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Casey v. Hartley

August 10, 2009

TIMOTHY CASEY, PETITIONER,
v.
J. HARTLEY, 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. 12]

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

BACKGROUND

Petitioner is currently in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation following a conviction for second degree murder. In the instant petition, Petitioner does not challenge the validity of his conviction; rather, Petitioner challenges the Board of Parole Hearings' (hereinafter "Board") 2006 decision finding him unsuitable for parole.

On June 15, 2007, Petitioner filed a state habeas corpus petition in the Los Angeles Superior Court.*fn1 (Exhibit A, to Motion to Dismiss.) The petition was denied in a reasoned decision on September 6, 2007. (Id.)

Petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the California Supreme Court on June 2, 2008. (Exhibit B, to Motion.) The petition was denied on November 12, 2008, and under Rule 8.532(b)(2)(C) of the California Rules of Court, is effective on that date. (Exhibit C, to Motion.)

Petitioner filed the instant federal petition for writ of habeas corpus on April 1, 2009. Respondent filed the instant motion to dismiss on June 29, 2009, and Petitioner filed an opposition on July 16, 2009. (Court Docs. 12, 13.)

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 petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court . . . ." Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.

The Ninth Circuit has allowed respondents to file a motion to dismiss in lieu of an answer if the motion attacks the pleadings for failing to exhaust state remedies or being in violation of the state's procedural rules. See e.g. O'Bremski v. Maass, 915 F.2d 418, 420 (9th Cir. 1990) (using Rule 4 to evaluate motion to dismiss petition for failure to exhaust state remedies); White v. Lewis, 874 F.2d 599, 602-03 (9th Cir. 1989) (using Rule 4 as procedural grounds to review motion to dismiss for state procedural default); Hillery v. Pulley, 533 F.Supp. 1189, 1194 & n.12 (E.D. Cal. 1982) (same). Thus, a respondent can file a motion to dismiss after the court orders a response, and the Court should use Rule 4 standards to review the motion. See Hillery, 533 F. Supp. at 1194 & n. 12.

In this case, Respondent's motion to dismiss is based on a violation of 28 U.S.C. 2244(d)(1)'s one-year limitations period. Therefore, the Court will review Respondent's motion to dismiss pursuant to its authority under Rule 4.

B. Limitation Period for Filing a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

On April 24, 1996, Congress enacted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (hereinafter "AEDPA"). The AEDPA imposes various requirements on all petitions for writ of habeas corpus filed after the date of its enactment. Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 117 S.Ct. 2059, 2063 (1997); Jeffries v. Wood, 11 ...


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