(HC) Rosas v. Hartley, No. 1:2010cv01127 - Document 14 (E.D. Cal. 2010)

Court Description: FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS recommending that Respondents 12 MOTION to DISMISS be GRANTED and the 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus be DISMISSED without prejudice, referred to Judge O'Neill, signed by Magistrate Judge Sandra M. Snyder on 11/2/2010. Objections to F&R due by 12/6/2010. (Marrujo, C)
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(HC) Rosas v. Hartley Doc. 14 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 12 LEONARDO ROSAS, ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 13 Petitioner, 14 v. 15 16 J. D. HARTLEY, 17 Respondent. 1:10-CV-01127 LJO SMS HC FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION REGARDING RESPONDENT’S MOTION TO DISMISS [Doc. #12] ) 18 19 20 Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. BACKGROUND1 21 22 Petitioner is currently in the custody of the California Department of Corrections pursuant to 23 a judgment of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, following his conviction for 24 second degree murder. Petitioner challenges a parole suitability hearing held on August 26, 2009, 25 wherein Petitioner was denied parole. 26 Petitioner sought habeas relief in the state courts. On October 23, 2009, he filed a habeas 27 1 28 This information is derived from the petition for writ of habeas corpus, Respondent’s motion to dismiss the petition, and the lodged documents in support of Respondent’s motion to dismiss. U .S. D istrict C ourt E. D . C alifornia cd 1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 petition in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The petition was denied in a reasoned decision 2 on December 28, 2009. He then filed a habeas petition in the California Court of Appeal, Second 3 Appellate District, on January 19, 2010. The petition was denied in a reasoned decision on 4 March 12, 2010. Petitioner then filed a habeas petition in the California Supreme Court on April 9, 5 2010. The petition was summarily denied on June 9, 2010. 6 On June 23, 2010, Petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus. He claims 7 the state court adjudicated his claims concerning his parole hearing in violation of federal law. On 8 September 17, 2010, Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition for failure to exhaust state 9 remedies. On October 12, 2010, Petitioner filed an opposition to Respondent’s motion to dismiss. 10 11 DISCUSSION A. Procedural Grounds for Motion to Dismiss 12 Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases allows a district court to dismiss a 13 petition if it “plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not 14 entitled to relief in the district court . . . .” The Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 5 of the Rules 15 Governing § 2254 Cases state that “an alleged failure to exhaust state remedies may be raised by the 16 attorney general, thus avoiding the necessity of a formal answer as to that ground.” The Ninth 17 Circuit has referred to a respondent’s motion to dismiss on the ground that the petitioner failed to 18 exhaust state remedies as a request for the Court to dismiss under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing 19 § 2254 Cases. See, e.g., O’Bremski v. Maass, 915 F.2d 418, 420 (1991); White v. Lewis, 874 F.2d 20 599, 602-03 (9th Cir. 1989); Hillery v. Pulley, 533 F.Supp. 1189, 1194 & n.12 (E.D. Cal. 1982). 21 Based on the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases and case law, the Court will review Respondent’s 22 motion for dismissal pursuant to its authority under Rule 4. 23 B. Exhaustion of State Remedies 24 A petitioner who is in state custody and wishes to collaterally challenge his conviction by a 25 petition for writ of habeas corpus must exhaust state judicial remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). The 26 exhaustion doctrine is based on comity to the state court and gives the state court the initial 27 opportunity to correct the state's alleged constitutional deprivations. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 28 U.S. 722, 731 (1991); Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 518 (1982); Buffalo v. Sunn, 854 F.2d 1158, U .S. D istrict C ourt E. D . C alifornia cd 2 1 1163 (9th Cir. 1988). 2 A petitioner can satisfy the exhaustion requirement by providing the highest state court with a 3 full and fair opportunity to consider each claim before presenting it to the federal court. Duncan v. 4 Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365 (1995); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 276 (1971); Johnson v. Zenon, 88 5 F.3d 828, 829 (9th Cir. 1996). A federal court will find that the highest state court was given a full 6 and fair opportunity to hear a claim if the petitioner has presented the highest state court with the 7 claim's factual and legal basis. Duncan, 513 U.S. at 365 (legal basis); Kenney v. Tamayo-Reyes, 504 8 U.S. 1, 112 S.Ct. 1715, 1719 (1992) (factual basis). 9 Additionally, the petitioner must have specifically told the state court that he was raising a 10 federal constitutional claim. Duncan, 513 U.S. at 365-66; Lyons v. Crawford, 232 F.3d 666, 669 11 (9th Cir.2000), amended, 247 F.3d 904 (2001); Hiivala v. Wood, 195 F.3d 1098, 1106 (9th Cir.1999); 12 Keating v. Hood, 133 F.3d 1240, 1241 (9th Cir.1998). In Duncan, the United States Supreme Court 13 reiterated the rule as follows: 14 In Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275 . . . (1971), we said that exhaustion of state remedies requires that petitioners "fairly presen[t]" federal claims to the state courts in order to give the State the "'opportunity to pass upon and correct alleged violations of the prisoners' federal rights" (some internal quotation marks omitted). If state courts are to be given the opportunity to correct alleged violations of prisoners' federal rights, they must surely be alerted to the fact that the prisoners are asserting claims under the United States Constitution. If a habeas petitioner wishes to claim that an evidentiary ruling at a state court trial denied him the due process of law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, he must say so, not only in federal court, but in state court. 15 16 17 18 19 Duncan, 513 U.S. at 365-366. The Ninth Circuit examined the rule further, stating: 20 Our rule is that a state prisoner has not "fairly presented" (and thus exhausted) his federal claims in state court unless he specifically indicated to that court that those claims were based on federal law. See Shumway v. Payne, 223 F.3d 982, 987-88 (9th Cir. 2000). Since the Supreme Court's decision in Duncan, this court has held that the petitioner must make the federal basis of the claim explicit either by citing federal law or the decisions of federal courts, even if the federal basis is “self-evident," Gatlin v. Madding, 189 F.3d 882, 889 (9th Cir. 1999) (citing Anderson v. Harless, 459 U.S. 4, 7 . . . (1982), or the underlying claim would be decided under state law on the same considerations that would control resolution of the claim on federal grounds. Hiivala v. Wood, 195 F3d 1098, 1106-07 (9th Cir. 1999); Johnson v. Zenon, 88 F.3d 828, 830-31 (9th Cir. 1996); . . . . In Johnson, we explained that the petitioner must alert the state court to the fact that the relevant claim is a federal one without regard to how similar the state and federal standards for reviewing the claim may be or how obvious the violation of federal law is. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 U .S. D istrict C ourt E. D . C alifornia cd 3 1 Lyons v. Crawford, 232 F.3d 666, 668-669 (9th Cir. 2000) (italics added). 2 Respondent contends Petitioner has failed to exhaust his state remedies because Petitioner 3 did not present a federal basis for his claims to the state courts. Respondent’s arguments are 4 persuasive. The Court has reviewed the petition presented to the California Supreme Court. 5 Petitioner’s claims were entirely based on a violation of state law. Petitioner did not claim a 6 violation of federal law or cite any federal authorities in support of his claims. Accordingly, the 7 instant petition is unexhausted and must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). 8 RECOMMENDATION 9 Accordingly, the Court RECOMMENDS that Respondent’s motion to dismiss be 10 GRANTED and the petition for writ of habeas corpus be DISMISSED without prejudice.2 This 11 Findings and Recommendation is submitted to the United States District Court Judge assigned to the 12 case pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(B) and Rule 304 of the Local Rules of 13 Practice for the United States District Court, Eastern District of California. 14 Within thirty (30) days after date of service of this Findings and Recommendation, any party 15 may file written objections with the Court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should 16 be captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendation.” Replies to the 17 Objections shall be served and filed within fourteen (14) days after date of service of the Objections. 18 The Finding and Recommendation will then be submitted to the District Court for review of the 19 Magistrate Judge’s ruling pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that failure 20 to file objections within the specified time may waive the right to appeal the Order of the District 21 22 23 2 A dismissal for failure to exhaust is not a dismissal on the merits, and Petitioner will not be barred from returning to federal court after Petitioner exhausts available state remedies by 28 U.S.C. § 2244 (b)’s prohibition on filing second petitions. See In re Turner, 101 F.3d 1323 (9th Cir. 1996). However, the Supreme Court has held that: 24 [I]n the habeas corpus context it would be appropriate for an order dismissing a mixed petition to instruct an applicant that upon his return to federal court he is to bring only exhausted claims. See Fed. Rules Civ. Proc. 41(a) and (b). Once the petitioner is made aware of the exhaustion requirement, no reason exists for him not to exhaust all potential claims before returning to federal court. The failure to comply with an order of the court is grounds for dismissal with prejudice. Fed. Rules Civ. Proc. 41(b). 25 26 27 28 Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 489 (2000). Therefore, Petitioner is forewarned that in the event he returns to federal court and files a mixed petition of exhausted and unexhausted claims, the petition may be dismissed with prejudice. U .S. D istrict C ourt E. D . C alifornia cd 4 1 Court. Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). 2 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 Dated: icido3 November 2, 2010 /s/ Sandra M. Snyder UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 U .S. D istrict C ourt E. D . C alifornia cd 5