United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. BODENHAUSEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is pro se petitioner Stanley Johnson's
application for writ of habeas corpus as well as his motion
to proceed in forma pauperis in this matter. ECF
Nos. 1, 2. Stanley Johnson (Missouri inmate no. 532402) is
currently incarcerated at the Southeast Correctional Center
(“SECC”) in Charleston, Missouri. As discussed
below, the Court has reviewed Johnson's filings and
believes that this case, although styled as a habeas corpus
action, is best interpreted as a civil rights case, brought
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. As such, Johnson will be
directed to file an amended complaint on the Court-provided
Prisoner Civil Rights Complaint form. Also, the Court will
order that Johnson submit a certified prison account
statement for consideration with his motion to proceed in
December 23, 2019, Johnson filed a form “Petition under
28 U.S.C. § 2254” which contains “N/A”
in response to almost all of the questions. ECF No. 1. The
only information provided in the petition is a claim for an
“American Disability violation” at SECC.
Id. at 5. Johnson states that on December 4, 2019,
after being transferred to a new cell at SECC, he was not
allowed to retrieve the “Hearing Impaired” sign
that he hangs on his cell door from his old cell. He then
alleges that defendant Jason Lewis, the warden at SECC,
tolerates hatred, racism against black inmates, and
discrimination violations based on the Americans with
Disabilities Act. Johnson seeks the following relief:
“American Disability Act Rights restored back to me.
Hearing impaired sign on cell door / ID card.”
Id. at 14.
to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
same time as his petition filing, Johnson submitted a form
“Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and Affidavit in
Support - Habeas Cases.” ECF No. 2. On that form,
Johnson states that he is not employed and he has had no
income in the last twelve (12) months. Under the Court's
Local Rule 2.05(A), the Court may require the submission of
additional information when in forma pauperis status
is sought from the Court. For example, the Court's form
“Application to Proceed without Prepayment of Fees or
Costs” - which is usually submitted by prisoner
plaintiffs filing civil rights complaints under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 - states that if a plaintiff is incarcerated and
he has a prison account at the institution at which he is
being held, he is required to submit a certified prison
account statement with his motion to proceed in forma
pauperis. This prison account statement is needed by the
Court in order to calculate a plaintiff's initial partial
filing fee amount. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
review of the Court's own records indicates that Stanley
Johnson (Missouri inmate no. 532402) filed a previous
petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2254 with this Court on October 3, 2013. See Johnson v.
Wallace, No. 4:13-CV-1994-JMB (E.D. Mo. 2013).
Johnson's petition in that matter was challenging a 2009
Missouri state court conviction for first degree murder and
forcible rape. Johnson's petition for relief was
dismissed as untimely on February 26, 2016, and he did not
file an appeal.
the federal habeas corpus statute, 28 U.S.C. § 2254, and
the civil rights statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, provide
access to a federal forum for claims of unconstitutional
treatment at the hands of state officials. But these statutes
differ in both scope and operation.
a prisoner's challenge to the validity of his confinement
or to matters affecting its duration falls within the
province of habeas corpus and, therefore, must be brought
pursuant to § 2254. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411
U.S. 475, 500 (1973). On the other hand, challenges involving
the circumstances of confinement, or how one ended up in
confinement, may be presented in a § 1983 action. Often,
the Court looks to the relief requested by plaintiff to see
what type of action he is seeking. If plaintiff is seeking
money damages for civil rights violations relating to his
conditions of confinement, the case is most likely a §
1983 action. However, if plaintiff is seeking to expunge or
vacate his conviction, the action is most likely one brought
pursuant to habeas corpus, or § 2254.
case, Johnson seeks the return of the ‘Hearing
Impaired' sign that he hangs on his cell door at SECC. He
does not challenge the validity or duration of his
confinement; instead, he complains about a condition of
confinement. As such, this matter is more properly brought as
a civil rights action.
Court will order Johnson to amend his complaint on a
court-provided Prisoner Civil Rights Complaint Form and,
assuming he maintains an account at SECC, produce a certified
prisoner account statement. After Johnson complies with the
aforementioned, he will be assessed an initial partial filing
fee based on his ability to pay a portion of the filing fee
and this case will be reviewed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.§
1915 for frivolousness, maliciousness, and for failure to
state a claim.
shall have thirty (30) days from the date of this Order to
file his amended complaint. Plaintiff is warned that the
filing of the amended complaint completely
replaces the original filing, and claims that
are not re-alleged are deemed abandoned. E.g., In re
Wireless Telephone Federal Cost Recovery Fees
Litigation,396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005). If
plaintiff fails to ...