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Dumlao v. Hedgpeth

January 21, 2009

JOHN KEVIN DUMLAO, PETITIONER,
v.
HEDGPETH, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION REGARDING RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [Doc. 25]

Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

RELEVANT HISTORY

On July 6, 2005, Petitioner appeared before the Board for a parole consideration hearing. The Board found that Petitioner was unsuitable for parole.

On November 4, 2005, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Imperial County Superior Court challenging the Board's decision. (Exhibit A, to Motion.) On December 27, 2006, the petition was transferred to the Alameda County Superior Court for further proceedings. (Exhibit B, to Motion.) On February 13, 2007, the petition was denied. (Exhibit C, to Motion.)

On April 16, 2007, Petitioner filed an original petition for writ of habeas corpus in the California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District. (Exhibit D, to Motion.) The petition was summarily denied. (Exhibit E, to Motion.)

On August 9, 2007, Petitioner filed an original petition for writ of habeas corpus in the California Supreme Court. (Exhibit F, to Motion.) The California Supreme Court denied the petition with citations to In re Swain, 34 Cal.2d 300, 304 (1949), and People v. Duvall, 9 Cal.4th 464, 474 (1995). (Exhibit G, to Motion.)

Petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus in this Court on June 17, 2008. Respondent filed the instant motion to dismiss on November 26, 2008, and Petitioner filed an opposition on December 11, 2008. (Court Docs. 25, 27.)

DISCUSSION

A. Procedural Grounds for Motion to Dismiss

Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases allows a district court to dismiss a petition if 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 . . . ." The Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases state that "an alleged failure to exhaust state remedies may be raised by the attorney general, thus avoiding the necessity of a formal answer as to that ground." The Ninth Circuit has referred to a respondent's motion to dismiss on the ground that the petitioner failed to exhaust state remedies as a request for the Court to dismiss under Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. See e.g. O'Bremski v. Maass, 915 F.2d 418, 420 (1991); White v. Lewis, 874 F.2d 599, 602-03 (9th Cir. 1989); Hillery v. Pulley, 533 F.Supp. 1189, 1194 & n.12 (E.D. Cal. 1982). Based on the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases and case law, the Court will review Respondent's motion for dismissal pursuant to its authority under Rule 4.

B. Exhaustion of State Remedies

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 ...


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