United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER DISMISSING CASE
JENNIFER A. DORSEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
petitioner and High Desert State Prison inmate Justin
Langford petitions for a writ of mandamus/prohibition under
NRS §§ 34.150-34.320 and seeks to have this federal
district court overturn the Nevada Supreme Court's
decision affirming his judgment of conviction. Langford's
petition is riddled with defects.
Langford did not pay the filing fee, and he did not file an
application to proceed in forma pauperis. Under 28
U.S.C. § 1914(a), the filing fee for “any civil
action, suit or proceeding . . . whether by original process,
removal or otherwise, ” except for an application for a
writ of habeas corpus, is $350.00, to which is added a $50.00
administrative fee. Langford did not file an application for
a writ of habeas corpus in this action; he filed a petition
for a writ of mandamus or prohibition. The filing fee
therefore is $400.00. The Prisoner Litigation Reform
allows the court, on application, to permit Langford to pay
the $400.00 fee in installments even if he currently is not
able to pay the entire fee. But Langford did not pay the fee
or file an application to proceed in forma pauperis
to pay the fee in installments, so this action has been
this federal court does not have jurisdiction over an action
brought against the Supreme Court of Nevada. Langford may not
proceed directly against the State of Nevada or an arm of the
State-such as a state supreme court-in federal court due to
the state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh
Amendment. State sovereign immunity bars an action
against the State or an arm of the State in federal court
regardless of the relief sought.
a federal district court does not have appellate jurisdiction
over a state court, whether by direct appeal, mandamus,
prohibition, and/or an exercise of supervisory
jurisdiction. If Langford wishes to seek collateral
review in federal court of his conviction, he must timely
file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
to the extent that petitioner challenges his judgment of
conviction other than through a habeas petition, his civil
action is barred under Heck v.
Humphrey. An inmate may not pursue claims that
necessarily challenge the validity of a conviction in a civil
action other than a federal habeas action.
fifth, the petition fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted under federal law. Nevada state statutes do
not apply to determine the mandamus authority of a federal
the multiple, substantial defects presented, this improperly
commenced action will be dismissed without prejudice. It
appears that the one-year limitation period for a federal
habeas petition could have began to run, at the very
earliest, on September 25, 2017. Accordingly, the mere
dismissal of this action will not result in a later federal
habeas petition being untimely or otherwise result in
substantial prejudice, because substantial time remains in
the federal limitation period at the time of this dismissal
for petitioner to file a timely federal petition.
IT HEREBY IS ORDERED that this action is
DISMISSED. If Langford wants to try again
and seek post-conviction relief in federal district court, he
may do so in a petition for a writ of habeas corpus after he
exhausts all administrative remedies.
FURTHER ORDERED that a certificate of appealability is
DENIED, as reasonable jurists would not find
the dismissal of this improperly-commenced action without
prejudice to be debatable or wrong.
Clerk of Court is directed to SEND to
Langford two copies of a noncapital § 2254 form along
with one copy each of the instructions for the form and
Langford's original petition in this
Clerk of Court is directed to CLOSE