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Ochoa v. Federal District Courts

United States District Court, E.D. California

July 22, 2016

ARTHUR OCHOA, Petitioner,
v.
FEDERAL DISTRICT COURTS,[1] Respondent.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

         Petitioner is proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

         I.

         BACKGROUND

         On April 20, 2016, [2] Petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus. (ECF No. 1). On May 25, 2016, the Court ordered Petitioner to show cause why the petition should not be dismissed for nonexhaustion and untimeliness. (ECF No. 6). On May 25, 2016, the order to show cause was served on Petitioner and contained notice that a response should be filed within thirty days of the date of service of the order. Over thirty days have passed and Petitioner has not responded to the Court's order to show cause.

         II.

         DISCUSSION

         Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases requires preliminary review of a habeas petition and allows a district court to dismiss a petition before the respondent is ordered to file a response, if it “plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court.”

         A. Exhaustion

         A petitioner in state custody who is proceeding with a petition for writ of habeas corpus must exhaust state judicial remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). The exhaustion doctrine is based on comity to the state court and gives the state court the initial opportunity to correct the state's alleged constitutional deprivations. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 731 (1991); Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 518 (1982). A petitioner can satisfy the exhaustion requirement by providing the highest state court with a full and fair opportunity to consider each claim before presenting it to the federal court. O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999); Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365 (1995); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 276 (1971).

         Here, it is unclear whether Petitioner raised his claims before the California Supreme Court. It is possible that Petitioner presented all of his claims to the California Supreme Court and failed to indicate this to the Court, but as Petitioner has not responded to the order to show cause, it appears that Petitioner failed to exhaust his claims in the instant petition. If Petitioner has not sought relief in the California Supreme Court, the Court cannot proceed to the merits of those claims. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1).

         B. Statute of Limitations

         On April 24, 1996, Congress enacted the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”). The AEDPA imposes various requirements on all petitions for writ of habeas corpus filed after the date of its enactment. Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320 (1997); Jeffries v. Wood, 114 F.3d 1484, 1499 (9th Cir. 1997) (en banc). The instant petition was filed after the enactment of the AEDPA and is therefore governed by its provisions.

         The AEDPA imposes a one-year period of limitation on petitioners seeking to file a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Section 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 ...

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