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Manunga v. Superior Court of California, County of Orange

United States District Court, C.D. California

February 28, 2014

JEANNE MUNDONGO MANUNGA, Petitioner,
v.
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF ORANGE, Respondent.

ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING HABEAS ACTION

ANDREW J. GUILFORD, District Judge.

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." For the second time in two actions, Petitioner seeks habeas relief to challenge a 2010 conviction for which she has already completed her time "in custody." Because she no longer is serving time for that conviction, the Court lacks jurisdiction and will dismiss the action summarily. (The action also presents at least some unexhausted claims and, as before, is plainly untimely.)

I.

BACKGROUND: THE PRIOR, SIMILAR PETITION AND ITS DISMISSAL

The Court explained the following background information - largely unchanged today - in dismissing her prior habeas action, No. SA CV 13-0029 AG (RZ), in which she invoked 28 U.S.C. § 2241 rather than § 2254 as she does now:

Petitioner is a Congolese national now facing deportation based on a 2010 state felony conviction, the sentence for which crime she had completely served before she filed this action. She asserts in this 28 U.S.C. § 2241 habeas action that her appointed counsel in the 2010 case was ineffective for failing to advise her that a conviction could result in her now imminent deportation. If she had been thus advised, she states, then she would have taken an unspecified plea bargain - presumably meaning one that would not result in deportation - rather than proceed to trial.
...

I.

BACKGROUND

In 2010, an Orange County Superior Court jury convicted Petitioner of false imprisonment by deceit. She was sentenced to jail either for 16 months, see Pet. at 2, 5-6, as she indicates, or for one year, as the Clerk's Transcript appears to show. Lodgment 1 at 184-88 (verdicts on counts 1-5), 247 (minutes of July 9, 2010 indicating Petitioner was sentenced to "[s]erve 365 Day(s) [in] Orange County Jail as to count(s) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5"). Whichever sentence is correct, it is undisputed that Petitioner no longer is in custody due to this conviction. She appealed unsuccessfully. Pet. at 2, 5. The California Supreme Court rejected her petition for further direct review on June 30, 2011, See Lodgment 8 (submitted by state Respondent).
Federal authorities commenced removal proceedings on October 1, 2012 by serving her with a Notice To Appear. Id. at 26-27. The NTA charged that she was removable pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) because her false-imprisonment crime is an aggravated felony as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(F). After an immigration hearing on March 12, 2013, an immigration judge denied her requests for relief and ordered her removed, see Exhibits to Pet'r's Letter Brief filed March 20, 2013, although as of this writing she does not appear to have been removed.
Petitioner filed the present habeas petition on January 7, 2013. She asserts that her 2010 trial counsel was ineffective for failing to tell her that she would be subject to removal if she proceeded to trial and lost. Had Petitioner known this, she insists, she would have agreed to an unspecified plea agreement that would not have led to removal.
It is unclear who the proper Respondent is, in the sense of the proper real party in interest. On the one hand, Petitioner challenges a state conviction. On the other hand, what prompted her challenge was her possible deportation by federal officials. In an abundance of prudence, the Court ...

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