United States District Court, N.D. California
December 1, 2005.
DEMIKO DELFORD BUFORD, Petitioner,
SAN QUENTIN STATE PRISON, Respondent.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: JEFFREY WHITE, District Judge
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
Petitioner, a prisoner of the state of California, currently
incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin,
California, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas
corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner contends that the
California Supreme Court has violated his rights by failing to
promptly address his pending state habeas petition. Plaintiff has
also filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis which is
now GRANTED (docket no. 3).
A. Standard of Review
This Court may entertain a petition 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). It shall "award the writ or issue an order
directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be
granted, unless it appears from the application that the
applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto." Id. §
2243. Summary dismissal is appropriate only where the allegations
in the petition are vague or conclusory, palpably incredible, or
patently frivolous or false. See Hendricks v. Vasquez,
908 F.2d 490, 491 (9th Cir. 1990).
B. Petitioner's Claims
In this case, Petitioner challenges the California Supreme
Court's failure to timely resolve his pending state habeas
petition. However, errors in the state post-conviction review
process are not addressable through federal habeas corpus
proceedings. See Ortiz v. Stewart, 149 F.3d 923, 939 (9th Cir.
1998); Gerlaugh v. Stewart, 129 F.3d 1027, 1045 (9th Cir.
1997); Villafuerte v. Stewart, 111 F.3d 616, 632 n. 7 (9th Cir.
1997); Franzen v. Brinkman, 877 F.2d 26, 26 (9th Cir.), cert.
denied, 493 U.S. 1012 (1989). Such errors do not generally
represent an attack on the prisoner's detention and therefore are
not proper grounds for habeas relief. See id. They instead
generally pertain to the review process itself and not to the
constitutionality of a state conviction. See, e.g.,
28 U.S.C. § 2254(I) (claims of ineffective assistance of state or federal
post-conviction counsel not cognizable on federal habeas review);
Franzen, 877 F.2d at 26 (delay in state habeas proceeding not
addressable in federal habeas); Hopkinson v. Shillinger,
866 F.2d 1185, 1218-20 (10th Cir. 1989) (state court's summary denial
of petition for post-conviction relief is procedural deficiency
in review process that does no violence to federal constitutional
rights); Millard v. Lynaugh, 810 F.2d 1403, 1410 (5th Cir.
1987) (denial of hearing on state collateral proceedings not
addressable in federal habeas), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 838
(1987); see also Application of Gordon, 157 F.2d 659, 660 (9th
Cir. 1946) (allegation that state court decided appeal improperly
not enough to state claim in federal habeas). CONCLUSION
For the forgoing reasons, Plaintiff's complaint is hereby
DISMISSED for the reasons set forth above. The Clerk shall close
the file and enter judgment in this case.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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