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Stanley Clarke, Petitioner v. State of California


January 22, 2013


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jennifer L. Thurston United States Magistrate Judge


Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding in propria persona with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.


The instant petition was filed on January 11, 2013. A preliminary review of the petition, however, reveals that the petition contains only claims that have not been exhausted in state court and that, therefore, the petition should therefore be dismissed. The preliminary review also indicates that Petitioner has failed to name the proper respondent, thus depriving this Court of jurisdiction to proceed.


A. Preliminary Review of Petition.

Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases allows a district court to dismiss a petition if it "plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is 5 not entitled to relief in the district court . . . ." Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. The 6

Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 8 indicate that the court may dismiss a petition for writ of habeas 7 corpus, either on its own motion under Rule 4, pursuant to the respondent's motion to dismiss, or after 8 an answer to the petition has been filed. Herbst v. Cook, 260 F.3d 1039 (9th Cir.2001). 9

B. Exhaustion.

A petitioner who is in state custody and wishes to collaterally challenge his conviction 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 (1991); Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 518 (1982); Buffalo v. Sunn, 854 F.2d 1158, 1163 (9th Cir. 1988).

A petitioner can satisfy the exhaustion requirement by providing the highest state court with a full and fair opportunity to consider each claim before presenting it to the federal court. Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365 (1995); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 276 (1971); Johnson v. Zenon, 88 F.3d 828, 829 (9th Cir. 1996). A federal court will find that the highest state court was given a full and fair opportunity to hear a claim if the petitioner has presented the highest state court with the claim's factual and legal basis. Duncan, 513 U.S. at 365 (legal basis); Kenney v. Tamayo-Reyes, 504 U.S. 1, 112 S.Ct. 1715, 1719 (1992) (factual basis).

Additionally, the petitioner must have specifically told the state court that he was raising a federal constitutional claim. Duncan, 513 U.S. at 365-66; Lyons v. Crawford, 232 F.3d 666, 669 (9th Cir. 2000), amended, 247 F.3d 904 (2001); Hiivala v. Wood, 195 F.3d 1098, 1106 (9th Cir. 1999); Keating v. Hood, 133 F.3d 1240, 1241 (9th Cir. 1998). In Duncan, the United States Supreme Court reiterated the rule as follows:

In Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275 . . . (1971), we said that exhaustion of state remedies requires that petitioners "fairly presen[t]" federal claims to the state courts in order to give the

State the "opportunity to pass upon and correct alleged violations of the prisoners' federal rights" (some internal quotation marks omitted). If state courts are to be given the opportunity to correct alleged violations of prisoners' federal rights, they must surely be alerted to the fact that the prisoners are asserting claims under the United States Constitution. If a habeas petitioner wishes to claim that an evidentiary ruling at a state court trial denied him the due process of law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, he must say so, not only in federal court, but in state court.

Duncan, 513 U.S. at 365-366. The Ninth Circuit examined the rule further, stating: Our rule is that a state prisoner has not "fairly presented" (and thus exhausted) his federal claims in state court unless he specifically indicated to that court that those claims were based on federal law. See Shumway v. Payne, 223 F.3d 982, 987-88 (9th Cir. 2000). Since the Supreme Court's decision in Duncan, this court has held that the petitioner must make the federal basis of the claim explicit either by citing federal law or the decisions of federal courts, even if the federal basis is "self-evident," Gatlin v. Madding, 189 F.3d 882, 889 (9th Cir. 1999) (citing Anderson v. Harless, 459 U.S. 4, 7 . . . (1982), or the underlying claim would be decided under state law on the same considerations that would control resolution of the claim on federal grounds. Hiivala v. Wood, 195 F3d 1098, 1106-07 (9th Cir. 1999); Johnson v. Zenon, 88 F.3d 828, 830-31 (9th Cir. 1996); . . . .

In Johnson, we explained that the petitioner must alert the state court to the fact that the relevant claim is a federal one without regard to how similar the state and federal standards for reviewing the claim may be or how obvious the violation of federal law is.

Lyons v. Crawford, 232 F.3d 666, 668-669 (9th Cir. 2000) (italics added).

Here, Petitioner indicates that his direct appeal concluded with filing an appeal in the California Court of Appeal. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Petitioner also alleges that he has filed only one state habeas petition, filed in the Superior Court on January 7, 2013, seeking to exhaust claims in state court. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Accordingly, by Petitioner's own admission, he has not presented any of these claims to the California Supreme Court. Thus, the entire petition is unexhausted.

Because Petitioner has not presented his claims for federal relief to the California Supreme Court, the Court must dismiss the petition. See Calderon v. United States Dist. Court, 107 F.3d 756, 760 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc); Greenawalt v. Stewart, 105 F.3d 1268, 1273 (9th Cir. 1997). The Court cannot consider a petition that is entirely unexhausted. Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 521-22 (1982); Calderon, 107 F.3d at 760.

However, the Court will permit Petitioner to submit a response to this Order to Show Cause in the event that some claims are exhausted by that Petitioner has merely omitted to inform the Court of 3 that fact. If indeed that is the case, it is Petitioner's obligation in any response to provide evidence of 4 exhaustion, e.g., the date of filing, the court in which the appeal or petition was filed, the date and 5 nature of the disposition. 6

C. Failure To Name The Proper Respondent.

A petitioner seeking habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 must name the state officer having custody of him as the respondent to the petition. Rule 2 (a) of the Rules Governing § 2254 9 Cases; Ortiz-Sandoval v. Gomez, 81 F.3d 891, 894 (9th Cir. 1996); Stanley v. California Supreme Court, 21 F.3d 359, 360 (9th Cir. 1994). Normally, the person having custody of an incarcerated petitioner is the warden of the prison in which the petitioner is incarcerated because the warden has "day-to-day control over" the petitioner. Brittingham v. United States, 982 F.2d 378, 379 (9th Cir. 1992); see also, Stanley v. California Supreme Court, 21 F.3d 359, 360 (9th Cir. 1994). However, the chief officer in charge of state penal institutions is also appropriate. Ortiz, 81 F.3d at 894; Stanley, 21 F.3d at 360. Where a petitioner is on probation or parole, the proper respondent is his probation or parole officer and the official in charge of the parole or probation agency or state correctional agency. Id.

Here, Petitioner has named as Respondents the "State of California" and "the Madera County Probation Department." However, neither "the State of California" nor the "Madera County Probation Department" is the warden or chief officer of the institution where Petitioner is confined and, thus, does not have day-to-day control over Petitioner. Petitioner must name the current director or warden of the facility where Petitioner is confined for the Court to have habeas jurisdiction over this case.

Petitioner's failure to name a proper respondent requires dismissal of his habeas petition for lack of jurisdiction. Stanley, 21 F.3d at 360; Olson v. California Adult Auth., 423 F.2d 1326, 1326 (9th Cir. 1970); see also, Billiteri v. United States Bd. Of Parole, 541 F.2d 938, 948 (2nd Cir. 1976). However, the Court will give Petitioner the opportunity to cure this defect by amending the petition to name a proper respondent, such as the warden of his facility. See West v. Louisiana, 2 478 F.2d 1026, 1029 (5th Cir.1973), vacated in part on other grounds, 510 F.2d 363 (5th Cir.1975) 3

(en banc) (allowing petitioner to amend petition to name proper respondent); Ashley v. State of 4 Washington, 394 F.2d 125 (9th Cir. 1968) (same). In any amended petition, Petitioner must name a 5 proper respondent. 6

In the interests of judicial economy, Petitioner need not file an amended petition. Instead, Petitioner can satisfy this deficiency in his petition by filing a motion entitled "Motion to Amend the 8 Petition to Name a Proper Respondent" wherein Petitioner names the proper respondent in this action. 9


For the foregoing reasons, the Court HEREBY ORDERS:

1. Petitioner is ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE within thirty (30) days of the date of service of this Order why the Petition should not be dismissed for lack of exhaustion;

2. Petitioner must file a motion to amend the caption to name the proper Respondent within thirty days of the date of service of this Order.

Petitioner is forewarned that his failure to comply with this order may result in a Recommendation that the Petition be dismissed pursuant to Local Rule 110.



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