United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Lisa A. Biron, Petitioner,
Nanette Barnes, Respondent.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Leo I. Brisbois United States Magistrate Judge
matter comes before the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge upon routine supervision of the cases that pend before
the Court pursuant to a general assignment made in accordance
with the provision of 28 U.S.C. Â§ 636.
Lisa A. Biron, a prisoner at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Waseca, Minnesota, began this action by filing
a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. Â§
2241. (Petition [Docket No. 1]). Biron's current claims
for relief, however, cannot properly be addressed or decided
in a habeas corpus action.
asserts that a condition of her supervised
release-specifically, a ban on communications with her
daughter-is being imposed on her impermissibly while she is
serving her prison sentence. (See, Petition, [Docket
No. 1], at 1-2). She asks the Court to “order
[Respondent] to cease the imposition of the terms of
[Biron's] supervised release.” Id. at 2.
This relief, however, is not available in a federal habeas
well settled that the federal habeas corpus statutes provide
a remedy for prisoners challenging the fact or duration of
their confinement-not their conditions of confinement.
See, Kruger v. Erickson, 77 F.3d 1071, 1073
(8th Cir. 1996). As the Court of Appeals for the Eighth
Circuit has explained,
If the prisoner is not challenging the validity of [her]
conviction or the length of [her] detention, . . . then a
writ of habeas corpus is not the proper remedy. . . . Where
petitioner seeks a writ of habeas corpus and fails to attack
the validity of [her] sentence or the length of [her] state
custody, the district court lacks the power or subject matter
jurisdiction to issue a writ.
Kruger v. Erickson, 77 F.3d 1071, 1073 (8th Cir.
1996) (per curiam) (citation omitted); see also,
Spencer v. Haynes, 774 F.3d 467, 469-70 (8th Cir.
2014) (citing Kruger).
present case, Biron is not challenging the validity of her
conviction or the length of her sentence; she challenges only
how she is being treated during her confinement. Because
Biron challenges her conditions of confinement, rather than
the fact or duration of her confinement, she cannot bring her
claims under the federal habeas corpus statutes.
not to say that Biron lacks legal recourse for the type of
claim she is trying to raise. If she believes that her rights
under federal law or the Constitution have been violated by
someone acting under color of federal law, she may be
entitled to seek relief in a non-habeas civil action. Under
certain circumstances, it is even possible to convert or
construe a habeas petition into a non-habeas civil action.
For at least two reasons, however, the Court will not in the
present case recommend that Biron's present Petition be
construed as or converted to a non-habeas civil action.
Biron has not paid the proper filing fee for a non-habeas
civil action. While the filing fee for a § 2241 habeas
petition is only $5.00, the filing fee for a non-habeas civil
action is $400.00. 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). In the present
case, Biron has paid only the $5.00 filing fee for a
from the filing-fee issue, Biron's habeas corpus Petition
is simply not substantively readily convertible to a civil
complaint. The current pleading was not submitted on the form
prescribed for prisoner civil-rights actions, see,
Local Rule 9.3, and it does not conform to the pleading
requirements set forth at Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
8-11. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, it is not
self-evident that the Respondent named in the current
pleading would necessarily be the proper defendant in a
non-habeas civil complaint.
the Court concludes that it would not be appropriate to
“convert” Petitioner's current habeas
Petition into a non-habeas civil complaint. Instead, the
Court recommends that the Petition be dismissed
without prejudice pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases in the U.S. District
based upon all of the files, records and proceedings herein,
IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED THAT:
Petitioner Lisa A. Biron's habeas corpus Petition,
[Docket No. 1], be DISMISSED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing