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Williams v. Harrison

March 28, 2007

KEITH WILLIAMS, PETITIONER,
v.
C.M. HARRISON, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Napoleon A. Jones, Jr.

(1) ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION; and (2) DENYING PETITIONER'S RENEWED MOTION TO ORDER:

AMEND THE PETITION

Petitioner Keith Williams ("Petitioner"), a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has submitted a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ("Petition") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. [Doc. No. 1.] Before the Court is Petitioner's Renewed Motion for Leave to Amend Habeas Corpus with Proposed Amended Petition ("Renewed Motion to Amend"). [Doc. No. 32.] Magistrate Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo has filed a Report and Recommendation ("R&R") recommending that Petitioner's motion be denied. [Doc. No. 41.] Petitioner filed an objection to the R&R. [Doc. No. 44.] For the reasons discussed below, this Court ADOPTS the R&R and DENIES Petitioner's Renewed Motion to Amend the Petition.

Procedural Background

I. State Court Background

On October 23, 2002, a jury convicted Petitioner of murder in the first degree, carjacking, and robbery. (See Resp't Lodgm't No. 1 at 215.) On December 12, 2002, Petitioner was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. (See id. at 166-67.) On September 22, 2004, the California Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition for direct review of his conviction in the California Superior Court. (See Resp't Lodgm't No. 9.) On November 3, 2005, Petitioner filed a Motion for Recall of the Remittitur*fn1 in the California Supreme Court. (See Mot. to Enlarge, Ex. A.) On December 14, 2005, the California Supreme Court denied Petitioner's Motion for Recall of the Remittitur, which it construed as a petition for review. (See id.)

II. Federal Court Background

On November 18, 2005, Petitioner filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. [Doc. No. 1.] On January 26, 2006, Petitioner filed a Motion to Enlarge Writ of Habeas Corpus Petition ("Motion to Enlarge"). [Doc. No. 10.] The magistrate judge construed the document as a "lodgment of exhibits in support of petition for writ of habeas corpus." [Doc. No. 9.] On March 1, 2006, Respondent filed an Answer to the Petition. [Doc. No. 12.]

On April 24, 2006, Petitioner filed a Motion for Leave to Amend the Petition ("Motion to Amend"). [Doc. No. 21.] The magistrate judge found the motion to be "not entirely clear," but denied the request without prejudice, given the Court's duty to read pro se pleadings liberally. (See Order Regarding Pl.'s Mot. to Amend at 1.) The Court instructed Petitioner that he could file a renewed motion to amend the Petition, but must clearly and simply state any additional claims. (See id. at 2.) On June 14, 2006, Petitioner filed the instant Renewed Motion to Amend, stating five additional claims. [Doc. No. 32.]

On June 30, 2006, Respondent filed an opposition to the Renewed Motion to Amend, arguing that it contained unexhausted claims and was barred by the statute of limitations. (See Opp'n to Mot. to Amend at 3-5.) On January 31, 2007, Magistrate Judge Bencivengo issued the R&R, recommending that Petitioner's Renewed Motion to Amend be denied. [Doc. No. 41.] Petitioner timely filed objections to the R&R. [Doc. Nos. 43, 44.]

Legal Standard

The duties of the district court in connection with a magistrate judge's R&R are set forth in Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (2004). The district court must "make a de novo determination of those portions of the report . . . to which objection is made," and "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (2004); see United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 676 (1980).

Discussion

I. ...


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