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Garza v. On Habeas Corpus

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


September 4, 2008

RAMIRO GARZA, PETITIONER,
v.
ON HABEAS CORPUS, RESPONDENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Wunderlich United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1), Petitioner has consented to the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge

This court may entertain a petition for 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).

The AEDPA altered the standard of review that a federal habeas court must apply with respect to a state prisoner's claim that was adjudicated on the merits in state court.

Williams v. Taylor, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 1518-23 (2000). Under the AEDPA, an application for habeas corpus relief will not be granted unless the adjudication of the claim "resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States;" or "resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State Court proceeding." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d); Lockyer v. Andrade, 123 S.Ct. 1166, 1173 (2003) (disapproving of the Ninth Circuit's approach in Van Tran v. Lindsey, 212 F.3d 1143 (9th Cir. 2000)); Williams v. Taylor, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 1523 (2000). "A federal habeas court may not issue the writ simply because that court concludes in its independent judgment that the relevant state-court decision applied clearly established federal law erroneously or incorrectly." Lockyer, at 1174 (citations omitted). "Rather, that application must be objectively unreasonable." Id.(citations omitted).

A petitioner who is in state custody and wishes to collaterally challenge his conviction by a petition for writ of habeas corpus must exhaust state judicial remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). The exhaustion doctrine is based on comity to the state court and gives the state court the initial opportunity to correct the state's alleged constitutional deprivations. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 731, 111 S.Ct. 2546, 2554-55 (1991); Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 518, 102 S.Ct. 1198, 1203 (1982); Buffalo v. Sunn, 854 F.2d 1158, 1163 (9th Cir. 1988).

A petitioner can satisfy the exhaustion requirement by providing the highest state court with a full and fair opportunity to consider each claim before presenting it to the federal court. Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 276, 92 S.Ct. 509, 512 (1971); Johnson v. Zenon, 88 F.3d 828, 829 (9th Cir. 1996). A federal court will find that the highest state court was given a full and fair opportunity to hear a claim if the petitioner has presented the highest state court with the claim's factual and legal basis. Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365, 115 S.Ct. 887, 888 (1995) (legal basis); Kenney v. Tamayo-Reyes, 504 U.S. 1, 112 S.Ct. 1715, 1719 (1992) (factual basis). Additionally, the petitioner must have specifically told the state court that he was raising a federal constitutional claim. Duncan, 513 U.S. at 365-66, 115 S.Ct. at 888; Keating v. Hood, 133 F.3d 1240, 1241 (9th Cir.1998). For example, if a petitioner wishes to claim that the trial court violated his due process rights "he must say so, not only in federal court but in state court." Duncan, 513 U.S. at 366, 115 S.Ct. at 888. A general appeal to a constitutional guarantee is insufficient to present the "substance" of such a federal claim to a state court. See, Anderson v. Harless, 459 U.S. 4, 7, 103 S.Ct. 276 (1982) (Exhaustion requirement not satisfied circumstance that the "due process ramifications" of an argument might be "self-evident."); Gray v. Netherland, 518 U.S. 152, 162-63, 116 S.Ct. 1074 (1996) ("a claim for relief in habeas corpus must include reference to a specific federal constitutional guarantee, as well as a statement of the facts which entitle the petitioner to relief.").

In this case, Petitioner's contentions are as follows:

I had attempt murder 187A court gave me 13 years LID 5 year probation 1 year program.

When I was at the program I got into a self defense fight with a guy a guy start hit me I hit back for self defense court gave me 13 years for a fist fight self defense fight I'm asking for time served or into another program if given more time drop case my right was to appeal I need a public defender I need this case to go to court 1 year program 5 years probation 13 year LID I got LID time for a self defense fight I'm also Appeal a Appeal to the highest court give address or you an transfer me to the highest court San Francisco Keep on send the case to you guy's to do San Francisco said Fresno need to do case so just do case real easy also there talking about letting all kinds of inmates free any way's little fight come on Judge you see all kinds of case every day a little self defense fight I was given 13 years that to much time let me free please Judge. Thank you.

The court finds initially that there is no indication that Petitioner has exhausted his state judicial remedies by presenting his claim to the California Supreme Court. As set forth above, a petitioner who is in state custody and wishes to collaterally challenge his conviction by a petition for writ of habeas corpus must exhaust state judicial remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). The court finds no basis to excuse exhaustion in this case.

Secondly, the court finds that Petitioner makes no reference to the Constitution or laws of the United States and provides no argument as to how a decision of the California Supreme Court upholding his conviction "resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States;" or "resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State Court proceeding." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). This petition therefore provides no basis for habeas corpus relief.

Further, the court notes that this petition for writ of habeas corpus is not an appeal. If Petitioner wishes to pursue an appeal, he should do so through the California state court system. This federal court has no ability to transfer a case to the California state court system.

Based on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows:

1) This petition for writ of habeas corpus is DISMISSED for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and for failure to exhaust state judicial remedies; and

2) The Clerk of the Court is directed to close this case.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20080904

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