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Cohen v. Covello

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 24, 2019

DANIEL COHEN, Plaintiff,
v.
PATRICK COVELLO, Defendant.

          ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

          JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner, a prisoner of the State of California proceeding pro se, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his conviction in Santa Cruz County Superior Court.[1] He has paid the filing fee. Because the petition states cognizable grounds for federal habeas relief, a response from Respondent is warranted.

         BACKGROUND

         In 2016, a jury found Petitioner and his mother guilty of first-degree murder. The special circumstance of lying in wait was found to be true, as were enhancements for the use of a firearm. The trial court sentenced Petitioner to a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Petitioner filed an appeal, a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and a request for funds for an expert psychiatric witness in the California Court of Appeal, all of which were denied. He filed a petition for review in the California Supreme Court of the denial of his appeal, and a separate petition for review in the California Supreme Court of the denial of his habeas petition. Both petitions were summarily denied. Petitioner then filed the instant federal petition.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Standard of Review

         This Court may entertain a petition for a 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). It 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.” Id. § 2243.

         II. Legal Claims

         Petitioner claims that his Sixth Amendment rights to counsel and to present a defense were violated because he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial, and his motion for funds for ancillary services was also denied. These claims, when liberally construed, present cognizable grounds for federal habeas relief.

         CONCLUSION

         For the foregoing reasons and for good cause shown, 1. The Clerk shall serve a Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form, a copy of this Order, and the petition, and all attachments thereto, on Respondent and Respondent's attorney, the Attorney General of the State of California. The Clerk also shall serve a copy of this Order on Petitioner.

         2. Respondent shall complete and file the Magistrate Judge jurisdiction consent form in accordance with the deadline provided on the form.

         3. Respondent shall also file with the Court and serve on Petitioner, within ninety-one (91) days of the date this Order is issued, 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. Respondent shall file with the answer and serve on Petitioner a copy of all portions of the state trial record that have been transcribed previously and that are relevant to a determination of the issues presented by the petition. If Petitioner wishes to respond to the answer, he ...


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