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Starr v. Yolo County Superior Court

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 25, 2014

ROBIN GILLEN STARR, et al.,
v.
YOLO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, et al., Respondents. Petitioners,

ORDER: (1) DISMISSING ALL OTHER PETITIONERS' ACTIONS EXCEPT PETITIONER STARR'S; (2) DENYING PETITIONER STARR'S MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL; (3) DENYING HIS REMAINING PENDING MOTIONS AS PREMATURE; AND (4) DIRECTING HIM TO FILE: (A) NOTICE OF CONTINUED INTENT TO PROSECUTE; AND (B) CERTIFICATE OF FUNDS IN SUPPORT OF IN FORMA PAUPERIS APPLICATION

YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS, District Judge.

On January 22, 2014, Petitioner Robin Gillen Starr, a prisoner at Salinas Valley State Prison ("SVSP"), filed the instant federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on behalf of himself and other prisoners.

As an initial matter, the Court finds that each Petitioner should proceed in separate cases. Because the claims are not common to all Petitioners, and because these Petitioners have limited access to one another and cannot represent each other in these proceedings, basic case management principles of delay reduction and avoidance of confusion call for their claims to proceed separately. Accordingly, all other Petitioners' actions except for Petitioner Starr's action are DISMISSED from this action without prejudice to allow these other Petitioners to file new actions. The Clerk of the Court shall send the other Petitioners a blank habeas corpus petition form with which to file their own actions.

The Court now reviews the claims submitted by Petitioner Starr (hereinafter "Petitioner"). Among his allegations, which are difficult to decipher on the hand-written petition, Petitioner seems to claim due process violations, a violation of the constitutional protection against double jeopardy, and a denial of his right to cross-examine witnesses. Dkt. 1 at 8-11.[1]

Also on January 22, 2104, the Clerk sent Petitioner a notice directing him to pay the filing fee or to file a completed in forma pauperis ("IFP") application. The Court cannot conduct an initial review of this matter until Petitioner has either paid the filing fee or completed an IFP application. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) (a party is permitted to file a civil action in federal court without prepayment of fees or security if he makes affidavit that he is unable to pay such fees or give security therefor).

On February 3, 2014, Petitioner filed a motion leave to proceed IFP; however, he did not file a prisoner trust account statement showing transactions for the last six months or a Certificate of Funds that was signed by an authorized officer at the prison. Dkt. 10. Instead, the record shows that Petitioner submitted a Certificate of Funds; however, he signed it - posing as an authorized officer at SVSP. Id. at 5.

Petitioner then filed various motions in the instant action, among them he seeks preliminary injunctive relief (dkt. 4) and leave to file an amended complaint (dkt. 9). Petitioner also filed motions entitled, "Motion for: Summary Judgment Pursuant to § 1473(pc)" (dkt. 11), [2] and "Motion to Vacate All Sentences" (dkt. 14). However, as explained below, because Petitioner has not filed the requisite supporting documents with his IFP application, these motions will be denied as premature.

This action was originally assigned to Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu; however, he declined magistrate judge jurisdiction (dkt. 8) and his case was later reassigned to the undersigned Judge (dkt. 13). On February 6, 2014 and February 7, 2014, the Clerk's notice regarding the impending reassignment (dkt. 12) and the Order Reassigning Case (dkt. 13), respectively, were mailed to Petitioner at SVSP.

On February 25, 2014, Petitioner filed his prisoner trust account statement in support of his IFP application. Dkt. 15.

On February 27, 2014, the Clerk sent Petitioner a notice directing him to pay the filing fee or to file a proper Certificate of Funds. The Clerk provided another copy of the correct IFP application form, along with a return envelope, instructions, and a notification that the case would be dismissed if Petitioner failed to pay the fee or file the requisite document within twenty-eight days. All the aforementioned documents were mailed to Petitioner at SVSP.

On March 5, 2014, the Clerk's February 6, 2014 notice regarding the impending reassignment (dkt. 12) and the February 7, 2014 Order Reassigning Case (dkt. 13) were returned undeliverable because Petitioner "refused" them. Dkts. 17, 18. Meanwhile, the Clerk's February 27, 2014 notice was not returned as undeliverable; therefore, the Court assumes Petitioner received that notice relating to filing a proper Certificate of Funds, which was due on March 27, 2014.

The March 27, 2014 deadline passed, and Petitioner did not file a proper Certificate of Funds. Instead, he filed more premature motions, including the following entitled: "Motion for Costs" (dkt. 21); two other "Motion[s] for Summary Judgment" (dkts. 23, 26); and a "Motion for an Order for Bodys [sic] to be Produced for Court on Due Process" (dkt. 25). Again, for the same reasons mentioned above, these motions will be denied as premature.

Out of an abundance of caution, on April 23, 2014, the Clerk attempted to send Petitioner a second notice directing him to pay the filing fee or to file a proper Certificate of Funds. The Clerk sent ...


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