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Smith v. Grounds

United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division

March 25, 2014

NIIKO DAV'ON SMITH, Petitioner,
v.
R. J. GROUNDS, Respondent.

ORDER FOR SUMMARY DISMISSAL

JOHN A. KRONSTADT, District Judge.

On December 18, 2013, Niiko Dav'on Smith (hereinafter referred to as "Petitioner") filed a "Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus" in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.[1] Petitioner raised the following nine claims in his Petition which he labeled as Grounds Three through Eleven:

(3) In violation of Petitioner's federal rights under the Fifth Amendment, Petitioner was tried and convicted of aiding and abetting a principal;

(4) in violation of Petitioner's federal rights under the First Amendment Petitioner was tried and convicted for associational activities forbidden by California Penal Code § 186.22;

(5) In violation of Petitioner's federal rights under the Fifth Amendment, Petitioner was interrogated while in custody by a method that circumvented the holding of Miranda v. Arizona , 384 U.S. 1436 (1966);

(6) In violation of Petitioner's federal rights under the Fifth Amendment, Petitioner was charged by information, rather than being indicted or presented by a grand jury, despite the fact that the case against Petitioner did not arise in the armed forces, and the crimes were felonies;

(7) In violation of Petitioner's federal rights under the Seventh and Fourteenth Amendments, the jury was not instructed that it could not return a verdict against Petitioner if there was no evidence against Petitioner on any accusation necessary to the charge[s];

(8) In violation of Petitioner's federal rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, the jury was not instructed that it could not return a verdict against Petitioner if, with respect to any accusation necessary to constitute a given charge, though as evidence in Petitioner's favor;

(9) In violation of Petitioner's federal rights under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, the trial court's instructions to the jury permitted the jury to give the State the benefit of the doubt and did not deny it to Petitioner;

(10) In violation of Petitioner's federal rights under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, the jury, with permission of the trial court, made several inferential conclusions that were unsupported by the evidence;

(11) In violation of Petitioner's federal rights under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, California Penal Code § 31 was so vague that Petitioner cannot reasonably anticipate the provision being applied towards Petitioner's conduct, nor being properly applied by the jury." (See Petition at pp. 7 and 8.)[2]

On December 23, 2013, the Court issued a Minute Order ordering Petitioner to file a document with the Court indicating whether Petitioner erroneously filed the within Petition in the United States District Court rather than the California Supreme Court. It appeared to the Court that the Petition was duplicative of the habeas petition filed in Niiko Dav'on Smith v. Warden SVSP, Case No. ED CV 12-01453-JAK (VBK). Petitioner was advised that, if he erroneously filed this Petition in the United States District Court, he could request the Court to dismiss the within Petition and proceed on Case No. ED CV 12-01453-JAK (VBK).

On March 5, 2014, Petitioner filed "[Proposed] Petitioner's Motion to Dismiss the Petition Case No. ED CV 13-02330-JAK (VBK) and Thereafter Requesting the Court Grant the Petitioner's Motion to Stay in Case No. ED CV 12-01453-JAK (VBK)."

Petitioner's habeas petition in Niiko Dav'on Smith v. Warden SVSP, Case No. ED CV 12-01453-JAK (VBK) contains two exhausted claims in Grounds One and Two. On June 4, 2013, Petitioner was granted a Stay in Case No. ED CV 12-01453-JAK (VBK) pursuant to Kelly v. Small , 315 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir. 2003)in order to exhaust Grounds Three through Eleven. Petitioner currently has a habeas petition pending in the California Supreme Court containing the claims in Grounds Three through Eleven.

As noted above, Petitioner requests that the Petition in Case No. ED CV 13-02330-JAK (VBK) be voluntarily dismissed.

Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(1), Petitioner's Petition is hereby dismissed.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Petition is hereby dismissed without prejudice.


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