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James v. Beard

United States District Court, N.D. California, Oakland Division

September 29, 2014

MICHAEL JAMES, Petitioner
v.
JEFFREY A. BEARD, Secretary of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (

ORDER DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND PETITION; GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS PETITION AS UNTIMELY; AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

SAUNDRA BROWN ARMSTRONG, District Judge.

Petitioner Michael James filed the instant pro se action for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The parties are presently before the Court on Respondent's motion to dismiss the instant petition as untimely under the one-year limitations period prescribed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). Also before the Court is a submission by Petitioner entitled, "Declaration of Michael James In Support of [His] Motion to Amend Complaint, " which the Court construes as a motion for leave to file an amended petition.

Having read and considered the papers submitted and being fully informed, the Court DENIES Petitioner's motion for leave to file an amended petition, and GRANTS Respondent's motion to dismiss the petition.

I. BACKGROUND

On February 3, 2009, Petitioner pleaded no contest to dissuading a witness by force or threat in violation of California Penal Code § 136.1(c)(1). Petitioner later sought to withdraw his plea, but the request was denied. On March 20, 2009, the state court sentenced Petitioner to three years in prison, suspended the execution of his sentence, and placed him on probation for five years.

On June 23, 2009, a petition to revoke Petitioner's probation was filed. On October 13, 2009, the state court found Petitioner in violation of the terms of his probation, committed him to 120 days in jail for the violaattion, and modified the terms of his probation.

Petitioner appealed both matters which wwere consolidated by the California Court of Appeal. On May 11, 2011, the California Couurrt of Appeal affirmed Petitioner's conviction. Answer, Ex. 1. On July 27, 2011, the California Supreme Court denied review. Answer, Ex. 2.

On March 23, 2012, Petitioner filed his first federal petition in this Court alleging several claims. See Case No. C 12-01475 LHK (PR). On November 13, 2012, the Court dismissed the petition based on Petitioner's faiilure to exhaust his state court remedies prior to filing his federal petition. Answer, Ex. 3; Dkt. 4 of Case No. C 12-01475 LHK (PR) at 3.

On February 24, 2013, [1] Petitioner filed the instant petition. Dkt. 1. In response, Respondent has filed a Motion to Dismiss Habeas Petition as Untimely. Dkt. 9. The matter is fully briefed and is ripe for adjudication. Dkt. 12, 15.

II. DISCUSSION

A. PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND PETITION

With regard to habeas petitions, district courts have "the discretion to decide whether the motion to amend should be granted." Woods v. Carey , 525 F.3d 886, 890 (9th Cir. 2008). Petitioner's request for leave to amend is both procedurally and substantively infirm.

Civil Local Rule 10-1 requires any party seeking leave to amend to provide a copy of the proposed pleading, which Petitioner has failed to do. Although Petitioner is pro se, he remains subject to the same rules and proceddures as a represented party. See Ghazali v. Moran , 46 F.3d 52, 54 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam). The failure to comply with the Local Rules, standing alone, warrants the denial of Petitioner's motion. Tri-Valley CARES v. U.S. Dept. of Energy , 671 F.3d 1113, 1131 (9th Cir. 2012) ("Denial of a motion as the result of a failure to comply with local rules is well within a district court's discretion.").

Even if the motion were properly presented, the basis of the motion is unclear. Pursuant to Ru R le 2(c) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, a federal habeas petition must specify all grounds for relief and "state the facts suppporting each ground." Here, the motion consists almost entirely of a discussion regarding tthe federal Whistleblower Protection Act and the False Claims Act, without any elaboration as to how these statutes relate, if at all, to his habeas petition or any proposed claims. Moreover, as will be discussed below, Petitioner's amended petition, the operative pleading before the Court, is time-barred. Accordingly, any further amendment to the petition would be futile. See Bonin v. Calderon , 59 F.3d ...


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