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Jason Christopher Cruz v. Raul Lopez

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


August 31, 2011

JASON CHRISTOPHER CRUZ, PETITIONER,
v.
RAUL LOPEZ, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

O

ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING PETITION WITHOUT PREJUDICE

The petitioner in this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, Jason Cruz, is a state inmate. He challenges his 2007 conviction for murder and other crimes, for which he is serving a lengthy prison sentence. The Court will dismiss the action summarily because Petitioner points to no federal law that the state courts misapplied in upholding his conviction or sentence.

The federal writ of habeas corpus offers redress "only on the ground that [the petitioner] is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Petitioners not only must limit their claims to those based on federal law but also must exhaust them first in state court, by identifying particular provisions of the Constitution or federal law which have been violated, and the facts which show such a violation. Lyons v. Crawford, 232 F.3d 666, 670 (9th Cir. 2000). Here, Petitioner asserts four claims. All are grounded on state law -- or, at least, invoke no federal law: (1) abuse of discretion in excluding defense rebuttal testimony; (2) denying a mistrial for alleged juror misconduct; (3) denying a new trial motion; and (4) cumulative error based on the three other claims. For the most part, Petitioner is asserting abuses of discretion, which plainly present no federal legal basis for relief. If there is any federal law, including any United States Supreme Court authority, that otherwise somehow supports any of Petitioner's claims, he does not invoke that federal law.

Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts provides in part that "[i]f 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, the judge shall make an order for its summary dismissal and cause the petitioner to be notified." Petitioner states no federal claim in his petition, and thus this matter must be and hereby is DISMISSED, albeit without prejudice.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20110831

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