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Dennis v. Superintendent

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

June 3, 2014

MICHAEL J. DENNIS, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT, Respondent.

ENTRY STRIKING CLAIM FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF IN HABEAS PETITION AND DIRECTING FILING OF AMENDED PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.

Petitioner Michael Dennis has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus. He seeks both his release from confinement based on his 2013 conviction in an Indiana state court for intimidation and injunctive relief as to the Indiana Department of Correction's failure to provide adequate legal assistance to prison mental health patients.

I.

A.

Dennis shall have through June 20, 2014, in which to either pay the $5.00 filing fee for this action or demonstrate his financial inability to do so.

B.

The petitioner's custodian, named in his official capacity only, is substituted as the respondent in this action. All of the co-respondents named in the petition are stricken.

II.

Dennis' petition sits on the interstices between the Civil Rights Act and a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Holsey v. Bass, 519 F.Supp. 395, 399 (D.Md. 1981), aff'd sub nom. Todd v. Baskerville, 712 F.2d 70 (4th Cir. 1983). His challenge to the condition of his confinement does not fall within the "core of habeas." Nelson v. Campbell, 541 U.S. 637, 643 (2004) ("[C]onstitutional 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 ยง 1983.")

III.

A.

"A necessary predicate for the granting of federal habeas relief [to a petitioner] is a determination by the federal court that [his or her] custody violates the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." Rose v. Hodges, 423 U.S. 19, 21 (1975). Dennis' habeas petition is infused with awkward and confused verbiage. This problem is compounded with the fact that notice pleading does not suffice in an action for habeas corpus relief. See Lloyd v. Van Natta, 296 F.3d 630, 633 (7th Cir. 2002).

B.

Dennis will be permitted another opportunity to submit a filing which is sufficient. To be sufficient, Dennis must identify the cause of his restraint with the scope of interests which can be vindicated through the habeas corpus statute and must sufficiently identify both a ...


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