United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Devell Harvey, Pro Se Petitioner.
P. JONES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
petitioner, Tamar Devell Harvey, a state prisoner proceeding
pro se, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, among other things, alleging
that prison officials’ inadequate medical care entitles
him to release from incarceration. After review of the
petition and the record, I find that the petition must be
to the petition and state court records available online,
Harvey pleaded guilty in the Richmond City Circuit Court to
charges of robbery of a banking institution and wearing a
mask in public. He was sentenced on November 20, 2014, to a
prison term and is now incarcerated at Augusta Correctional
Center. Harvey did not appeal his convictions. Moreover,
state court records online appear to indicate that he has not
filed habeas corpus proceedings in any state court.
has pursued civil actions about the medical care he has
received while in jail or prison. First, Harvey filed a
§ 1983 complaint in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Virginia against medical staff at the
Richmond City Jail, where he was incarcerated from December
2013 to January 2015. The Eastern District granted the
defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment, and the United
States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed.
See Harvey v. Emran, No. 1:14CV657 GBL/TCB, 2015 WL
6694094, at *1 (E.D. Va. Oct. 30, 2015),
aff’d, No. 15-7818, 2016 WL 3162967 (4th Cir.
June 7, 2016)(unpublished).
has also filed a § 1983 action in this court. See
Harvey v. Moreno, No. 7:16CV00097. In his § 1983
complaint, Harvey alleges that medical professionals at
Augusta Correctional Center have provided inadequate medical
care during his incarceration there from November 2015
through March 2016. (Compl., ECF No. 1.) The § 1983 case
is currently before the Hon. Elizabeth K. Dillon, United
States District Judge, on the parties’ Motions for
stated, before me in the instant case is Harvey’s
§ 2254 petition. Harvey contends that the allegedly
inadequate medical treatment he has received while
incarcerated violated his Eighth Amendment rights so that he
is entitled to habeas relief in the form of release from
confinement. Harvey also seeks monetary damages.
federal habeas corpus statutes grant a district court
jurisdiction to entertain petitions for habeas corpus relief
for persons who demonstrate that they are “in custody
in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.” 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241(c)(3),
2254(a); Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 490 (1989).
“It is well settled that challenges to the fact or
length of confinement are properly considered in the context
of habeas corpus” while challenges to the conditions of
one’s confinement are properly brought as civil rights
actions. See Plyler v. Moore, 129 F.3d 728, 733 (4th
Cir. 1997) (citing Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S.
475, 487-88 (1973) (holding that a challenge to the length of
“actual confinement in prison” must be brought as
a habeas corpus action)); Todd v. Baskerville, 712
F.2d 70, 72 (4th Cir. 1983). [If a] petition challenges the
conditions of [the petitioner’s] confinement rather
than the fact or length of his confinement, it cannot proceed
as a habeas corpus action.
Robinson v. Creasey, No. 5:07-CV-00347, 2009 WL
1073642, at *8 (S.D. W.Va. Apr. 21, 2009). Accordingly,
challenges to conditions of confinement, such as access to
medical care, are not properly brought by way of Federal
habeas corpus proceedings. McCain v. Garrity, No.
3:02CV435, 2002 WL 32362032 (E.D. Va. July 16, 2002) (finding
a claim relating to medical care was improperly advanced
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241). Similarly,
If a state prisoner is seeking damages, he is attacking
something other than the fact or length of his confinement,
and he is seeking something other than immediate or more
speedy release-the traditional purpose of habeas corpus. In
the case of a damages claim, ...