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MAESTAS v. PEOPLE

United States District Court, N.D. California


November 15, 2005.

GILBERT EUGENE MAESTAS, Petitioner,
v.
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 2254 Cases.

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 file.

  IT IS SO ORDERED.

20051115

© 1992-2005 VersusLaw Inc.



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