The opinion of the court was delivered by: William Alsup United States District Judge
Petitioner, a California prisoner currently incarcerated at North Kern State Prison, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He also requests leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Venue is proper because the conviction was obtained in Santa Clara County, which is in this district. See 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d).
A jury convicted petitioner of second-degree robbery on an aiding and abetting theory. He was sentenced to thirteen years in prison. His conviction was affirmed on direct appeal by the California Court of Appeal, and the California Supreme Court denied review.
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); Rose v. Hodges, 423 U.S. 19, 21 (1975). Habeas corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading requirements. McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994). An application for a federal writ of habeas corpus filed by a prisoner who is in state custody pursuant to a judgment of a state court must "specify all the grounds for relief which are available to the petitioner ... and shall set forth in summary form the facts supporting each of the grounds thus specified." Rule 2(c) of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254. "'[N]otice' pleading is not sufficient, for the petition is expected to state facts that point to a 'real possibility of constitutional error.'"
Rule 4 Advisory Committee Notes (quoting Aubut v. Maine, 431 F.2d 10 688, 689 (1st Cir. 1970). "Habeas petitions which appear on their face to be legally insufficient are subject to summary dismissal." Calderon v. United States Dist. Court (Nicolaus), 98 F.3d 1102, 1108 (9th Cir. 1996) (Schroeder, J., concurring).
As grounds for federal habeas relief, petitioner asserts that: (1) there was insufficient evidence of his guilt; (2) his right to present a defense was violated by the trial court's exclusion of certain testimony; (3) his due process rights were violated by testimony that he was on parole at the time of the crime; (4) the errors identified in issues two and three were cumulatively prejudicial; and (5) the trial court erred in denying his new trial motion. Claim five is not a basis for federal habeas relief. See Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 20 67-68 (1991) (federal habeas unavailable for violations of state law or for alleged error in the interpretation or application of state law).The other issues are sufficient to require a response.
1. Leave to proceed in forma pauperis (document number 2 on the docket) is GRANTED.
2. Claim five is DISMISSED.
3. The clerk shall mail a copy of this order and the petition with all attachments to the respondent and the respondent's attorney, the Attorney General of the State of California. The clerk shall ...