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Hanse v. Hatton

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 4, 2018

WOODY HANSE, Petitioner,
v.
SHAWN HATTON, Respondent.

          ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

          RICHARD SEEBORGT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner seeks federal habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 from his state convictions. The petition for such relief is now before the Court for review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2243 and Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.

         The petition states cognizable claims. Respondent shall file a response to the petition on or before June 11, 2018, unless an extension is granted. Because petitioner does not provide the date of his conviction, it is unclear whether the petition is timely filed.

         BACKGROUND

         The facts that follow are based on the petition. Petitioner pleaded guilty in the Contra Costa County Superior Court to two counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts on a child (Cal. Penal Code § 288). He was sentenced to eight years in state prison. He did not pursue any direct appeals, but he did file for state collateral relief. After his state habeas petitions were denied, he filed the instant federal habeas petition.

         DISCUSSION

         This Court may entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus “in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). A district court considering an application for a writ of habeas corpus shall “award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto.” 28 U.S.C. § 2243. Summary dismissal is appropriate only where the allegations in the petition are vague or conclusory, palpably incredible, or patently frivolous or false. See Hendricks v. Vasquez, 908 F.2d 490, 491 (9th Cir. 1990).

         As grounds for federal habeas relief, petitioner claims (1) his guilty plea was not knowing and voluntary; (2) defense counsel rendered ineffective assistance; and (3) the state courts violated the Equal Protection Clause when it denied him relief he was owed under a new state law. When liberally construed, Claims 1 and 2 are cognizable on federal habeas review and shall proceed. Claim 3 does not state a cognizable claim and therefore is DISMISSED. An allegation that a state court misapplied state law “neither gives rise to an equal protection claim, nor provides a basis for habeas relief.” Little v. Crawford, 449 F.3d 1075, 1083 (9th Cir. 2006).

         CONCLUSION

         1. The Clerk shall serve a copy of this order, the petition and all attachments thereto, on respondent and respondent's counsel, the Attorney General for the State of California. The Clerk shall also serve a copy of this order on petitioner.

         2. On or before June 11, 2018, respondent shall file with the Court and serve on petitioner an answer conforming in all respects to Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, showing cause why a writ of habeas corpus should not be granted based on petitioner's cognizable claims. Respondent shall file with the answer and serve on petitioner a copy of all portions of the state trial record that previously have been transcribed and that are relevant to a determination of the issues presented by the petition.

         3. If petitioner wishes to respond to the answer, he shall do so by filing a traverse with the Court and serving it on respondent's counsel within thirty (30) days of the date the answer is filed.

         4. In lieu of an answer, respondent may file, on or before June 11, 2018, a motion to dismiss on procedural grounds, as set forth in the Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. If respondent files such a motion, petitioner shall file with the Court and serve on respondent an opposition or statement of non-opposition within thirty (30) days of the date the motion is filed, and respondent ...


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