The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES STIVEN, Magistrate Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS
Charles H. Brose, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has
filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254, raising one ground for relief. The Court has considered
the Petition, Respondent's Answer, and all supporting documents
submitted by the parties. Based upon the documents and evidence
presented in this case, and for the reasons set forth below, the
Court recommends that the Petition be DENIED and the case be
dismissed with prejudice.
On April 18, 2003, Petitioner pleaded guilty to receiving a
stolen vehicle with a prior. He was sentenced to four years in
prison less 270 days credit for time spent in custody. (Lodgment
6.) At a March 16, 2004, disciplinary hearing, Petitioner was
found to be in possession of inmate manufactured alcohol in
violation of 15 Cal. Code Regs. § 3016(a). As a result,
Petitioner lost 120 days of good behavior credits. (Lodgment 2.)
II. Procedural Background
Petitioner filed a number of petitions for writ of habeas
corpus, requesting to have his good behavior credits reinstated.
The first through fourth petitions were denied, because
Petitioner had not exhausted all of his administrative remedies. (Pet., Exh. A.)
After Petitioner exhausted his administrative remedies, the
superior court considered and denied his fifth petition for writ
of habeas corpus on December 21, 2004. (Lodgment 4.) Petitioner
then filed a "petition for writ of mandate" in the California
Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One.
(Lodgment 5.) The state appellate court treated the petition as a
petition for writ of habeas corpus and denied the petition on
February 7, 2005. (Lodgment 6.) On March 7, 2005, Petitioner
filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the California
Supreme Court. (Lodgment 7.) The state supreme court denied the
petition on March 23, 2005. (Lodgment 8.)
On April 15, 2005, Petitioner filed the current Petition for
Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Docket No.
1.) Respondent filed an Answer and Lodgments on June 20, 2005.
(Docket Nos. 5-6.) Petitioner has not filed a Traverse in this
Title 28, United States Code, § 2254(a), sets forth the
following scope of review for federal habeas corpus claims:
The Supreme Court, a Justice thereof, a circuit
judge, or a district court shall entertain an
application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of
a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a
State court only on the ground that he is in custody
in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties
of the United States.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(a) (1994) (emphasis added).
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
("AEDPA") applies to habeas corpus petitions filed after 1996.
Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320 (1997). As amended,
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) reads:
(d) An application for a writ of habeas corpus on
behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the
judgment of a State court shall not be granted with
respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the
merits in State court proceedings unless the
adjudication of the claim
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or
involved an unreasonable application of, clearly
established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme
Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an
unreasonable determination of the facts in light of
the evidence presented in State court proceeding. 28 U.S.C.A. § 2254(d) (West Supp. 2004).
To obtain federal habeas relief, Petitioner must satisfy either
§ 2254(d)(1) or § 2254(d)(2). Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362
403 (2000). The Supreme Court interprets § 2254(d)(1) as follows:
Under the "contrary to" clause, a federal habeas
court may grant the writ if the state court arrives
at a conclusion opposite to that reached by this
Court on a question of law or if the state court
decided a case differently than this Court has on a
set of materially indistinguishable facts. Under the
"unreasonable application" clause, a federal habeas
court may grant the writ if the state court
identifies the correct governing legal principle from
this Court's decisions but unreasonably applies that
principle to the facts of the prisoner's case.
Williams, 529 U.S. at 412-13; see Lockyer v. Andrade,
538 U.S. 63
, 73-74 (2003).
Where there is no reasoned decision from the state's highest
court, this Court "looks through" to the underlying appellate
court decision. Ylst v. Nunnemaker, 501 U.S. 797, 803 (1991).
If the dispositive state court order does not "furnish a basis
for its reasoning," federal habeas courts must conduct an
independent review of the record "to determine whether the state
court clearly erred in its application of controlling federal
law." Himes v. Thompson, 336 F.3d 848, 853 (9th Cir. 2003);
Delgado v. Lewis, 223 F.3d 976, 982 (9th Cir. 2000) (overruled
on other grounds by Lockyer, 538 U.S. at 75-76). However, a
state court need not cite Supreme Court precedent when resolving
a habeas corpus claim. Early v. Packer, 537 U.S. 3, 8 (2002).
As long as neither the reasoning nor the result of the
state-court decision contradicts Supreme Court precedent, the
state court decision will not be "contrary to" clearly
established federal law. Id.
Petitioner's only claim for relief is that his good behavior
credits were reduced in violation of his due process rights.
(Pet., Exh. A.) Petitioner argues that his cell mate was the one
making the alcohol, and his cell mate took full responsibility
for the alcohol in the cell. (Pet., Exh. D.) Petitioner further
argues that the California Department of Corrections violated its
own guidelines and regulations when it took away his good
behavior credits. Respondent argues that the prison disciplinary
proceedings were based on state law and, therefore, do not
establish a claim for federal habeas corpus relief. Respondent
also argues that, even if the ...