United States District Court, D. Nevada
action is a petition for writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254, brought by Nevada prisoner Richard
Denson. See Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (ECF
No. 4). On October 19, 2016, respondents filed a motion for a
more definite statement (ECF No. 22). Denson did not respond
to that motion.
party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading to
which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague
or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a
response.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). The motion requesting a
more definite statement must identify defects and specify the
details desired. Id. The court in a habeas corpus
action may “consider a motion from respondent to make
the petition more certain.” See Advisory
Committee Notes to Rule 4, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases
in the United States District Courts. The resolution of a
motion for more definite statement is a matter within the
discretion of the court. See McHenry v. Renne, 84
F.3d 1172, 1179 (9th Cir. 1996).
federal court may issue a writ of habeas corpus to a state
prisoner ‘only on the ground that he is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.'” Wilson v. Corcoran, 562
U.S. 1, 5 (2010) (per curiam) (quoting 28 U.S.C. §
2254(a)). A habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. §
2254 must “specify all the grounds for relief available
to the petitioner, ” and must “state the facts
supporting each ground.” Rule 2(c) (1) and (2), Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts. “‘[N]otice' pleading is not
sufficient, for the petition is expected to state facts that
point to a ‘real possibility of constitutional
error.'” Blackledge v. Allison, 431 U.S.
63, 75 n. 7 (1977) (quoting Advisory Committee Notes to Rule
did not respond to respondents' motion for more definite
statement. In a response, Denson could have clarified some of
the ambiguity in his petition pointed out by respondents.
Denson did not do so. The court takes this into consideration
in resolving this motion. See LR 7-2(d) (“The
failure of an opposing party to file points and authorities
in response to any motion, except a motion under Fed.R.Civ.P.
56 or a motion for attorney's fees, constitutes a consent
to the granting of the motion.”).
failure to respond to respondents' motion, and the time
-- more than a year -- since he has taken any action in this
case, raises the question whether Denson has kept the court
apprised of his current address. See LR IA 3-1
(“[P]ro se party must immediately file with the court
written notification of any change of mailing address
...” and “[f]ailure to comply with this rule may
result in the dismissal of the action....”). The court
will direct Denson to confirm his mailing address.
to the substance of respondents' motion, Denson's
petition is nearly 100 pages long, and is a patchwork of
material copied from documents in other cases and handwritten
material; it is unclear how many claims Denson asserts or
what exactly his claims are. Moreover, respondents point out
that Denson's petition discusses, and appears to
challenge, two different state-court convictions, and does
not always make clear which claims relate to which
conviction. “A petitioner who seeks relief from
judgments of more than one state court must file a separate
petition covering the judgment or judgments of each
court.” Rule 2(e), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases
in the United States District Courts. In short, Denson's
petition is too vague and ambiguous to require a response
court will, therefore, set a schedule for Denson to file an
amended petition (after he confirms his mailing address).
Denson's amended petition must be drafted on the form
provided by the court (he should write “Amended”
above “Petition” on page 1). Denson's amended
petition must challenge only one state-court judgment of
conviction, and must make clear which judgment of conviction
that is. (If Denson wishes to challenge a second state-court
judgment of conviction, he must initiate a second federal
habeas corpus action to do so.) Denson must number,
consecutively, the claims in his amended petition, such that
each numbered claim sets forth one discrete, understandable,
ground for relief, and states the facts supporting that
ground for relief.
Denson fails to comply with any directive in this order, this
action will be dismissed without prejudice.
THEREFORE ORDERED that petitioner shall, within 20 days from
the date of this order, file a notice informing the court of
his current mailing address.
FURTHER ORDERED that respondents' Motion for More
Definite Statement (ECF No. 22) is GRANTED.
FURTHER ORDERED that, within 60 days from the date of this
order, petitioner shall file an amended petition for writ of
habeas corpus as described above.
FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall send
petitioner, along with a copy of this order, two copies of
the form for a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant ...