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McDonald v. Haaws


April 17, 2008


The opinion of the court was delivered by: M. James Lorenz United States District Court Judge


Petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The Petition is DISMISSED for the following reasons.


Petitioner has filed a request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). The request to proceed in forma pauperis is denied because Petitioner has not provided the Court with sufficient information to determine Petitioner's financial status. A request to proceed in forma pauperis made by a state prisoner must include a certificate from the warden or other appropriate officer showing the amount of money or securities Petitioner has on account in the institution. Rule 3(a)(2), 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254; Local Rule 3.2. Here, Petitioner has provided the Court with an unsigned and incomplete Prison Certificate which is insufficient to determine whether or not he is able to pay the filing fee.


Further, habeas petitioners who wish to challenge either their state court conviction or the length of their confinement in state prison, must first exhaust state judicial remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b), (c); Granberry v. Greer, 481 U.S. 129, 133-34 (1987). To exhaust state judicial remedies, a California state prisoner must present the California Supreme Court with a fair opportunity to rule on the merits of every issue raised in his or her federal habeas petition. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b), (c); Granberry, 481 U.S. at 133-34. Moreover, to properly exhaust state court remedies a petitioner must allege, in state court, how one or more of his or her federal rights have been violated. The Supreme Court in Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364 (1995) reasoned: "If state courts are to be given the opportunity to correct alleged violations of prisoners' federal rights, they must surely be alerted to the fact that the prisoners are asserting claims under the United States Constitution." Id. at 365-66 (emphasis added). For example, "[i]f a habeas petitioner wishes to claim that an evidentiary ruling at a state court trial denied him [or her] the due process of law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, he [or she] must say so, not only in federal court, but in state court." Id. at 366 (emphasis added).

Here, Petitioner specifically indicates he did not seek review for all of his claims in the California Supreme Court. (See Pet. at 26.) If Petitioner has raised his claims in the California Supreme Court he must so specify. "The burden of proving that a claim has been exhausted lies with the petitioner." Matthews v. Evatt, 105 F.3d 907, 911 (4th Cir. 1997); see Breard v. Pruett, 134 F.3d 615, 619 (4th Cir. 1998); Lambert v. Blackwell, 134 F.3d 506, 513 (3d Cir. 1997); Oyler v. Allenbrand, 23 F.3d 292, 300 (10th Cir. 1994); Rust v. Zent, 17 F.3d 155, 160 (6th Cir. 1994).

Further, the Court cautions Petitioner that under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) a one-year period of limitation shall apply to a petition for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of:

(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review;

(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was prevented from filing by such State action;

(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or

(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.

28 U.S.C.A. §2244(d)(1)(A)-(D) (West Supp. 2002).

The statute of limitations does not run while a properly filed state habeas corpus petition is pending. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2); see Nino v. Galaza, 183 F.3d 1003, 1006 (9th Cir. 1999). But see Artuz v. Bennett, 531 U.S. 4, 8 (2000) (holding that "an application is 'properly filed' when its delivery and acceptance [by the appropriate court officer for placement into the record] are in compliance with the applicable laws and rules governing filings."). However, absent some other basis for tolling, the statute of limitations does run while a federal habeas petition is pending. Duncan v. Walker, 533 U.S. 167, 181-82 (2001).

Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases provides for summary dismissal of a habeas petition "[i]f it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court . . ." Rule 4, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254. Here, it appears plain from the Petition that Petitioner is not presently entitled to federal habeas relief because he has not alleged exhaustion of state court remedies.

Petitioner acknowledges that he has unexhausted claims within his Petition, and requests that this Court hold the claims in abeyance while he exhausts them in state court. (Pet. at 26.) In light of the Court's dismissal of his Petition, the Court does not reach this request. Should Petitioner wish to revive his request, he is advised that he may submit a Motion for Stay and Abeyance, along with a First Amended Petition.


Additionally, a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus must be submitted in accordance with the Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. See Rule 2(c), 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254. In order to comply with the Local Rules, the petition must be submitted upon a court-approved form and in accordance with the instructions approved by the Court. Presently, Petitioner has submitted an application for writ of habeas corpus on a non-approved form.


Accordingly, the Court DENIES the request to proceed in forma pauperis, and DISMISSES the case without prejudice for Petitioner's failure to (1) satisfy the filing fee requirement; (2) allege exhaustion of state judicial remedies; and (3) use the proper form. To have the case reopened, Petitioner must, no later than June 20, 2008, provide the Court with: (1) a First Amended Petition on a Court approved form; AND (2) a copy of this Order together with the $5.00 filing fee; OR (2) a copy of this Order together with adequate proof that Petitioner cannot pay the $5.00 filing fee. The Clerk of the Court is directed to send Petitioner a blank First Amended Petition form, and a blank Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis form, along with this Order.



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