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Pennings v. Kernan

United States District Court, S.D. California

March 9, 2017

OTONIEL TYLER PENNINGS, Petitioner,
v.
SCOTT KERNAN, Respondent.

          ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [DOC. NO. 19] AND DENYING PETITION

          Hon. Cathy Ann Bencivengo United States District Judge

         Otoniel Tyler Pennings (“Petitioner”), is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. [Doc. No. 1.] This matter was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). Magistrate Judge Skomal issued a Report and Recommendation (“Report”) recommending the Court deny the petition. [Doc. No. 19.] Petitioner filed objections to the Report. [Doc. No. 20.]

         Following de novo review of Petitioner's claims, the Court finds the Report to be thorough, complete, and an accurate analysis of the legal issues presented in the petition. For the reasons explained below, the Court: (1) adopts the Report in full; (2) rejects Petitioner's objections; (3) denies the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus; and (4) denies a certificate of appealability.

         BACKGROUND

         I. Factual Background

         The Report contains an accurate recital of the facts as determined by the California Court of Appeal, and the Court fully adopts the Report's statement of facts. As Judge Skomal correctly noted, the Court presumes state court findings of fact to be correct.

         II. State Procedural Background

         The Report contains a complete and accurate summary of the state court proceedings, and the Court fully adopts the Report's statement of state procedural background.

         III. Federal Procedural Background

         On August 17, 2015, Petitioner filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus challenging his San Diego County Superior Court conviction. [Doc. No. 1.] On December 9, 2015, Respondent filed an Answer to the Petition, and lodged portions of the state court record. [Doc. Nos. 8 and 9.] On April 13, 2016, Petitioner filed a Traverse. [Doc. No. 16.]

         On February 2, 2017, Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal issued a Report recommending that the petition be denied. [Doc. No. 19.] On February 27, 2017, Petitioner filed an Objection to the Report. [Doc. No. 20.] In his objection, Petitioner argues that the magistrate judge erred in finding that the state court did not make an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law or an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence. Petitioner also requests an evidentiary hearing. Because Petitioner has objected to the Report in its entirety, the Court reviews the Report de novo. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Holder v. Holder, 392 F.3d 1009, 1022 (9th Cir. 2004).

         DISCUSSION I.Legal Standard

         The Report sets forth the correct standard of review for a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d):

(d) An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim-(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, ...

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