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KING v. HORSLEY
March 31, 2003
MAILLIARD LUCIEN KING, PETITIONER,
SHERIFF DON HORSLEY, RESPONDENT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thelton E. Henderson, United States District Judge.
Petitioner, an inmate at the San Mateo County Jail, filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He claims that his Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights are being violated by the state's failure to provide him with pre-trial transcripts in his criminal case. Petitioner is currently facing criminal charges in state court and his trial apparently is now in progress. Petitioner unsuccessfully raised the claims he raises here in petitions for writs of mandate and for review to the California Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of California.
Under principles of comity and federalism, a federal court should not interfere with ongoing state criminal proceedings by granting injunctive or declaratory relief absent extraordinary circumstances. See Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 43-54 (1971); Samuels v. Mackell, 401 U.S. 66, 68-74 (1971). Younger abstention is required when: (1) state proceedings, judicial in nature, are pending; (2) the state proceedings involve important state interests; and (3) the state proceedings afford adequate opportunity to raise the constitutional issues. See Middlesex County Ethics Comm. v. Garden State Bar Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423, 432 (1982). Here, criminal proceedings are pending against petitioner in state court, and there is no allegation or indication that petitioner does not have an adequate opportunity to present his claims in those proceedings. Because a decision on the federal petition would interfere with the pending criminal proceedings in the state trial court, this Court must abstain from deciding the petition.
Accordingly, this action is DISMISSED without prejudice to petitioner filing a new action upon the completion of his prosecution and the completion of state court review of the conviction, if a conviction occurs. See Huffman v. Pursue, Ltd., 420 U.S. 592, 607-11 (1975) (holding that rationale of Younger applies to claims throughout appellate proceedings, requiring that state appellate review of state court judgment be exhausted before federal court intervention is permitted); Dubinka v. Judges of the Superior Court, 23 F.3d 218, 223 (9th Cir. 1994) (finding state court proceedings pending where criminal trial completed at time of abstention decision).
Petitioner's in forma pauperis application is DENIED as unnecessary because he paid the filing fee. (Docket # 2.)
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