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Brian Keith Barnett v. Matthew Cate

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 13, 2012

BRIAN KEITH BARNETT,
PETITIONER,
v.
MATTHEW CATE, RESPONDENT.

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

ORDER DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR DISCOVERY WITHOUT PREJUDICE [Doc. 13]

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

Now pending before the Court is Petitioner's motion requesting leave to pursue discovery filed on January 30, 2012.

Although discovery is available pursuant to Rule 6, it is only granted at the Court's discretion, and upon a showing of good cause. Bracy v. Gramley, 520 U.S. 899, 904 (1997); McDaniel v. United States Dist. Court (Jones), 127 F.3d 886, 888 (9th Cir. 1997); Jones v. Wood, 114 F.3d 1002, 1009 (9th Cir. 1997); Rule 6(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2254. Good cause is shown "where specific allegations before the court show reason to believe that the petitioner may, if the facts are fully developed, be able to demonstrate that he is . . . entitled to relief." Bracy v. Gramley, 520 U.S. at 908-09 (citing Harris v. Nelson, 394 U.S. 287 (1969). Discovery will not be allowed so that the petition can "explore [his] case in search of its existence," looking for new constitutional claims. See Rich v. Calderon, 187 F.3d 1064, 1067 (9th Cir. 1999). If good cause is shown, the extent and scope of discovery is within the court's discretion. See Habeas Rule 6(a). The Court's duty in a habeas proceeding is to determine whether or not petitioner's constitutional rights were violated in the course of the conviction.

Petitioner requests Respondent produce certain documents, including a copy of the parole violation decision, records of the Board of Parole Hearing and various copies of California Code of Regulations. Petitioner has failed to demonstrate good cause for the Court to order discovery. Furthermore, the motion is premature because the Court cannot determine whether discovery is necessary until it receives an answer from the Respondent. Accordingly, Petitioner's motion is denied without prejudice.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120213

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