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Stauffer v. Vasquez

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 12, 2009

PAUL CRAIG STAUFFER, PETITIONER,
v.
P.L. VASQUEZ, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: George H. WU United States District Judge

ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, the Court has reviewed the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, all of the records herein, the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge ("Report"), and Petitioner's Objections and accompanying Attachment of Exhibits. The Court has conducted a de novo review of those matters to which objections have been stated in writing.

In his Objections, Petitioner asserts that "word has it in Orange County" that his counsel "made a deal" under which she allowed Petitioner to be convicted in exchange for obtaining a lighter sentence for another client, a gang member with whom she was having an affair.

(Objections at 10, 15.) This is a new Sixth Amendment/conflict of interest claim that Petitioner did not allege in his Petition and did not mention in his Traverse. Moreover, this claim is unexhausted, because Petitioner did not present the claim to the state courts. A district court has discretion, but is not required, to consider evidence or claims presented for the first time in Objections to a Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation. See Brown v. Roe, 279 F.3d 742, 744-45 (9th Cir. 2002); United States v. Howell, 231 F.3d 615, 621-22 (9th Cir. 2000). Given the unexhausted and speculative nature of this newly-asserted claim, the Court declines to consider it.

Having completed its review, the Court accepts and adopts the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation and the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations therein.

IT IS ORDERED that: (1) the Petition is DENIED; and (2) Judgment shall be entered dismissing this action with prejudice.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk serve copies of this Order and the Judgment herein on Petitioner and counsel for Respondent.

LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.

20090212

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