United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
F. BRENNAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a state prisoner proceeding without counsel, is seeking a
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254. He asserts that he is eligible for
resentencing under California Penal Code section 1170.126,
which amended California's Three Strikes Law in 2012. He
challenges the state courts' determination that he is
ineligible for resentencing on his 1999 conviction for
possession of a deadly weapon with two prior convictions,
arguing that he was not "armed with a firearm during the
commission of the offense within the meaning of
section1170.126." ECF No. 1-1 at 3.
of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, requires the court
to conduct a preliminary review of all petitions for writ of
habeas corpus filed by state prisoners. The court must
summarily dismiss a petition if it "plainly appears . .
. that the petitioner is not entitled to relief . . . ."
The court has conducted the review required under Rule 4 and
concludes that summary dismissal of the petition is required.
federal court is limited to deciding whether a conviction
violated the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United
States." Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 67-68
(1991). Habeas corpus relief is unavailable for alleged
errors in the interpretation or application of state
sentencing laws by either a state trial court or appellate
court. "State courts are the ultimate expositors of
state law, " and a federal habeas court is bound by the
state's construction except when it appears that its
interpretation is an obvious subterfuge to evade the
consideration of a federal issue. Mullaney v.
Wilbur, 421 U.S. 684, 691 (1975). So long as a state
sentence "is not based on any proscribed federal grounds
such as being cruel and unusual, racially or ethnically
motivated, or enhanced by indigency, the penalties for
violation of state statutes are matters of state
concern." Makal v. State of Arizona, 544 F.2d
1030, 1035 (9th Cir. 1976). See also Bueno v.
Hallahan, 988 F.2d 86, 88 (9th Cir. 1993) (per curiam)
("[S]entence enhancement on the basis of prior
convictions . . . does not violate the Constitution.").
the issue presented in the petition is whether the state
courts properly determined under California law that
petitioner is ineligible for resentencing under §
1170.126. This claim lies outside this court's
jurisdiction, as federal habeas corpus relief is unavailable
to correct violations of state law. See Langford v.
Day, 110 F.3d 1380, 1389 (9th Cir. 1996); Swarthout
v. Cooke, 562 U.S. 216, 219 (2011). Accordingly, the
petition for a writ of habeas corpus must be summarily
dismissed. See Garateix v. Rackley, No. SACV
15-0795-FMO (JEM), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70034 (C.D. Cal. May
28, 2015) (summarily dismissing petition challenging state
court's denial of resentencing as not cognizable in
federal habeas review).
accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that
petitioner's application for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis (ECF No. 2) is granted and the Clerk is directed to
randomly assign a United States District Judge to this
IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that petitioner's application
for writ of habeas corpus be summarily dismissed.
findings and recommendations are submitted to the United
States District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within fourteen
days after being served with these findings and
recommendations, any party may file written objections with
the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document
should be captioned "Objections to Magistrate
Judge's Findings and Recommendations." Any reply to
the objections shall be served and filed within fourteen days
after service of the objections. Failure to file objections
within the specified time may waive the right to appeal the
District Court's order. Turner v. Duncan, 158
F.3d 449, 455 (9th Cir. 1998); Martinez v. Ylst, 951
F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). In his objections petitioner may
address whether a certificate of appealability should issue
in the event he files an appeal of the judgment in this case.
See Rule 11, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases (the
district court must issue or deny a certificate of
appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the
 He also seeks leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. The application for leave to proceed in forma