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Molina v. Lackner

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

October 11, 2013

MATTHEW A. MOLINA, Petitioner,
v.
HEIDI M. LACKNER, Respondent.

ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

GREGORY G. HOLLOWS, Magistrate Judge.

Petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 together with a request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The court has not ruled on the request to proceed in forma pauperis.

The exhaustion of state court remedies is a prerequisite to the granting of a petition for writ of habeas corpus. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). If exhaustion is to be waived, it must be waived explicitly by respondent's counsel. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(3).[1] A waiver of exhaustion, thus, may not be implied or inferred. A petitioner satisfies the exhaustion requirement by providing the highest state court with a full and fair opportunity to consider all claims before presenting them to the federal court. Picard v. Connor , 404 U.S. 270, 276 (1971); Middleton v. Cupp , 768 F.2d 1083, 1086 (9th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 478 U.S. 1021 (1986).

After reviewing the petition for habeas corpus, the court finds that petitioner has failed to exhaust state court remedies. Although petitioner has filed a motion to stay pursuant to Rhines v. Weber , 544 U.S. 269, 125 S.Ct. 1528 (2005), it clearly appears that the petition is not mixed, but rather that none of the claims have been exhausted. According to the petition, none of the claims have been presented to the California Supreme Court. Further, there is no allegation that state court remedies are no longer available to petitioner. Accordingly, the motion to stay should be denied, and the petition should be dismissed without prejudice.[2] See Jiminez v. Rice , 276 F.3d 478, 481 (9th Cir. 2001) (dismissal is mandated when the petition contains no exhausted claims).

Petitioner has requested the appointment of counsel. There currently exists no absolute right to appointment of counsel in habeas proceedings. See Nevius v. Sumner , 105 F.3d 453, 460 (9th Cir. 1996). However, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A authorizes the appointment of counsel at any stage of the case "if the interests of justice so require." See Rule 8(c), Fed. R. Governing § 2254 Cases. In the present case, the court does not find that the interests of justice would be served by the appointment of counsel at the present time.

Pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, this court must issue or deny a certificate of appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the applicant. A certificate of appealability may issue only "if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). For the reasons set forth in these findings and recommendations, a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right has not been made in this case.

Good cause appearing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. Petitioner's September 17, 2013 request for appointment of counsel (ECF No. 3) is denied without prejudice;

2. The Clerk of the Court is directed to serve a copy of these findings and recommendations together with a copy of the petition filed in the instant case on the Attorney General of the State of California; and

3. The Clerk of the Court is directed to randomly assign a United States District Judge to this action.

IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that:

1. Petitioner's September 17, 2013 motion to stay (ECF No. 4), be denied;

2. Petitioner's application for a writ of habeas corpus be dismissed for failure to exhaust state remedies; and

3. The District Court decline to issue a certificate of appealability.

These findings and recommendations will be submitted to the United States District Judge assigned to this case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within fourteen days after being served with these findings and recommendations, petitioner may file written objections with the court. The document should be captioned "Objections to Findings and Recommendations." Petitioner is advised that failure to file objections within the specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court's order. Martinez v. Ylst , 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991).


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