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Molina Pinto v. Jennings

United States District Court, C.D. California

February 2, 2015

CARLOS A. MOLINA PINTO AKA CARLOS MOLINA, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID JENNINGS, Respondent.

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

DAVID T. BRISTOW, Magistrate Judge.

On December 31, 2014, petitioner filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in Federal Custody ("Pet.") herein. The Petition purports to be directed to a 2008 conviction sustained by petitioner in Los Angeles County Superior Court. (See Pet. at ¶¶ 2-3.) Petitioner purports to be raising two grounds for relief. (See Pet. at ¶ 9(a-b).)

Based on its review of the Petition as well as information derived from the California Appellate Courts website[1], it appears to the Court that the Petition is time barred. Accordingly, on or before March 2, 2015, petitioner is ORDERED to show cause in writing (if any he has) why the Court should not recommend that this action be dismissed with prejudice on the ground of untimeliness.[2]

THE TIME BAR ISSUE

Since this action was filed after the President signed into law the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (the "AEDPA") on April 24, 1996, it is subject to the AEDPA's one-year limitation period, as set forth at 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). See Calderon v. United States District Court for the Central District of California (Beeler), 128 F.3d 1283, 1287 n.3 (9th Cir. 1997).[3] 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) provides:

"(1) A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of-
(A) the date on which the judgment became final by conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review;
(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was prevented from filing by such State action;
(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or
(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence."

From a review of the Petition, as well as the California Appellate Courts website, it appears that petitioner appealed the underlying judgment of conviction to the California Court of Appeal on May 13, 2008. Thereafter, petitioner voluntarily dismissed his appeal on November 25, 2008. Petitioner failed to petition the California Supreme Court for review of the court of appeal decision on direct appeal. Under the relevant California Rules of Court, his time for doing so lapsed 40 days after the November 25, 2008 voluntary dismissal of his appeal. See Cal. R. Ct. 8.264(b)(1) [formerly 24(b)(1)] and 8.500(e)(1) [formerly 28(e)(1)]. Thus, for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A), petitioner's judgment of conviction "became final by conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review" on January 4, 2009.

From the face of the Petition, it does not appear that petitioner has any basis for contending that he is entitled to a later trigger date under § 2244(d)(1)(B). The Court notes in this regard that petitioner did not have a constitutional right to counsel for purposes of filing a Petition for Review in the California Supreme Court or a state habeas petition. See Pennsylvania v. Finley, 481 U.S. 551, 555, 107 S.Ct. 1990, 95 L.Ed.2d 539 (1987) (holding that the right to counsel extends "to the first appeal of right, and no further"). Nor does it appear that petitioner has any basis for contending that he is entitled to a later trigger date under § 2244(d)(1)(C) because none of the claims alleged in the Petition appears to be based on a federal constitutional right that was initially recognized by the United States Supreme Court subsequent to the date his conviction became final and that has been made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review. Finally, it does not appear that petitioner has any basis for contending that he is entitled to a later trigger date under § 2244(d)(1)(D) since it appears that petitioner was aware of the factual predicate of each of his claims as of the date he was convicted and sentenced. See Hasan v. Galaza, 254 F.3d 1150, 1154 n.3 (9th Cir. 2001) (statute of limitations begins to run when a prisoner "knows (or through diligence could discover) the important facts, not when the prisoner recognizes their legal significance").

Thus, unless a basis for tolling the statute existed, petitioner's last day to file his federal habeas petition was January 4, 2010. See Patterson v. Stewart, 251 F.3d 1243, 1246 (9th Cir. 2001); Beeler, 128 F.3d at 1287-88. The instant Petition was filed over 4 years later.

28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2) provides:

The time during which a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending shall not be counted toward any period of limitation under this subsection.

In Nino v. Galaza, 183 F.3d 1003 (9th Cir. 1999), the Ninth Circuit construed the foregoing statutory tolling provision with reference to California's post-conviction procedures. The Ninth Circuit held that "the AEDPA statute of limitations is tolled for all of the time during which a state prisoner is attempting, through proper use of state court procedures, to exhaust state court remedies with regard to a particular post-conviction application.'" Id. at 1006 (citation omitted).

Here, petitioner has not identified any collateral challenges in the Petition (see Pet. ¶ 10). Once the AEDPA limitations period lapsed, it could not be reinitiated. See Ferguson v. Palmateer, 321 F.3d 820, 823 (9th Cir. 2003) (holding that § 2244(d) "does not permit the reinitiation of the limitations period that has ended before the state petition was filed, "even if the state petition was timely filed); Jiminez v. Rice, 276 F.3d 478, 482 (9th Cir. 2001); Wixom v. Washington, 264 F.3d 894, 898-99 (9th Cir. 2001); Green v. White, 223 F.3d 1001, 1003 (9th Cir. 2000).

Accordingly, it appears there is no basis for statutory tolling of the limitations period with respect to the Petition. In Holland v. Florida, ___ U.S. ___, 130 S.Ct. 2549 (2010), the Supreme Court held that the timely filing of a habeas petition was not jurisdictional, but rather was subject to equitable tolling. If petitioner intends to rely on the equitable tolling doctrine for purposes of arguing that his federal habeas petition is timely, he will need to include with his Response to this Order to Show Cause a declaration under penalty of perjury stating facts showing (1) that he has been pursuing his rights diligently, and (2) that some "extraordinary circumstances" beyond petitioner's control stood in his way and/or made it impossible for him to file the Petition on time. See Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418, 125 S.Ct. 1807, 161 L.Ed.2d 669 (2005); see also Roy v. Lampert, 465 F.3d 964, 969 (9th Cir. 2006); Rasberry v. Garcia, 448 F.3d 1150, 1153 (9th Cir. 2006).

If petitioner intends to rely on the equitable tolling doctrine, he will need to include in his with his Response a declaration under penalty of perjury stating facts showing (1) that he has been pursuing his rights diligently, and (2) that some extraordinary circumstance beyond petitioner's control stood in his way. See Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418, 125 S.Ct. 1807, 161 L.Ed.2d 669 (2005); see also Roy v. Lampert, 465 F.3d 964, 969 (9th Cir. 2006); Rasberry, 448 F.3d at 1153; Spitsyn v. Moore, 345 F.3d 796, 799 (9th Cir. 2003) (petitioner must show that "extraordinary circumstances" were the proximate cause of his untimeliness). Finally, petitioner raises a claim of actual innocence. The Supreme Court has recently held that a federal habeas petitioner nay be able to seek habeas relief on an otherwise time-barred claim if he successfully proves that he is actually innocent of the crime upon which he was convicted. ( McQuiggin v. Perkins, ___ U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 1924, 1928, 185 L.Ed.2d 1019 (2013).

The Supreme Court has noted, however, that instances of "tenable actual innocence gateway pleas are rare" ( McQuiggin, 133 S.Ct. at 1928) and the burden of proving such a claim is substantial. "[A] petitioner does not meet the threshold requirement unless he persuades the District Court that, in light of the new evidence, no juror, acting reasonably, would have voted to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." ( Id., citing Schlup v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298, 329, 115 S.Ct. 851, 130 L. Ed 2d 808 (1995).

THE CUSTODY REQUIREMENT

Subject matter jurisdiction over a habeas petition exists only when, at the time the petition is filed, the petitioner is "in custody" under the conviction challenged in the petition. See Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 490-91, 109 S.Ct. 1923, 104 L.Ed.2d 540 (1989); Carafas v. LaVallee, 391 U.S. 234, 238, 88 S.Ct. 1556, 20 L.Ed.2d 554 (1968); Fowler v. Sacramento County Sheriff's Dep't, 421 F.3d 1027, 1033 n.5 (9th Cir. 2005); see also 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241(c)(3), 2254(a). A habeas petitioner does not remain "in custody" once the sentence imposed for the conviction has "fully expired." See Maleng, 490 U.S. at 491. However, a petitioner is "in custody" for the purposes of habeas jurisdiction while he remains on probation or parole. See Chaker v. Crogan, 428 F.3d 1215, 1219 (9th Cir. 2005); Fowler, 421 F.3d at 1033 n.5; United States v. Spawr Optical Research, Inc., 864 F.2d 1467, 1470 (9th Cir. 1988).

The burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction rests with the party seeking to invoke the district court's jurisdiction. See, e.g., Ashoff v. City of Ukiah, 130 F.3d 409, 410 (9th Cir. 1997); Thornhill Pub. Co. v. General Tel. & Elec. Corp., 594 F.2d 730, 733 (9th Cir. 1979); Johnson v. Washington, 2009 WL 151284, *6 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 20, 2009) (habeas case). Moreover, the absence of subject matter jurisdiction may be raised by a district court sua sponte. See Schwarzer, Tashima & Wagstaffe, Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial ¶ 2:18 (2010 rev. ed.).

Here, it does not appear from the face of the Petition that petitioner still is "in custody" under the particular state conviction challenged in the Petition.

IT THEREFORE IS ORDERED that, on or before March 2, 2015, petitioner show cause in writing, if any he has, why this action should not be summarily dismissed for untimeliness and/or for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.


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