(HC) Stipe v. Haviland et al, No. 2:2009cv02219 - Document 21 (E.D. Cal. 2011)

Court Description: FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman on 1/28/11 RECOMMENDING that Petitioner's Application for writ of habeas Corpus 1 be denied. These FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS are submitted to U.S District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. Within twenty-one days after being served with these FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS, any party may file written objections with the Court and serve a copy on all parties. (Mena-Sanchez, L)
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(HC) Stipe v. Haviland et al Doc. 21 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 JERRY D. STIPE, 11 12 13 Petitioner, No. 2:09-cv-2219 MCE KJN P vs. JOHN HAVILAND, et al., 14 Respondents. 15 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS / 16 Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel with an application for a 17 writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner claims that his federal 18 constitutional right to due process was violated by a 2007 decision of the California Board of 19 Parole Hearings (hereafter “the Board”) to deny him a parole date.1 20 The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits state action that 21 deprives a person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. A litigant alleging a 22 due process violation must first demonstrate that he was deprived of a liberty or property interest 23 protected by the Due Process Clause and then show that the procedures attendant upon the 24 1 25 26 Petitioner also claims that the decision violated his rights under the state constitution. That claim is not cognizable in this action as federal habeas corpus relief is available under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 only on the basis of some transgression of federal law binding on the state courts. Middleton v. Cupp, 768 F.2d 1083, 1085 (9th Cir. 1985) 1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 deprivation were not constitutionally sufficient. Kentucky Dep’t of Corrections v. Thompson, 2 490 U.S. 454, 459-60 (1989). 3 A protected liberty interest may arise from either the Due Process Clause of the 4 United States Constitution “by reason of guarantees implicit in the word ‘liberty,’” or from “an 5 expectation or interest created by state laws or policies.” Wilkinson v. Austin, 545 U.S. 209, 6 221 (2005) (citations omitted); see also Board of Pardons v. Allen, 482 U.S. 369, 373 (1987). 7 The United States Constitution does not, of its own force, create a protected liberty interest in a 8 parole date, even one that has been set. Jago v. Van Curen, 454 U.S. 14, 17-21 (1981); 9 Greenholtz v. Inmates of Neb. Penal, 442 U.S. 1, 7 (1979) (There is “no constitutional or 10 inherent right of a convicted person to be conditionally released before the expiration of a valid 11 sentence.”). However, “a state’s statutory scheme, if it uses mandatory language, ‘creates a 12 presumption that parole release will be granted’ when or unless certain designated findings are 13 made, and thereby gives rise to a constitutional liberty interest.” Greenholtz, 442 U.S. at 12; see 14 also Allen, 482 U.S. at 376-78. 15 California’s parole statutes give rise to a liberty interest in parole protected by the 16 federal due process clause. Swarthout v. Cooke, 562 U.S. ___ (2011), No. 10-333, 2011 WL 17 197627, at *2 (Jan. 24, 2011). In California, a prisoner is entitled to release on parole unless 18 there is “some evidence” of his or her current dangerousness. In re Lawrence, 44 Cal.4th 1181, 19 1205-06, 1210 (2008); In re Rosenkrantz, 29 Cal.4th 616, 651-53 (2002). However, in 20 Swarthout the United States Supreme Court held that “[n]o opinion of [theirs] supports 21 converting California’s ‘some evidence’ rule into a substantive federal requirement.” Swarthout, 22 2011 WL 197627, at *3. In other words, the Court specifically rejected the notion that there can 23 be a valid claim under the Fourteenth Amendment for insufficiency of evidence presented at a 24 parole proceeding. Id. at *3. Rather, the protection afforded by the federal due process clause to 25 California parole decisions consists solely of the “minimal” procedural requirements set forth in 26 Greenholtz, specifically “an opportunity to be heard and . . . a statement of the reasons why 2 1 parole was denied.” Swarthout, at *2-3. 2 Here, the record reflects that petitioner was present at the 2007 parole hearing, 3 that he participated in the hearing, and that he was provided with the reasons for the Board’s 4 decision to deny parole. (Dkt. No. 15-1 at 19-87; 15-2 at 1-85.) According to the United States 5 Supreme Court, the federal due process clause requires no more. Accordingly, petitioner’s 6 application for a writ of habeas corpus should be denied. 7 8 IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that petitioner’s application for writ of habeas corpus be denied. 9 These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District 10 Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within twenty- 11 one days after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file written 12 objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be captioned 13 “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendations.” If petitioner files 14 objections, he shall also address whether a certificate of appealability should issue and, if so, why 15 and as to which issues. A certificate of appealability may issue under 28 U.S.C. § 2253 “only if 16 the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. 17 § 2253(c)(3). Any response to the objections shall be filed and served within fourteen days after 18 service of the objections. The parties are advised that failure to file objections within the 19 specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court’s order. Martinez v. Ylst, 951 20 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). 21 DATED: January 28, 2011 22 23 _____________________________________ KENDALL J. NEWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 24 25 stip2219.157 26 3