(HC) Williams v. Doyle, No. 2:2010cv01630 - Document 16 (E.D. Cal. 2011)

Court Description: FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan on 12/13/11 RECOMMENDING that 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus be denied. Referred to Judge John A. Mendez; Objections to F&R due within 14 days.(Dillon, M)
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(HC) Williams v. Doyle Doc. 16 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 NATHANIEL WILLIAMS, Petitioner, 11 12 13 14 vs. ROBERT DOYLE, Respondent. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS / 15 16 No. CIV 10-1630 JAM EFB P Petitioner is a state prisoner without counsel seeking a writ of habeas corpus. See 28 17 U.S.C. § 2254. He challenges the California Board of Parole Hearings’ 2009 finding that he was 18 unsuitable for parole, claiming that the Board’s decision violated his federal right to due process. 19 Dckt. No. 1 at 14. 20 In California, a prisoner is entitled to release unless there is “some evidence” of his or her 21 current dangerousness. In re Lawrence, 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1205-06, 1210 (2008); In re 22 Rosenkrantz, 29 Cal. 4th 696, 651-53 (2002). But the United States Supreme Court held that 23 federal habeas review of a parole denial is limited to the narrow question of whether a petitioner 24 has received “fair procedures.” Swarthout v. Cooke, 526 U.S. __ (2011), No. 10-333, 2011 WL 25 197627, at *2 (Jan. 24, 2011). In other words, a federal court may only review whether a 26 petitioner has received a meaningful opportunity to be heard and a statement of reasons why 1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 parole was denied. Id. at **2-3 (federal due process satisfied where petitioners were “allowed to 2 speak at their parole hearings and to contest the evidence against them, were afforded access to 3 their records in advance, and were notified as to the reasons why parole was denied”). Thus, this 4 court may not review whether the Board correctly applied California’s “some evidence” 5 standard. Id. at *2. 6 Petitioner does not allege that he was not afforded constitutionally adequate process as 7 defined in Swarthout--that is, that he was denied a meaningful opportunity to be heard or a 8 statement of reasons why the Board denied him parole. Accordingly, it is hereby 9 RECOMMENDED that petitioner’s application for a writ of habeas corpus be denied. 10 These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District Judge 11 assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within fourteen days 12 after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file written 13 objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be captioned 14 “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendations.” Failure to file objections 15 within the specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court’s order. Turner v. 16 Duncan, 158 F.3d 449, 455 (9th Cir. 1998); Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). 17 In any objections he elects to file, petitioner may address whether a certificate of 18 appealability should issue in the event he files an appeal of the judgment in this case. See Rule 19 11, Federal Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases (the district court must issue or deny a 20 certificate of appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the applicant); Hayward v. 21 Marshall, 603 F.3d 546 (9th Cir. 2010) (en banc) (prisoners are required to obtain a certificate of 22 appealability to review the denial of a habeas petition challenging an administrative decision 23 such as denial of parole by the parole board). 24 DATED: December 13, 2011. 25 26 2