United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF COURT TO ENTER JUDGMENT ORDER
DECLINING ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
JENNIFER L. THURSTON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
is currently serving a sentence of 32 months for his
conviction of unlawful possession of ammunition. He has filed
the instant habeas action challenging the conviction. As
discussed below, the Court finds the claims to be without
merit and will therefore DENYthe
was convicted in the Fresno County Superior Court on April
25, 2014, of possessing ammunition by a person restricted
from owning ammunition pursuant to Cal. Penal Code §
30305. (Doc. 1 at 1.) He was sentenced to 32 months in state
appealed to the California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate
District (“Fifth DCA”). The Fifth DCA affirmed
the judgment on August 26, 2016. (LD 19.) On September 30, 2016,
Petitioner filed a petition for review in the California
Supreme Court. (LD 22.) The petition was summarily denied on
November 9, 2016. (LD 23.)
January 10, 2017, Petitioner filed the instant petition for
writ of habeas corpus in this Court. (Doc. 1.) Respondent
filed an answer on March 29, 2017. (Doc. 11.) Petitioner did
not file a traverse.
Court adopts the Statement of Facts in the Fifth DCA's
In November of 2013, Jacobsen was living in a house at 5180
East Ball Avenue in Fresno. Due to a prior conviction for
violation of Penal Code section 273.5, he was prohibited from
possessing a firearm or ammunition.
Law enforcement suspected Jacobsen of starting a November 18
trash can fire in the driveway of the Ball Avenue house and
obtained a search warrant for the premises. The house was
searched on November 20. Jacobsen was not home at the time,
but was found within minutes at a nearby school yard. Only
one bedroom in the house was occupied. That room contained
Jacobsen's personal belongings, including mail,
photographs and documents with his name on them. In the
bedroom closet, officers found a camera case containing four
live .20-gauge shotgun shells. In the bedroom, along the same
wall as the closet, officers found a box with 34 live
.38-caliber rounds, four live .22-caliber rounds, and one
live shotgun slug. All of the ammunition was capable of being
Jacobsen, who represented himself at trial, testified in his
own defense that he had never seen the bullets before trial
and he did not know how they got inside the house. According
to Jacobsen, he had recently been released from jail before
moving into the house and did not have time to search the
house for any contraband. He did, however, admit he found a
shotgun shell in the house after his release. Jacobsen
testified that, while he was in jail, many people came and
went in the house and he believed someone left the bullets in
the house in order to frame him and get him kicked out of the
People v. Jacobsen, 2016 WL 4491475, at *1
(Cal.Ct.App. Aug. 26, 2016).
by way of a petition for writ of habeas corpus extends to a
person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court
if the custody is in violation of the Constitution, laws, or
treaties of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a); 28
U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3); Williams v. Taylor, 529
U.S. 362, 375 n. 7 (2000). Petitioner asserts that he
suffered violations of his rights as guaranteed by the United
States Constitution. The challenged conviction arises out of
the Fresno County Superior Court, which is located within the
jurisdiction of this court. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a); 28
April 24, 1996, Congress enacted the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”),
which applies to all petitions for writ of habeas corpus
filed after its enactment. Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S.
320 (1997) (holding the AEDPA only applicable to cases filed
after statute's enactment). The instant petition was
filed after the enactment of the AEDPA and is therefore
governed by its provisions.
Legal Standard of Review
petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2254(d) will not be granted unless the petitioner can show
that the state court's adjudication of his claim: (1)
resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an
unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law,
as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that “was based on an
unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the
evidence presented in the State court proceeding.” 28
U.S.C. § 2254(d); Lockyer v. Andrade, 538 U.S.
63, 70-71 (2003); Williams, 529 U.S. at 412-413.
court decision is “contrary to” clearly
established federal law “if it applies a rule that
contradicts the governing law set forth in [the Supreme
Court's] cases, or “if it confronts a set of facts
that is materially indistinguishable from a [Supreme Court]
decision but reaches a different result.” Brown v.
Payton, 544 U.S. 133, 141 (2005) (citing
Williams, 529 U.S. at 405-406).
Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 101 (2011), the
U.S. Supreme Court explained that an “unreasonable
application” of federal law is an objective test that
turns on “whether it is possible that fairminded
jurists could disagree” that the state court decision
meets the standards set forth in the AEDPA. The Supreme Court
has “said time and again that ‘an unreasonable
application of federal law is different from an incorrect
application of federal law.'” Cullen v.
Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170, 203 (2011). Thus, a state
prisoner seeking a writ of habeas corpus from a federal court
“must show that the state court's ruling on the
claim being presented in federal court was so lacking in
justification that there was an error well understood and
comprehended in existing law beyond any possibility of
fairminded disagreement.” Harrington, 562 U.S.
second prong pertains to state court decisions based on
factual findings. Davis v. Woodford, 384 F.3d 628,
637 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Miller-El v. Cockrell,
537 U.S. 322 (2003)). Under § 2254(d)(2), a federal
court may grant habeas relief if a state court's
adjudication of the petitioner's claims “resulted
in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination
of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State
court proceeding.” Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S.
510, 520 (2003); Jeffries v. Wood, 114 F.3d 1484,
1500 (9th Cir. 1997). A state court's factual finding is
unreasonable when it is “so clearly incorrect that it
would not be debatable among reasonable jurists.”
Jeffries, 114 F.3d at 1500; see Taylor v.
Maddox, 366 F.3d 992, 999-1001 (9th Cir. 2004),
cert.denied, Maddox v. Taylor, 543 U.S.
determine whether habeas relief is available under §
2254(d), the federal court looks to the last reasoned state
court decision as the basis of the state court's
decision. See Ylst v. Nunnemaker, 501 U.S. 979, 803
(1991); Robinson v. Ignacio, 360 F.3d 1044, 1055
(9th Cir. 2004). “[A]lthough we independently review
the record, we still defer to the state court's ultimate
decisions.” Pirtle v. Morgan, 313 F.3d 1160,
1167 (9th Cir. 2002).
prejudicial impact of any constitutional error is assessed by
asking whether the error had “a substantial and
injurious effect or influence in determining the jury's
verdict.” Brecht v. Abrahamson, 507 U.S. 619,
623 (1993); see also Fry v. Pliler, 551 U.S. 112,
119-120 (2007) (holding that the Brecht standard
applies whether or not the state court recognized the error
and reviewed it for harmlessness).
Review of Claims
claims the evidence was insufficient to support the
conviction and the trial court erred by failing to give
Insufficiency of the Evidence
contends that there was no evidence whatsoever that he had
any knowledge of the ammunition in the house. He states he
had only been in the house for two weeks, and there were ...