United States District Court, N.D. California
November 15, 2005.
GILBERT EUGENE MAESTAS, Petitioner,
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, Respondent.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: SUSAN ILLSTON, District Judge
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
Gilbert Eugene Maestas has filed a pro se petition for writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, in which he
challenges his 2004 conviction from the Mendocino County Superior
Court. His petition is now before the court for review pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2243 and Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section
Prisoners in state custody who wish to challenge either the
fact or length of their confinement in federal court by a
petition for writ of habeas corpus are first required to exhaust
state judicial remedies, either on direct appeal or through
collateral proceedings, by presenting the highest state court
available with a fair opportunity to rule on the merits of each
and every issue they seek to raise in federal court.
28 U.S.C. § 2254(b), (c); Granberry v. Greer, 481 U.S. 129, 133-34 (1987).
Maestas has not done so; nor has he presented any exceptional
circumstances to excuse his doing so. See id. Maestas' petition shows that he has not filed a petition for
review or a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the California
Supreme Court. The California Supreme Court has not been given a
fair opportunity to rule on the merits of Maestas' claims
concerning his conviction. Maestas must file a state habeas
petition (or a petition for review, if it is not too late) and
give the California Supreme Court a fair opportunity to rule on
the merits of all his claims before presenting these claims in
federal habeas petitions.
Maestas is also cautioned that the federal court can only
consider claims for violations of the constitution, laws and
treaties of the United States, see 28 U.S.C. § 2254, and cannot
grant relief for state law errors.
For the foregoing reasons, the petition is DISMISSED without
prejudice to Maestas filing a new habeas action after available
state judicial remedies are exhausted. The in forma pauperis
application is DENIED. (Docket # 2.) The clerk shall close the
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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