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Butler v. Unknown

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 15, 2014

KAREN BUTLER, Petitioner,
v.
UNKNOWN, Respondent.

ORDER DISMISSING THE PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS WITH LEAVE TO FILE A FIRST AMENDED PETITION NO LATER THAN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF SERVICE OF THIS ORDER (DOC. 1) ORDER DIRECTING THE CLERK TO SEND TO PETITIONER WITH THIS ORDER A FORM PETITION PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2254

BARBARA A. McAULIFFE, District Judge.

Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The matter has been referred to the Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rules 302 and 303. Pending before the Court is the petition, which was filed on April 25, 2014, and transferred to this Court from the Sacramento Division on May 1, 2014.

I. Screening the Petition

Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States

District Courts (Habeas Rules) requires the Court to make a preliminary review of each petition for writ of habeas corpus. The Court must summarily dismiss a petition "[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court...." Habeas Rule 4; O'Bremski v. Maass , 915 F.2d 418, 420 (9th Cir. 1990); see also Hendricks v. Vasquez , 908 F.2d 490 (9th Cir. 1990). Habeas Rule 2(c) requires that a petition 1) specify all grounds of relief available to the Petitioner; 2) state the facts supporting each ground; and 3) state the relief requested. Notice pleading is not sufficient; rather, the petition must state facts that point to a real possibility of constitutional error. Rule 4, Advisory Committee Notes, 1976 Adoption; O'Bremski v. Maass , 915 F.2d at 420 (quoting Blackledge v. Allison , 431 U.S. 63, 75 n.7 (1977)). Allegations in a petition that are vague, conclusory, or palpably incredible are subject to summary dismissal. Hendricks v. Vasquez , 908 F.2d at 491.

Further, the Court may dismiss a petition for writ of habeas corpus either on its own motion under Habeas Rule 4, pursuant to the respondent's motion to dismiss, or after an answer to the petition has been filed. Advisory Committee Notes to Habeas Rule 8, 1976 Adoption; see, Herbst v. Cook , 260 F.3d 1039, 1042-43 (9th Cir. 2001).

A petition for writ of habeas corpus should not be dismissed without leave to amend unless it appears that no tenable claim for relief can be pleaded were such leave granted. Jarvis v. Nelson , 440 F.2d 13, 14 (9th Cir. 1971).

II. Failure to Allege Facts Warranting Habeas Relief

Here, Petitioner alleges that she is an inmate of the California Institution for Women located in Corona, California (CIW), serving a sentence of four years imposed for a conviction sustained in October 2011 in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Madera, which is within the territorial boundaries of this district. Petitioner does not state any legal or factual grounds for relief. Further, Petitioner has failed to name a respondent, and she has not alleged that she exhausted state court remedies.

Because the petition was filed after April 24, 1996, the effective date of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), the AEDPA applies to the petition. Lindh v. Murphy , 521 U.S. 320, 327 (1997); Jeffries v. Wood , 114 F.3d 1484, 1499 (9th Cir. 1997).

A district court may entertain a petition for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court only on the ground that the custody is in violation of the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. 28 U.S.C. §§ 2254(a), 2241(c)(3); Williams v. Taylor , 529 U.S. 362, 375 n.7 (2000); Wilson v. Corcoran , 562 U.S. ___, ___, 131 S.Ct. 13, 16 (2010) (per curiam).

The notice pleading standard applicable in ordinary civil proceedings does not apply in habeas corpus cases; rather, Habeas Rules 2(c), 4, and 5(b) require a more detailed statement of all grounds for relief and the facts supporting each ground; the petition is expected to state facts that point to a real possibility of constitutional error and show the relationship of the facts to the claim. Habeas Rule 4, Advisory Committee Notes, 1976 Adoption; Mayle v. Felix , 545 U.S. 644, 655 (2005); O'Bremski v. Maass , 915 F.2d 418, 420 (9th Cir. 1990) (quoting Blackledge v. Allison , 431 U.S. 63, 75 n.7 (1977)). This is because the purpose of the rules is to assist the district court in determining whether the respondent should be ordered to show cause why the writ should not be granted and to permit the filing of an answer that satisfies the requirement that it address the allegations in the petition. Mayle v. Felix , 545 U.S. at 655. Allegations in a petition that are vague, conclusional, or ...


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