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Haag v. Tilton

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


September 23, 2009

JAMES BRADLEY HAAG, PETITIONER,
v.
JAMES TILTON, DIRECTOR OF CORRECTIONS RESPONDENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR EVIDENTIARY HEARING [Doc. 50]

Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1), the parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge. This case is ready for review on the merits.

Rule 8(a) provides that where a petition is not dismissed at a previous stage in the proceeding, the judge, after the answer and transcripts and record of the state court proceedings are filed, shall, upon review of those proceedings, determine whether an evidentiary hearing is required. The purpose of an evidentiary hearing is to resolve the merits of a factual dispute. An evidentiary hearing on a claim is required where it is clear from the petition that: (1) the allegations, if established, would entitle the petitioner to relief; and (2) the state court trier of fact has not reliably found the relevant facts. See Hendricks v. Vasquez, 974 F.2d 1099, 1103 (9th Cir.1992). As the function of an evidentiary hearing is to try issues of fact, Townsend v. Sain 372 U.S. 293, 309 (1963)(overruled in part by Keeney v. Tamayo-Reyes, 504 U.S. 1, 112 S.Ct. 1715 (1993)), such a hearing is unnecessary when only issues of law are raised. Id.

The purpose of an evidentiary hearing is to resolve the merits of a factual dispute. In the instant case, the Court has yet to review the instant petition and until a thorough review of the merits of Petitioner's claims, it cannot be determined that a factual dispute necessitating an evidentiary hearing is present.*fn1 Following a thorough review of the petition's merits, the Court will sua sponte issue an order for an evidentiary hearing should it find one necessary.

Accordingly, the request for an evidentiary hearing is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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