United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
T. TREADWELL, JUDGE.
Waseem Daker, an inmate currently confined at Macon State
Prison, has filed a pleading using the Court's standard
form petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. Pet., ECF No. 1. In the body of his pleading,
Petitioner states that he brings civil rights claims under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 and is entitled to proceed under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241. Pet. 1, ECF No. 1-1. Petitioner seeks to
challenge the conditions of his confinement and raises a
Fourteenth Amendment due process claim, First Amendment free
speech claims, First Amendment access to courts claims, First
Amendment religious exercise claims, a claim arising under
the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
(“RLUIPA”), and Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs claims.
discussed below, these claims are not cognizable in a habeas
action, and to the extent that Petitioner's pleading can
be construed as arising under § 1983, he is barred from
proceeding in forma pauperis as he has accumulated
three strikes for purposes of 1915(g).
the instant action is DISMISSED WITHOUT
Petitioner Cannot Proceed Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 or
Petitioner primarily styles this case as a habeas action
brought under § 2254 or § 2241, the substance of
his filing challenges the conditions of his confinement.
“Federal law opens two main avenues to relief on
complaints related to imprisonment: a petition for habeas
corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2254, and a complaint under the
Civil Rights Act of 1871, Rev. Stat. § 1979, as amended,
42 U.S.C. § 1983.” Hill v. McDonough, 547
U.S. 573, 578 (2006). “These avenues are mutually
exclusive: if a claim can be raised in a federal habeas
petition, that same claim cannot be raised in a separate
§ 1983 civil rights action.” Hutcherson v.
Riley, 468 F.3d 750, 754 (11th Cir. 2006) (citing
Nelson v. Campbell, 541 U.S. 637, 643 (2004)).
“The line of demarcation between a § 1983 civil
rights action and a § 2254 habeas claim is based on the
effect of the claim on the inmate's conviction and/or
sentence.” Id. “Challenges to the
validity of any confinement or to the particulars affecting
its duration are the province of habeas corpus.”
Muhammad v. Close, 540 U.S. 749, 750 (2004) (citing
Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 500 (1973)).
“Such claims fall within the ‘core' of habeas
. . . [b]y contrast, constitutional claims that merely
challenge the conditions of a prisoner's confinement,
whether the inmate seeks monetary or injunctive relief, fall
outside of that core and may be brought pursuant to §
1983 in the first instance.” Nelson, 541 U.S.
at 643 (citing Muhammad, 540 U.S. at 750 and
Preiser, 411 U.S. at 498-99).
case, Petitioner seeks to challenge the conditions of
confinement he experiences in Tier II administrative
segregation at Macon State Prison and primarily seeks return
to general population. Petitioner does not seek speedier or
immediate release, does not challenge his sentence and
conviction, and his claims for relief implicate neither.
Therefore, the appropriate cause of action for
Petitioner's claims is a civil rights complaint under
three separate locations on the Petition, Petitioner has
handwritten “does not challenge [his] conviction or
sentence but [his] segregation/solitary confinement,
Medberry v. Crosby, 351 F.3d 1049, 1053 (11th Cir.
2003).” Pet. 1, 4-5, ECF No. 1. To the extent that
Petitioner has cited Medberry for the proposition
that he may challenge his placement in administrative
segregation through a petition for writ of habeas corpus, his
reliance is misplaced. In Medberry, the Eleventh
Circuit held that “‘it is proper for a district
court to treat a petition for release from administrative
segregation as a petition for a writ of habeas corpus'
because ‘[s]uch release falls into the category of
“fact or duration of. . . physical imprisonment'
delineated in Preiser v.
Rodriguez.”'” Medberry, 351
F.3d at 1053 (ellipsis in original) (quoting Krist v.
Ricketts, 504 F.2d 887, 887-88 (5th Cir. 1974)).
Medberry, however, concerned a challenge to a
Florida inmate's loss of gain time credits resulting from
prison disciplinary proceedings. Tedesco v. Sec'y for
Dep't of Corr., 190 Fed.Appx. 752, 755 (11th Cir.
2006) (“In Medberry, we held that a state
prisoner may file a habeas corpus petition to challenge the
loss of gain time as a result of state prison disciplinary
proceeding that allegedly violates his due process right
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.”). Because gain time
credits implicate the duration of an inmate's
confinement, a due process claim based on a deprivation of
gain time credits is “a proper subject for a federal
habeas corpus proceeding.” Wolff v. McDonnell,
418 U.S. 539, 557 (1974).
is not incarcerated in Florida; he is in the custody of the
Georgia Department of Corrections. The Georgia Department of
Corrections does not award gain time credits for good
behavior, and Petitioner does not allege that he has lost
gain time credits as a result of disciplinary proceedings.
Therefore, Petitioner's civil rights claims do not affect
the duration of his confinement. Instead, even if Petitioner
prevailed on all of his claims and received all the relief
demanded, “the duration of his sentence will not be
shortened by one moment.” McKinnis v. Mosely,
693 F.2d 1054, 1057 (11th Cir. 1982). Accordingly,
Petitioner's claims do not fall within the core of
habeas, and are properly brought in a Section 1983 action.
See id. (determining that challenge to
administrative segregation which did not implicate duration
of confinement should have been reviewed under Section
1983); Jaske v. Hanks, 27 Fed.Appx.
622, 623 (7th Cir. 2001) (affirming dismissal of habeas
petition challenging sentence to disciplinary segregation
because “disciplinary segregation affects the severity
rather than the duration of custody”); Davis v.
U.S. Dep't of Justice, 180 Fed.Appx. 404, 405 (3d
Cir. 2006) (“A sanction of disciplinary segregation 
does not implicate the fact or length of
claims are not cognizable in a habeas action and are properly
raised in a civil rights complaint under § 1983.
“When a pro se habeas corpus petition may be
fairly read to state a claim under the Civil Rights Act, it
should be so construed.” McDonald v. Bates, 23
Fed.Appx. 828, 828 (9th Cir. 2001); Carson v.
Johnson, 112 F.3d 818, 820-21 (5th Cir. 1997) (affirming
district court's treatment of purported habeas petition
as a claim brought under § 1983); United States v.
Jordan, 915 F.2d 622, 624-25 (11th Cir. 1990)
(“Federal Courts have long recognized that they have an
obligation to look behind the label of a motion filed by a
pro se inmate and determine whether the motion is, in effect,
cognizable under a different remedial statutory
framework.”). Therefore, the Court will analyze
Petitioner's claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. So
construed, Petitioner is barred from proceeding in forma
pauperis as he has accumulated three strikes under
1915(g), and he failed to pay the entire filing fee upon
initiating this suit. Therefore, his Complaint must be
law prohibits a prisoner from bringing a civil action in
federal court in forma pauperis
if [he] has, on 3 or more prior occasions, while incarcerated
or detained in any facility, brought an action or appeal in a
court of the United States that was dismissed on the grounds
that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, unless the prisoner is
under imminent danger of serious physical injury.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). This is known as the “three
strikes provision.” Under § 1915(g), a prisoner
incurs a “strike” any time he has a federal
lawsuit or appeal dismissed on the grounds that it is
frivolous or malicious or fails to state a claim.
Medberry, 185 F.3d at 1193. If a prisoner incurs
three strikes, his ability to proceed in forma
pauperis in federal court is greatly limited and leave