United States District Court, C.D. California
CLIFFORD D. JACKSON, Petitioner,
NEIL McDOWELL, WARDEN, Respondent.
ORDER OVERRULING PETITIONER JACKSON'S OBJECTIONS;
ADOPTING THE REPORT & RECOMMENDATION: DISMISSING GROUND
THREE WITH PREJUDICE; DISMISSING GROUND FOUR WITHOUT
PREJUDICE; DIRECTING PARTIES TO PROCEED ON GROUNDS 1 AND
VALERIE BAKER FAIRBANK Senior United States District Judge.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3), the Court
has reviewed the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, all
documents filed in this action, the Report and Recommendation
of the United States Magistrate Judge
(“R&R”), and petitioner's objection.
Petitioner's objections do nothing to undermine the
R&R's recommendations that Ground Three be summarily
dismissed with prejudice because it is not cognizable as a
matter of law, and that Ground Four (Brady) be
summarily dismissed without prejudice for failure to show
exhaustion of state-court remedies.
respect to Ground Three, Petitioner complains that the
Magistrate failed to judicially notice federal and state
court files in other cases. Nothing in the records for Case
No. LA CV 15-06779 renders Ground Three cognizable.
Petitioner has not identified any state court record or act
that renders it cognizable. There is nothing alleged in the
Petition or the Objection that states a viable federal habeas
claim based on Ground Three, nor could amendment cure the
inherent defects of this claim. Petitioner simply reiterates
his claims that the state courts violated a California Rule
of Court based upon the erroneous and/or inadequate nature of
their post-conviction rulings, and this contention does not
implicate federal due process or any other federal habeas
concern. Accordingly, as Ground Three cannot state a
cognizable federal habeas claim, Rule 4 mandates that Ground
Three be dismissed summarily and with prejudice.
Objections also confirm that Ground Four does not present a
viable federal habeas claim.
Four asserts that the Los Angeles District Attorney
(“DA”)'s Office has failed to comply with its
Brady obligation by withholding relevant
post-conviction information. The R&R cogently explained
why the allegations do not state a viable Brady
violation. Petitioner disputes that Ground Four seeks to
raise a Brady claim. Rather, he insists that Ground
Four seeks an injunction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
2201 and 2201 directing the DA to comply with their policies
and procedures. (Obj. at 2.) Such relief, however, lies
outside the core of federal habeas relief available under 28
U.S.C. § 2254. See Skinner v. Switzer, 562 U.S.
521, 534-35 & n.13 (2011) (claim that DA's refusal to
allow prisoner access to biological material for DNA testing
violated due process falls outside the core of habeas
review); Nettles v. Grounds, 830 F.3d 922, 930-35
(9th Cir. 2016) (a claim whose success will not necessarily
lead to speedier release from confinement falls outside the
core of habeas relief available and must be raised, if at
all, in civil rights instead). As a result, Ground Four
cannot be considered in a federal habeas action. As Ground
Four does not and cannot state a cognizable federal habeas
claim, its summary dismissal, pursuant to Rule 4, is
Ground Four cannot be considered further in this case, the
Court need not afford Petitioner the options that otherwise
would be available for a mixed petition. The Court declines
to convert Ground Four into a new civil-rights case.
Petitioner has not indicated a willingness to pay the filing
fee for a civil-rights action. There is no basis for
believing that he has exhausted the claim as required under
§ 1983. Nor is the claim amenable to conversion
“on its face, ” given that the sole Respondent is
the warden, who is not a proper defendant for the subject
matter of Ground Four. See Nettles, 830 F.3d at 936
(civil rights claim properly raised in habeas amenable to
conversion only if correct defendant named); see, e.g.,
Reyes v. Calif. Dep't of Corrs., 2017 WL 104313, *3
(C.D. Cal. Jan. 9, 2017) (McCormick, M.J.) (“The Court
. . . declines to exercise its discretion to convert the
Petition into a civil rights complaint. First, it is not
clear whether the plaintiff names the ‘correct
defendants' or seeks the ‘correct relief.' * *
* Petitioner has neither paid the $350 fee to file a civil
rights action nor filed an IFP request [in connection with a
putative civil-rights claim].”). Instead, it is more
appropriate to dismiss Ground Four without prejudice.
completed its review, the Court finds no error of law, fact,
or logic in the Magistrate Judge's R&R. Accordingly,
the Court will adopt the R&R and implement its findings
Ground Three of the habeas petition is dismissed summarily,
Ground Four of the habeas petition is dismissed summarily,
habeas petition now consists of Grounds One and Two.
Upon the filing of this Order, the Magistrate Judge shall
issue further appropriate orders regarding service of the
petition, briefing, and other ...