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Patterson v. Superior Court of Solano County

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 9, 2010

BRYAN DAMON PATTERSON, PETITIONER,
v.
SUPERIOR COURT OF SOLANO COUNTY, RESPONDENT.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Petitioner, a defendant in a criminal state court action, has filed six petitions that he styles as petitions for writs of mandate and one petition that he identifies as a petition for a writ of prohibition. Dckt. Nos. 1, 2, 8-12. He claims that the Solano County Superior Court erroneously denied his motion to dismiss the criminal case based on Brady violations.*fn1 He asks this court to prevent the Superior Court from proceeding to trial in his criminal case, either by staying the action or by dismissing it entirely. See, e.g., Dckt. No. 1 at 4; Dckt. No. 8 at 1.

The petitions are captioned "In the Court of Appeal of the State of California, the Eastern Appellate District, Division Sacramento." Petitioner may have intended to file his petitions in the California Court of Appeal rather than in this court. Regardless of petitioner's intentions, a federal district court does not have jurisdiction to review legal errors in state court decisions. Dist. of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U .S. 462 (1983); Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413, 415 (1923). See also Noel v. Hall, 341 F.3d 1148, 1164 (9th Cir. 2003) (a federal plaintiff who seeks relief from a state court judgment based on allegedly erroneous decision is barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine because the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction). This court therefore lacks jurisdiction to consider petitioner's requests.

Accordingly, it is RECOMMENDED that:

1. Petitioner's petitions for writs of mandate and prohibition, Dckt. Nos. 1, 2, 8-12, be denied; and

2. The Clerk be directed to close the case.

These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within 21 days after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file written objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be captioned "Objections to Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendations." Failure to file objections within the specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court's order. Turner v. Duncan, 158 F.3d 449, 455 (9th Cir. 1998); Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991).


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