Case No. 3:17-CV-05600-BHS-DWC.


United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma.

Editors Note
Applicable Law: 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Cause: 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Prisoner Civil Rights
Nature of Suit: 550 Prisoner: Civil Rights
Source: PACER

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Joseph Michael Donnette-Sherman, Plaintiff, Pro Se.


DAVID W. CHRISTEL, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Joseph Michael Donnette-Sherman, proceeding pro se, filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Dkt. 1-1.1 Having reviewed and screened Plaintiff's Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court declines to serve the Complaint but provides Plaintiff leave to file an amended pleading by September 11, 2017, to cure the deficiencies identified herein.

In his Complaint, Plaintiff requests only that the Court overturn his verdict and "restore his life which has taken from [him] unconstitutionally due to due process violations." Dkt. 1-1, p. 4. An "action lying at the core of habeas corpus is one that goes directly to the constitutionality of the prisoner's physical confinement itself and seeks either immediate release from that confinement or the shortening of its duration. With regard to such actions, habeas corpus is now considered the prisoner's exclusive remedy." Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 503 (1973) (internal quotation omitted). "A civil rights action, in contrast, is the proper method of challenging conditions of confinement." Badea v. Cox, 931 F.3d 573, 574 (9th Cir. 1991).

Here, Plaintiff filed a civil rights action wherein he challenges his physical confinement, requesting his conviction be overturned. Plaintiff's requested relief, which challenges the fact and duration of his custody, is properly raised in a § 2254 Petition, not a § 1983 Complaint. Therefore, Plaintiff has failed to state a viable § 1983 claim.

If Plaintiff intends to pursue this § 1983 civil rights action, he must file an amended complaint on the form provided by the Court, including only claims challenging the conditions of his confinement. Plaintiff may file a separate § 2254 habeas petition challenging the fact or duration of his custody on the form provided by the Court.

The amended § 1983 complaint must contain a short, plain statement telling the Court: (1) the constitutional right Plaintiff believes was violated; (2) the name of the person who violated the right; (3) exactly what the individual did or failed to do; (4) how the action or inaction of the individual is connected to the violation of Plaintiff's constitutional rights; and (5) what specific injury Plaintiff suffered because of the individual's conduct. See Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72, 377 (1976).

Plaintiff shall present the amended complaint on the form provided by the Court. The amended complaint must be legibly rewritten or retyped in its entirety, it should be an original and not a copy, it should contain the same case number, and it may not incorporate any part of the original complaint by reference. The amended complaint will act as a complete substitute for the original Complaint, and not as a supplement. The Court will screen the amended complaint to determine whether it contains factual allegations linking each defendant to the alleged violations of Plaintiff's rights. The Court will not authorize service of the amended complaint on any defendant who is not specifically linked to a violation of Plaintiff's rights.

If Plaintiff fails to file an amended complaint or fails to adequately address the issues raised herein on or before September 11, 2017, the undersigned will recommend dismissal of this action.

The Clerk is directed to send Plaintiff the appropriate forms for filing a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights complaint and for service and the forms for filing a petition for habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The Clerk is further directed to send copies of this Order and Pro Se Instruction Sheet to Plaintiff.


You must comply with the following instructions before the Clerk will file your Complaint

Local Rule CR 103, Local Rules for the Western District of Washington, requires you to submit your Complaint on the form furnished by the Court (a § 1983 form is attached). The clerk will upload the complaint to the docket and make copies of it for service upon the defendant(s). Plaintiff should keep a copy of the complaint for his or her own records; the clerk will not routinely return a copy of the complaint to plaintiff.

You must submit either the full $400.00 filing fee or a completed in forma pauperis application, including a certified copy of your prisoner account. Carefully read the information sheet for prisoners seeking leave to proceed in forma pauperis (without prepayment of the entire filing fee).

You may bring your Complaint to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington only if one or more of the named defendants is located within this district, or if your claim arose from this district. If you have more than one claim, you must file a separate complaint for each claim unless they are related to the same incident or issue.

Your Complaint must be legibly handwritten or typed. NOTE: DO NOT WRITE ON THE BACK OF ANY OF THE PAGES OF THE COMPLAINT; any writing on the back of any page might not be considered by the Court. You must sign the Complaint and declare under penalty of perjury that the facts stated in the Complaint are correct. If you need additional space to answer a question, you should attach an additional page.

You are required to state facts in support of each claim. The Complaint should refer to the provision of the federal constitution or federal law on which you are relying. THE COMPLAINT SHOULD NOT CONTAIN LEGAL ARGUMENTS OR CITATIONS.

You must keep the Clerk of the Court informed of any change of address. If you fail to do so, the Clerk cannot be responsible for your failure to receive Court Orders. This also could result in the dismissal of your suit.

If your claim arose in King, Snohomish, Skagit, If your claim arose in any other county in the Whatcom or Island Counties, mail your completed Western District of Washington, mail your forms, the originals and all copies to: completed forms, the originals and all copies to: Clerk, U.S. District Court Clerk, U.S. District Court 700 Stewart Street, Suite 2310 1717 Pacific Ave, Room 3100 Seattle WA 98101-1271 Tacoma WA 98402

NOTE: If you are housed at a Department of Corrections facility subject to the Prisoner Electronic Filing Initiative pursuant to General Orders 02-15 and 06-16, you may fulfill this mailing requirement by submitting your documents to the appropriate person at your facility who will transmit your documents electronically to the U.S. District Court. Your facility will receive any documents filed in your case electronically on your behalf.


1. Plaintiff also filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. Dkt. 1. However, the Court finds it improbable Plaintiff will be able to cure the deficiencies of his Complaint and therefore will not rule on the request to proceed in forma pauperis until Plaintiff has filed an amended complaint.


1000 Characters Remaining reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

User Comments

Listed below are the cases that are cited in this Featured Case. Click the citation to see the full text of the cited case. Citations are also linked in the body of the Featured Case.

Cited Cases

  • No Cases Found

Listed below are those cases in which this Featured Case is cited. Click on the case name to see the full text of the citing case.

Citing Cases