United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
AND DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
A. Otake United States District Judge.
the Court is pro se prisoner Sione Finefeuiaki's Petition
Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
(“Petition”). ECF No. 1. Finefeuiaki states that
he is awaiting trial in the Circuit Court of the Second
Circuit, State of Hawaii, in State v. Finefeuiaki,
Cr. No. 2CPC-18-0000090 (Haw. 2d Cir. Ct. 2018), and
State v. Finefeuiaki, Cr. No. 2CPC-17-0000945 (Haw.
2d Cir. Ct. 2017). See Pet., ECF No. 1, PageID
As a pretrial detainee, Finefeuiaki does not challenge his
sentence or conviction, or the fact of his pretrial
detention, but instead challenges the conditions of his
confinement at the Maui Community Correctional Center
(“MCCC”). For the following reasons, the Petition
is DISMISSED and any request for a certificate of
appealability is DENIED.
complains that inmates and guards at MCCC have harassed,
targeted, and assaulted him, and that MCCC officials falsely
charged him with disciplinary infractions between March and
November 2018. He complains overall that MCCC officials have
not provided him safe custody at MCCC. Finefeuiaki has
grieved these claims through the facility's grievance
system, but it does not appear that he has sought relief in
the Hawaii state courts.
has raised substantially similar claims in two of his recent
federal civil rights actions. See Finefeuiaki v.
Zane, No. 1:18-cv-00249 DKW-KJM (D. Haw. June 25, 2018);
and Finefeuiaki v. Maui Cmty. Corr. Ctr. and Staff also
Affiliates, No. 1:18-cv-00453-HG-KSC (D. Haw. Nov. 19,
seeks an injunctive order directing the State of Hawaii to
grant him supervised release, probation, transfer to federal
custody, rehabilitation, or simply drop his criminal charges.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
2241 allows “the Supreme Court, any justice thereof,
the district courts and any circuit judge” to entertain
a writ of habeas corpus “within their respective
jurisdictions, ” from a person claiming to be “in
custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties
of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(a) and
(c)(3). A district court considering an application for a
writ of habeas corpus shall “award the writ or issue an
order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ
should not be granted, unless it appears from the application
that the applicant or person detained is not entitled
thereto.” 28 U.S.C. § 2243.
of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases (the “Habeas
Rules”) applies to habeas petitions brought pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241 and requires summary dismissal of a habeas
petition if “it plainly appears from the petition and
any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court.”
law opens two main avenues to relief on complaints related to
imprisonment: a petition for habeas corpus and a civil rights
complaint. See Muhammad v. Close, 540 U.S. 749, 750
(2004). “[H]abeas is the exclusive vehicle for claims
brought by state prisoners that fall within the core of
habeas corpus, and such claims may not be brought in a §
1983 [civil rights] action.” Nettles v.
Grounds, 830 F.3d 922, 927 (9th Cir. 2016) (en banc).
Nettles further sets forth “the correlative
rule that a § 1983 action is the exclusive vehicle for
claims brought by state prisoners that are not within the
core of habeas corpus.” Id. That is, claims
challenging “the fact or duration of the conviction or
sentence” are within the core of habeas, while claims
challenging “any other aspect of prison life” are
properly brought as civil rights actions. Id. at
934. If success on a habeas petitioner's claim would not
necessarily lead to his immediate or earlier release
from confinement, the claim does not fall within “the
core of habeas corpus” and thus, is not cognizable
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Id. at 935 (citing
Skinner v. Switzer, 562 U.S. 521 (2012)).
on Finefeuiaki's challenge to the conditions of his
confinement at MCCC will not lead to his immediate or earlier
release. Rather, success here might lead to an award of
damages, discipline for those allegedly responsible for
Finefeuaki's claims, or perhaps a negotiated settlement
between the State and Finefeuiaki that includes a transfer to
another state prison while he awaits trial. Finefeuiaki's
Petition clearly does not fall within the “core”
of habeas, however, and his claims “must be brought, if
at all, under § 1983.” Nettles, 830 F.3d
at 927. Finefeuiaki fails to state a cognizable federal
habeas claim for relief and the Petition is DISMISSED.
CONVERSION OF THE PETITION
district court may construe a petition for habeas corpus to
plead a cause of action under § 1983 after notifying and
obtaining informed consent from the prisoner.”
Nettles, 830 F.3d at 936. “If the complaint is
amenable to conversion on its face, meaning it names the
correct defendants and seeks the correct relief, the court
may recharacterize the petition so long as it warns the pro
se litigant of the consequences of the conversion and
provides an ...