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Evans v. State

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 30, 2014

ROBERT C. EVANS, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, Respondent

Robert C Evans, Petitioner, Pro se, Crescent City, CA.

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR STAY AND ABEYANCE, SUMMARILY DISMISSING ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE, AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

HON. MANUEL L. REAL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

On November 26, 2014, the Court received a " Motion for Stay and Abeyance" (" Motion") from would-be federal habeas petitioner Robert C. Evans (" Petitioner"), a California State prisoner proceeding pro se . [Dkt. No. 1.] In the Motion, Petitioner asks the Court to hold his federal habeas petition in abeyance while he exhausts certain claims in California state court. (Mot. at 2.) However, Petitioner has not filed such a petition in this Court. Accordingly, and for the reasons below, the Court will deny the Motion and dismiss this action, without prejudice, for lack of jurisdiction.

As a general matter, the exercise of federal jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution depends on the existence of a case or controversy. U.S. Nat'l Bank of Or. v. Indep. Ins. Agents of Am., Inc., 508 U.S. 439, 446, 113 S.Ct. 2173, 124 L.Ed.2d 402 (1993). In a state prisoner's federal habeas action, the underlying " controversy" is whether the petitioner is " in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." Calderon v. Ashmus, 523 U.S. 740, 746, 118 S.Ct. 1694, 140 L.Ed.2d 970 (1998); 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Here, because Petitioner has filed no federal petition challenging his conviction or sentence, there is no case or controversy to be heard. See, e.g., Carr v. California, 2013 WL 3053093, at *2 (C.D. Cal. June 14, 2013). Accordingly, the Court lacks jurisdiction to consider Petitioner's Motion. See id.

Notably, many federal district courts in California have reached the same conclusion on similar facts. Often, a state prisoner will submit a pre-petition request to extend the one-year filing deadline set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Courts routinely dismiss, for lack of jurisdiction, the actions commenced by such requests. See, e.g., Ford v. Warden, 2008 WL 2676842, at *1 (C.D. Cal. July 7, 2008). An action commenced by a pre-petition " Motion for Stay and Abeyance, " though less common, is similarly subject to dismissal for lack of jurisdiction. See Carr, 2013 WL 3053093, at *1-2.

Here, Petitioner has not filed a federal habeas petition. ( See Mot. at 2.) Thus, his pre-petition motion fails to present a case or controversy over which the Court may exercise jurisdiction. See Carr, 2013 WL 3053093, at *2. Accordingly, the Court must dismiss this action. See id.

Additionally, for the reasons above, the Court finds that Petitioner has not shown that reasonable jurists would find it debatable whether this Court was correct in its procedural ruling. See Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 483-84, 120 S.Ct. 1595, 146 L.Ed.2d 542 (2000). The Court thus declines to issue a certificate of appealability.

For the foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that:

1. The Motion be DENIED;

2. This action be SUMMARILY DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts; and

3. A Certificate of Appealability be DENIED.

LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.

JUDGMENT

IT IS ADJUDGED that the above-captioned action is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for lack of jurisdiction.


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