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Latasha Diane Williams v. Dobson-Davis

August 22, 2012

LATASHA DIANE WILLIAMS,
PETITIONER,
v.
DOBSON-DAVIS, WARDEN,
RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles F. Eick United States Magistrate Judge

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

This Report and Recommendation is submitted to the Honorable Josephine Staton Tucker, United States District Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 636 and General Order 05-07 of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

PROCEEDINGS

Petitioner filed a "Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus By a Person in State Custody" on January 27, 2012, bearing a signature date of January 17, 2012. Petitioner filed a First Amended Petition, the operative pleading, on March 9, 2012 ("the Petition"). Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss on June 22, 2012, asserting that the Petition is untimely. Petitioner filed a "Motion to Respond Opposition to the Motion of Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus" on August 6, 2012.

BACKGROUND

A jury found Petitioner guilty of: (1) three counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter in violation of California Penal Code sections 192(a) and 664(a); (2) three counts of assault with a firearm within the meaning of California Penal Code section 245(a)(2); and (3) three counts of discharging a firearm at another person from a motor vehicle in violation of California Penal Code section 12034(c) (see Respondent's Lodgment 1, p. 10; Respondent's Lodgment 3, pp. 1-2; see People v. Williams, 2006 WL 2280187, at *5 (Cal. App. Aug. 9, 2006)). The jury also found true the allegations that: (1) on all counts, Petitioner personally used a firearm within the meaning of California Penal Code sections 12022.5(a)(1) and 12022.53(b); (2) on the attempted manslaughter counts, Petitioner personally and intentionally discharged a firearm within the meaning of California Penal Code section 12022.53(c); (3) on two of the attempted manslaughter counts and two of the assault counts, Petitioner personally inflicted great bodily injury within the meaning of California Penal Code section 12022.7(a); and (4) on two of the discharging counts, Petitioner personally and intentionally discharged a firearm causing great bodily injury within the meaning of California Penal Code section 12022.53(d) (see Respondent's Lodgment 1, p. 11; see People v. Williams, 2006 WL 2280187, at *5). Petitioner received a sentence of 61 years and 8 months to life (see Respondent's Lodgment 1, p. 11; Respondent's Lodgment 3, pp. 9-12; see People v. Williams, 2006 WL 2280187, at *6).

On August 9, 2006, the Court of Appeal issued an opinion striking all enhancements imposed pursuant to California Penal Code sections 12053(b), (c) and/or (e)*fn1 and vacating the stay on the section 12022.5(a)(1) enhancement on Count 9, but otherwise affirming the judgment (see Respondent's Lodgment 1; see People v. Williams, 2006 WL 2280187 (Cal. App. Aug. 9, 2006)). The Court of Appeal ordered the Superior Court to prepare an amended and corrected abstract of judgment (see Respondent's Lodgment 1, at pp. 1, 24; see People v. Williams, 2006 WL 2280187, at *1, 12). On August 18, 2006, the Superior Court corrected Petitioner's sentence on remand (Respondent's Lodgment 3, pp. 4-5).

Petitioner filed a petition for review in the California Supreme Court on September 12, 2006 (Respondent's Lodgment 2). The California Supreme Court denied this petition on October 18, 2006, without prejudice to any relief to which Petitioner might be entitled after the United States Supreme Court decided the then-pending case of Cunningham v. California (Respondent's Lodgment 2).*fn2

In 2007 and 2008, Petitioner sent various documents to the Superior Court. Petitioner filed a motion for modification of sentence in the Superior Court on June 28, 2007 (First Amended Petition, Ground Three attachment; Respondent's Lodgment 3, p. 4). Petitioner sent the Superior Court a letter dated October 11, 2007, inquiring whether the court had received the June 28, 2007 motion (First Amended Petition, Ground Three attachment; Respondent's Lodgment 3, p. 4). The Superior Court received this letter on October 15, 2007 (id.). On December 10, 2007, Petitioner sent the Superior Court a letter or motion purportedly seeking relief under Cunningham, which the court received on December 13, 2007 (First Amended Complaint, Ground Three attachment; Respondent's Lodgment 3, p. 4). On January 2, 2008, the Superior Court sent a copy of Petitioner's December 2007 letter to the "Conflict Panel & DA for handling" (id.). On February 1, 2008, the Superior Court received a letter from Plaintiff, dated January 21, 2008, regarding Petitioner's "Cunningham motion" (Respondent's Lodgment 3, pp. 3-4). On February 1, 2008, the Superior Court sent Petitioner a letter stating that the judge had ordered Petitioner's December 13, 2007 "Motion" to be "forwarded to the Conflict Panel and District Attorney for handling" (Respondent's Lodgment 4). On July 30, 2008, the Superior Court forwarded to the Conflict Panel another letter from Petitioner, dated July 22, 2008 (Respondent's Lodgment 3, p. 3).

Almost two years later, on May 11, 2010, Petitioner filed her first habeas corpus petition in the Superior Court, bearing a signature date of April 29, 2010 (Respondent's Lodgments 5, 6). On May 25, 2010, the Superior Court denied the petition as untimely and as lacking factual support (Respondent's Lodgment 6). Petitioner filed a second habeas corpus petition in the Superior Court on July 29, 2010, which the court denied on August 3, 2010 as a "serial petition" alleging no new facts (Respondent's Lodgment 7).*fn3 Petitioner filed a document in the Superior Court on August 30, 2010, which court construed as a motion for reconsideration, denying such motion on September 3, 2010 (Respondent's Lodgment 7). Petitioner filed a third habeas corpus petition in the Superior Court on October 5, 2010, which the court denied on October 7, 2010 as a serial petition alleging no new facts (Respondent's Lodgment 7). Petitioner filed a document in the Superior Court on December 9, 2010, which the court construed as a subsequent serial petition and denied (Respondent's Lodgment 7). Petitioner filed another petition in the Superior Court on February 25, 2011, which the court denied on March 2, 2011 as a serial petition alleging no new facts (Respondent's Lodgment 7). Petitioner filed another petition in the Superior Court on March 10, 2011, which the court denied on March 15, 2011 as a serial petition alleging no new facts (Respondent's Lodgment 7). Petitioner filed another habeas petition in the Superior Court on April 25, 2011, which the court denied on April 26, 2011 as a serial petition alleging no new facts (Respondent's Lodgment 7).

In the meantime, Petitioner filed a habeas corpus petition in the California Court of Appeal on March 18, 2011, which that court denied summarily on May 9, 2011 (Respondent's Lodgments 8, 10). Petitioner filed a second habeas corpus petition in the Court of Appeal on May 18, 2011, which that court denied summarily on May 24, 2011 (Respondent's Lodgment 11; see docket in In re Latasha Williams, California Court of Appeal case number E053588).*fn4

Petitioner filed a habeas corpus petition in the California Supreme Court on July 14, 2011, which that court denied on November 22, 2011 with a citation to In re Robbins 18 Cal. 4th 770, 77 Cal. Rptr. 2d 153, 959 P.2d 311 (1998), signifying that the court deemed the petition to be untimely (Respondent's Lodgment 12).*fn5

PETITIONER'S CONTENTIONS

Petitioner contends:

Ground One

The trial court allegedly denied Petitioner the right to a fair and impartial jury, assertedly by refusing to question and dismiss a juror whom Petitioner allegedly knew; the prosecutor allegedly committed misconduct, purportedly by begging the court to sentence Petitioner to life.

Ground Two

The court reporter allegedly gave jurors an exhibit, Exhibit No. 103, which the court purportedly had ruled inadmissible; the court allegedly erred in denying a motion for a new trial based on the jury's asserted consideration of this exhibit.

Ground Three

Petitioner allegedly "has been diligent in seeking relief."

Ground Four

Petitioner "was not given proper amended abstract in order to properly present her case, which created an extraordinary circumstance"; Petitioner allegedly never received notice of the trial court's asserted order requiring the clerk to prepare an amended abstract of judgment, or of the amended abstract of judgment, until May ...


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