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Lewis v. Dryer


February 12, 2009


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



On October 7, 2008, petitioner Shawn L. Lewis, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed in this Court a document labeled "2254 habeaus 28 U.SC 636 No Jury 28 U.S.C 2101 (f) Autoflos" (hereinafter "Petition"). On October 29, 2008, petitioner filed a document titled "argument" (hereinafter "Attachment").*fn1 On November 24, 2008, petitioner filed another pleading which this Court construed as a supplement to his petition. The Court has screened the Petition and its supplements pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2243, Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Local Rules of the Central District of California. The screening of the Petition and its supplemental reveals that petitioner is requesting the following:

a) the release of "non-serious, nonviolent, non sexual" inmates in order to balance the state budget; and b) the cessation of all construction of new prisons. (Petition, pp. 1-2.) Petitioner also cites to People v. Borba, 110 Cal. App. 3d 989 (1980). (Attachment, p. 1.) Petitioner asserts that the trial judge in Borba properly allowed the admission of hearsay evidence because the defendant in that case failed to make an objection based on the rights delineated in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed. 2d 694 (1966). (Id.) As discussed below, the Petition is summarily dismissed.


Under 28 U.S.C. § 2243, it is the duty of this Court to screen out frivolous habeas corpus applications and eliminate the burden that would be placed on the respondent by ordering an unnecessary answer. See Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, Rule 4, Advisory Committee Notes, 1976 Adoption (citing Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d 134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970)). A district court must enter an order for the summary dismissal of a habeas 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. Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, Rule 4; see also Hendricks v. Vasquez, 908 F.2d 490, 491 (9th Cir. 1990).

A petition lacks an arguable basis in law only if controlling authority requires a finding that the facts alleged fail to establish an arguable legal claim. See Guti v. INS, 908 F.2d 495, 496 (9th Cir. 1990). A court may also dismiss as frivolous petitions reciting bare legal conclusions with no suggestion of supporting facts, or postulating events and circumstances of a wholly fanciful kind. See Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1228 (9th Cir. 1984). Yet, it must be kept in mind that pro se pleadings must be liberally construed. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520, 92 S.Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972).

Here, petitioner alleges that the state of California has undertaken a variety of efforts to reduce the state budget. (Petition, p. 1.) Petitioner requests that further measures be taken to reduce the budget, including the release of nonviolent inmates and the discontinuance of construction of new prisons. (Id. at 2.) However, in conducting habeas review, a federal court is limited to deciding whether a conviction violated the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 67-68, 112 S.Ct. 475, 116 L.Ed. 2d 385 (1991) (emphasis added). Accordingly, petitioner's aforementioned claims are summarily dismissed. See Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases.

Petitioner also makes references to a Miranda violation in Borba, but he fails to include any facts related to his own interrogation. (Attachment, p. 1.) Allegations lacking any supporting facts are subject to dismissal for lacking substance. See Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d at 1228. Accordingly, petitioner's apparent Miranda claim is summarily dismissed.


For all of the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows: The instant Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is dismissed without prejudice.

Presented by:

DATED: December 22, 2008

JEFFREY W. JOHNSON United States Magistrate Judge

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