United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
AND ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE
HONORABLE JOSEPHINE L. STATON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
October 20, 2017, petitioner Clifford Paul Smith, a
California prisoner who is proceeding pro se,
formally filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
(“Current Federal Petition”) with multiple
attached exhibits. Petitioner challenges his conviction in
Riverside County Superior Court Case No. SWF025150
on the record (including facts as to which this Court takes
judicial notice as detailed below) and the applicable law,
the Current Federal Petition and this action are dismissed
without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction because petitioner
did not obtain the requisite authorization from the Court of
Appeals to file a successive petition. Further, the Clerk of
the Court is directed to refer the Current Federal Petition
to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
(“Ninth Circuit”) pursuant to Ninth Circuit Rule
Pertinent State Proceedings Relating to the State
30, 2008, a Riverside County Superior Court jury found
petitioner guilty of murder and assault on a child causing
death. On January 9, 2009, the trial court sentenced him to a
total of 25 years to life in state prison. On June 21, 2010,
in Case No. E047485, the California Court of Appeal affirmed
the judgment in the State Case. On September 1, 2010, in Case
No. S184860, the California Supreme Court denied review.
Petitioner thereafter sought and was denied habeas relief in
the Riverside County Superior Court, the California Court of
Appeal (Case Nos. E067339, E068114), and the California
Supreme Court (Case Nos. S194932, S242147).
First Federal Action
12, 2012, petitioner filed a First Amended Petition for Writ
of Habeas Corpus in the First Federal Action
(“Operative Prior Federal Petition”) in which
petitioner challenged the judgment in the State Case. On May
8, 2015, the assigned United States District Judge accepted
the United States Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation recommending denial of the Operative Prior
Federal Petition on the merits and dismissal with prejudice.
On May 11, 2015, judgment was entered denying the Operative
Prior Federal Petition and dismissing the First Federal
Action with prejudice. On January 19, 2016, the Ninth Circuit
denied petitioner a certificate of appealability in the Ninth
Current Federal Petition
noted above, on October 20, 2017, petitioner formally filed
the Current Federal Petition which again challenges the
judgment in the State Case.
record does not reflect that petitioner has obtained
authorization from the Ninth Circuit to file the Current
Federal Petition in District Court.
a habeas petitioner may file a second or successive petition
in a district court, he must apply to the appropriate court
of appeals for an order authorizing the district court to
consider the application. Burton v. Stewart, 549
U.S. 147, 152-53 (2007) (citing 28 U.S.C. §
2244(b)(3)(A)). This provision “creates a
‘gatekeeping' mechanism for the consideration of
second or successive applications in district court.”
Felker v. Turpin, 518 U.S. 651, 657 (1996); see
also Reyes v. Vaughn, 276 F.Supp.2d 1027, 1028-30 (C.D.
Cal. 2003) (discussing applicable procedures in Ninth
Circuit). A district court lacks jurisdiction to consider the
merits of a second or successive habeas petition in the
absence of proper authorization ...