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Govind v. California Dept. of Correction And Rehabilitation

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 30, 2018

DANIEL GOVIND, Petitioner,



         I. SUMMARY

         On May 15, 2018, petitioner Daniel Govind, a California state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (“Petition”), with attachments (“Petition Attachments” or “Petition Att.”) and exhibits (“Petition Exhibits” or “Petition Ex.”).[1] The exhibits include a transcript of petitioner's November 10, 2016 hearing before the California Board of Parole Hearings (“Board”). See Petition Ex. Y.

         Petitioner essentially challenges the Board's decision denying him parole, claiming that such decision violated his due process rights. More specifically, he alleges: (1) he has improperly been restrained beyond his minimum eligible parole date of February 8, 2012; and (2) the Board improperly determined that he is a threat to the safety and security of the public. (Petition at 5).

         As it plainly appears from the face of the Petition, the Petition Attachments, and the Petition Exhibits that petitioner is not entitled to federal habeas relief as requested, the Petition is denied and this action is dismissed pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts (“Habeas Rule 4”).


         On June 27, 1996, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury convicted petitioner of first degree murder with the use of a deadly and dangerous weapon (a machete). The court sentenced petitioner to a term of 26 years to life in state prison.

         Petitioner's minimum eligible parole date (“MEPD”) was February 8, 2012. See Petition Ex. A, Page ID #57.[3] He had an initial parole hearing on August 19, 1999 and was denied parole. See Petition Ex. I. He had subsequent parole hearings on October 22, 2013, June 4, 2015, and November 10, 2016, and was found unsuitable for release and denied parole on each such occasion. See Petition Exs. T, V, X, Y. At the most recent November 10, 2016 hearing, during which petitioner was represented by counsel, the Board found petitioner unsuitable for parole in light of (1) the heinousness of the commitment offense; (2) his lack of insight; (3) his failure to participate in sufficient self-help work; and (4) his unrealistic parole plans. See Petition Ex. Y at Page ID ## 733-45 (Hearing Transcript, pages 66-78).

         Petitioner thereafter challenged his continued restraint beyond his MEPD - via petitions for writ of habeas corpus/mandamus - and was denied relief in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the California Court of Appeal, and the California Supreme Court. See Petition Att. at Page ID ## 13, 23, 24, 26, 27; Petition Ex. C at Page ID ## 91-102.[4]

         As noted above, on May 15, 2018, petitioner filed the instant Petition essentially challenging the 2016 parole denial, i.e., his continued restraint beyond his MEPD.


         A. Summary Dismissal of the Petition Is Appropriate

         A district court may dismiss a habeas petition summarily “[i]f it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court.” Habeas Rule 4; Boyd v. Thompson, 147 F.3d 1124, 1127-28 (9th Cir. 1998). Here, dismissal of the Petition and this action pursuant to Habeas Rule 4 is appropriate. See, e.g., Ezell v. McDowell, 2017 WL 6868706, at *3-*4 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 7, 2017) (summarily dismissing habeas claims challenging parole suitability determination where, as here, petitioner received all the process to which he was entitled, i.e., he had an opportunity to be heard and the Board stated its reasons for denying parole; citing Swarthout v. Cooke, 562 U.S. 216, 222 (2011)), report and recommendation adopted, 2017 WL 6818657 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 29, 2017); Crane v. Beard, 2017 WL 1234096, at *5 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 3, 2017) (same), certificate of appealability denied, 2017 WL 6498004 (9th Cir. 2017); Bird v. Board, 2016 WL 3456838, at *2 (D. Mont. May 16, 2016) (summarily dismissing habeas claim challenging parole suitability determination as foreclosed by Swarthout where petitioner received minimal procedural protection required; such was the “beginning and the end of federal habeas” analysis (quoting Swarthout, 562 U.S. at 220)), report and recommendation adopted, 2016 WL 3509452 (D. Mont. June 21, 2016); Aranda v. Seibel, 2016 WL 749061, at *3-*4 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 24, 2016) (same); Caldwell v. Valenzuela, 2013 WL 941970, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 11, 2013) (same).

         B. Federal Habeas Relief Is Not Available for ...

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