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Mundo v. Holland

United States District Court, E.D. California

August 8, 2016

JONATHAN W. MUNDO, Petitioner,
v.
KIM HOLLAND, Respondent.

          ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT’S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF HABEAS JURISDICTION (DOC. 9) ORDER DECLINING TO ISSUE CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY ORDER DENYING AS MOOT PETITIONER’S MOTION FOR EMERGENCY STAY (DOC. 14) ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF COURT TO ENTER JUDGMENT AND CLOSE CASE

          JENNIFER L. THURSTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         In 2012, Jonathan Mundo was convicted of two counts of robbery and one count of escape and sentenced to four years and eight months. While in custody in California, he was transferred to Nevada on charges pending there. When he arrived in Nevada, he learned he was being charged with crimes not originally alleged. However, he pleaded guilty to several counts of robbery, including counts based on the new charges and was sentenced in July 2013. Petitioner contends that the additional charges violated the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act because they were not contained in the detainer. Thus, in this action, he seeks to have his Nevada convictions set aside and the charges dismissed.

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the respondent’s motion to dismiss.

         I. DISCUSSION

         A. Procedural Grounds for Motion to Dismiss

         Respondent has filed a Motion to Dismiss the petition for lack of habeas jurisdiction. Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases allows a district court to dismiss a petition if it “plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court . . . .” Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.

         The Ninth Circuit has allowed Respondent’s to file a Motion to Dismiss in lieu of an Answer if the motion attacks the pleadings for failing to exhaust state remedies or being in violation of the state’s procedural rules. See, e.g., O’Bremski v. Maass, 915 F.2d 418, 420 (9th Cir. 1990) (using Rule 4 to evaluate motion to dismiss petition for failure to exhaust state remedies); White v. Lewis, 874 F.2d 599, 602-03 (9th Cir. 1989) (using Rule 4 as procedural grounds to review motion to dismiss for state procedural default); Hillery v. Pulley, 533 F.Supp. 1189, 1194 & n.12 (E.D. Cal. 1982) (same). Thus, a Respondent can file a Motion to Dismiss after the court orders a response, and the Court should use Rule 4 standards to review the motion. See Hillery, 533 F.Supp. at 1194 & n. 12.

         In this case, Respondent's Motion to Dismiss is based on a lack of habeas corpus jurisdiction. Because Respondent's Motion to Dismiss is similar in procedural standing to a Motion to Dismiss for failure to exhaust state remedies or for state procedural default and Respondent has not yet filed a formal Answer, the Court will review Respondent’s Motion to Dismiss pursuant to its authority under Rule 4.

         B. Allegations In The Petition.

         Respondent currently has custody of Petitioner pursuant to a 2012 judgment of the San Bernardino County Superior Court, which imposed a term of four years and eight months for convictions on two counts of robbery and one count of escape.

         The petition alleges that the State of Nevada, while Petitioner was incarcerated in California, filed detainers against him in December 2012 and that, pursuant to those detainers, Petitioner was transferred to the custody of Nevada officials on January 16, 2013. (Doc. 1, p. 16). Once Petitioner was in Nevada custody, Petitioner alleges that state officials there filed additional charges against him based on facts not alleged in the original detainers. (Id., pp. 16-17). Petitioner alleges he pleaded guilty to several counts of robbery on May 3, 2013, including counts based on the new charges. (Id., p. 17). Petitioner was sentenced in the Nevada case on July 5, 2013. (Id.).

         Petitioner contends that the additional charges were included in the Nevada proceedings by way of indictment, in violation of the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act (“IADA”). Petitioner argues that, pursuant to the IADA, he agreed to be brought to trial on the facts and charges contained in the detainer; however, he never agreed to be brought to trial on the added facts and charges contained in the indictment, i.e., the robbery of a jewelry store. (Id., p. 19). Petitioner reads the language of the statute to require dismissal of the charges if the requesting defendant is not tried on those charges within a specified period of time. (Id., p. 20). Petitioner reasons that, since he was convicted of additional charges not in the original detainer, the express terms of the IADA were violated. (Id.). As relief, Petitioner requests that his conviction be set aside and the charges dismissed.

         In response to the motion to dismiss, Petitioner has also filed an emergency motion asking the Court to prohibit the State of California from permitting Petitioner to be released to the custody of Nevada officials at the conclusion of his California prison term, which Petitioner contends will occur on September 3, 2016. (Doc. 14, pp. 1-2). Petitioner reasons that, because Nevada violated the IADA, California should not be permitted to “honor” Nevada’s detainer request. (Id.).

         C. General Habeas Principles

         The basic scope of habeas corpus is prescribed by statute. Subsection (c) of Section 2241 of Title 28 of the United States Code provides that habeas corpus shall not extend to a prisoner unless he is “in custody in violation of the Constitution.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a) states that the federal courts shall entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus only on the ground that the petitioner “is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States. See also, Rule 1 to the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Court. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that “the essence of habeas corpus is an attack by a person in custody upon the legality of that custody . . .” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484 (1973). Furthermore, in order to succeed in a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 2254, Petitioner must demonstrate that the adjudication of his claim in state court resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, ...


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