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Jose Luis Vallin v. Fernando Gonzales

January 21, 2011

JOSE LUIS VALLIN,
PETITIONER,
v.
FERNANDO GONZALES, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DIRECTING PETITIONER TO WITHDRAW HIS UNEXHAUSTED CLAIMS WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS OF SERVICE OR SUFFER DISMISSAL OF THE ACTION DEADLINE: THIRTY (30) DAYS

Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1), Petitioner has consented to the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all further proceedings in the case, including the entry of final judgment, by manifesting consent in a signed writing filed by Petitioner on October 18, 2010 (doc.9.) Pending before the Court is the petition, which was filed on August 31, 2010, in the Central District of California, and transferred to this Court on September 9, 2010.

I. Screening the Petition

Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts (Habeas Rules) requires the Court to make a preliminary review of each petition for writ of habeas corpus.

The Court must summarily dismiss a petition "[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court...." Habeas Rule 4; O'Bremski v. Maass, 915 F.2d 418, 420 (9th Cir. 1990); see also Hendricks v. Vasquez, 908 F.2d 490 (9th Cir. 1990). Habeas Rule 2(c) requires that a petition 1) specify all grounds of relief available to the Petitioner; 2) state the facts supporting each ground; and 3) state the relief requested. Notice pleading is not sufficient; rather, the petition must state facts that point to a real possibility of constitutional error. Rule 4, Advisory Committee Notes, 1976 Adoption; O'Bremski v. Maass, 915 F.2d at 420 (quoting Blackledge v. Allison, 431 U.S. 63, 75 n. 7 (1977)). Allegations in a petition that are vague, conclusory, or palpably incredible are subject to summary dismissal. Hendricks v. Vasquez, 908 F.2d 490, 491 (9th Cir.1990).

Further, the Court may dismiss a petition for writ of habeas corpus either on its own motion under Habeas Rule 4, pursuant to the respondent's motion to dismiss, or after an answer to the petition has been filed. Advisory Committee Notes to Habeas Rule 8, 1976 Adoption; see, Herbst v. Cook, 260 F.3d 1039, 1042-43 (9th Cir. 2001).

II. Petitioner's Failure to Exhaust State Remedies with

Respect to Some Claims

Petitioner, an inmate of the California Correctional Institution at Techachapi who is serving a twenty-year sentence, challenges his validation as an active gang member, which he alleges has resulted in his no longer receiving time credits.

Petitioner alleges the following claims in the petition:

1) the gang validation procedures violated his right to free association guaranteed under the First and Fourteenth Amendments;

2) the application of Cal. Pen. Code § 2933.6, which prevents validated gang members who are placed into a security housing unit (SHU) from earning time credits pursuant to Cal. Pen. Code § 2933 or 2933.05, violates constitutional protections against ex post facto laws and bills of attainder; 3) the use of symbols and artwork as evidence of gang activity discriminates against Petitioner's Mexican heritage in violation of the First Amendment; and 4) Petitioner received an unfair validation hearing because he was unable to attend an interview due to presence at another proceeding, which violated Petitioner's right to due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment. (Pet. 4-5.)

Petitioner states that his second ground was not presented to any state court. (Pet. 5.) Thus, Petitioner failed to exhaust his state court remedies as to his second claim concerning application of § 2933.6 as violating protections against ex post facto laws and bills of attainder.

A petitioner who is in state custody and wishes to challenge collaterally a decision by a petition for writ of habeas corpus must exhaust state judicial remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). The exhaustion doctrine is based on comity to the state court and gives the state court the initial opportunity to correct the state's alleged constitutional deprivations. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 731 ...


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