
at 381- 82).
extent Stephen seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, his attempt also fails. As Stephen mentions in his
Petition, he has at least one pending Section 1983 action-a
search of the case management system reveals two-bringing the
same claims and alleging the same facts. (Doc. 1, p. 4);
see Compl., Stephen v. Austin, et al., No.
2:17-cv-93 (S.D. Ga. Aug. 7, 2017), ECF No. 1; Compl.,
Stephen v. Glynn Cty. Det. Ctr., No. 2:17-cv-79
(S.D. Ga. July 7, 2017), ECF No. 1. “It is well settled
that a plaintiff may not file duplicative complaints in order
to expand their legal rights.” Vanover v. NCO Fin.
Serv., Inc., 857 F.3d 833, 841 (11th Cir. 2017)
(quotations and citations omitted). Simply because Stephen
does not know whether a Section 2241 or Section 1983 action
will grant him relief does not mean that he may file
duplicative pleadings under both statutes. See also
Curtis v. Citibank, N.A., 226 F.3d 133, 138 (2d Cir.
2000) (“The power to dismiss a duplicative lawsuit is
meant to foster judicial economy and the ‘comprehensive
disposition of litigation.'”) (citing Kerotest
Mfg. Co. v. C-O-Two Fire Equipment Co., 342
U.S. 180, 183 (1952)); Oliney v. Gardner, 771 F.2d
856, 859 (5th Cir. 1985) (“When a plaintiff files a
second complaint alleging the same cause of action as a
prior, pending, related action, the second complaint
may be dismissed.”) (emphasis in original); Walton
v. Eaton Corp., 563 F.2d 66, 70 (3d. Cir. 1977)
(“[I]t is clear that [plaintiff] had no right to
maintain two separate actions involving the same subject
matter at the same time in the same court and against the
Section 1983 liability must be based on something more than a
defendant's supervisory position or a theory of
respondeat superior. Bryant v. Jones, 575
F.3d 1281, 1299 (11th Cir. 2009); Braddy v. Fla.
Dep't of Labor & Emp't Sec., 133 F.3d 797,
801 (11th Cir. 1998). A supervisor may be liable only through
personal participation in the alleged constitutional
violation or when there is a causal connection between the
supervisor's conduct and the alleged violations.
Id. at 802. “To state a claim against a
supervisory defendant, the plaintiff must allege (1) the
supervisor's personal involvement in the violation of his
constitutional rights, (2) the existence of a custom or
policy that resulted in deliberate indifference to the
plaintiff's constitutional rights, (3) facts supporting
an inference that the supervisor directed the unlawful action
or knowingly failed to prevent it, or (4) a history of
widespread abuse that put the supervisor on notice of an
alleged deprivation that he then failed to correct.”
Barr v. Gee, 437 F. App'x 865, 875 (11th Cir.
Stephen fails to make any factual allegations that Respondent
directly participated in or was otherwise causally connected
to the alleged deprivation of his constitutional rights.
Thus, for all the reasons stated above, ...