United States District Court, N.D. California
BILLY M. FELLS, Plaintiff,
ELVIN VALENZUELA, Defendant.
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE Re: Dkt. No. 2
JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY, Magistrate Judge.
Petitioner, a prisoner of the State of California proceeding pro se, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his conviction and sentence in state court. He has applied for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Because the petition states cognizable claims for relief, a response from Respondent is warranted.
Petitioner was convicted in Alameda County Superior Court following his plea of nolo contendere. He was sentenced to a term of 20 years in state prison. His direct appeals were denied. In 2014, he filed habeas petitions in the state superior court and then in the California Supreme Court, both of which appear to have raised the same claims that are in the instant federal petition. Both of these petitions were denied. The instant federal petition followed.
I. Standard of Review
This Court may entertain a petition for a writ of habeas corpus "in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). It shall "award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto." Id. § 2243.
II. Legal Claims
Petitioner raises the following three claims for relief: (1) the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence violated his Fourth Amendment rights; (2) trial counsel was ineffective because he miscalculated the maximum sentence Petitioner could receive following his plea; and (3) the trial court erred in failing to hold a hearing on Petitioner's mental competency.
The first claim does not state cognizable grounds for federal habeas relief because Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465, 481-82, 494 (1976), bars federal habeas review of Fourth Amendment claims. The second and third claims, when liberally construed, are sufficient to require a response from Respondent.
For the foregoing reasons and for good cause shown,
1. The Clerk shall serve a Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form, a copy of this Order, and the petition, and all attachments thereto, on Respondent and Respondent's attorney, the Attorney General of the State of California. ...