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Dumont v. Price

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 30, 2017

RALPH E. DUMONT, Petitioner,
v.
JEROME PRICE,, Respondents.

          ORDER

          CRAIG M. KELLISON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Pursuant to the written consent of all parties, this case is before the undersigned as the presiding judge for all purposes, including entry of final judgment. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Pending before the court is respondents' motion to dismiss (Doc. 69).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Trial Court Proceedings and Direct Appeal

         Petitioner was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in El Dorado County Superior Court case no. P12CRF0521. The trial court sustained a strike, three prior prison terms and two prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol. Petitioner was sentenced to nine years plus an eight-month consecutive term following petitioner's no contest plea in case no. P12CRF0264 to making criminal threats. Petitioner appealed case no. P12CRF0521, challenging the imposition of fines and fees. In October 2014, the California Court of Appeal struck some fines and modified others. Petitioner did not seek further review. No issues were presented on appeal with respect to case no. P12CRF0264.

         State Post-Conviction Proceedings

         In May 2014, petitioner filed a habeas petition in the California Supreme Court. Citing case no. P12CRF0264, petitioner argued that his trial counsel had him sign a plea agreement he could not read and that he later asked to withdraw the plea. Petitioner also argued that trial counsel was ineffective other ways.[1] The California Supreme Court denied the petition on August 13, 2014.[2]

         While his petition in the California Supreme Court was still pending, petitioner filed a habeas petition in the El Dorado County Superior Court in July 2014 raising the same claims as well as two new claims related to case no. P12CRF0521. The court denied the petition in a reasoned decision issued on August 14, 2014.

         While his petitions in both the California Supreme Court and El Dorado County Superior Court were still pending, petitioner filed a habeas petition in the California Court of Appeal in August 2014 raising the same two claims as the California Supreme Court petition. The California Court of Appeal denied the petition on August 14, 2014.

         In November 2014, petitioner filed a second habeas petition in the El Dorado County Superior Court raising seven claims relating to both criminal cases. The court denied the petition on November 6, 2014, noting that the petition was “yet another attempt to raise issues and claims already addressed in other habeas corpus petitions.” In denying the petition, the court cited In re Clark, 5 Cal.4th 750, 797 (1993).

         Federal Petition

         This action proceeds on the amended petition filed August 18, 2015. Petitioner references both El Dorado County Superior Court criminal case numbers - P12CRF0264 and P12CRF0521. Petitioner raises the following claims:

Ground 1 Right to fair trial denied by “negligence of a proper timely arraignment.” Petitioner claims that the arraignment was “missed by the D.A. so I bailed.” He also claims that his trial was further delayed when trial counsel “had me initial ...

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