United States District Court, C.D. California
Arturo Castro, Jr.
Present: Honorable KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
(In Chambers) Order Granting Petitioner's Request for a
Stay and Abeyance Pursuant to Rhines v. Weber [Dkt.
19, 2019, Arturo Castro, Jr. (“Petitioner”), who
is currently incarcerated at Pelican Bay State Prison and
proceeding with counsel, filed a mixed Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254 (“Petition”) containing both
an exhausted and an unexhausted claim. ECF Docket No.
(“Dkt.”) 1, Pet. Petitioner concurrently filed a
Request for a stay and abeyance pursuant to Rhines v.
Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 276, 125 S.Ct. 1528, 161 L.Ed.2d
440 (2005) (“Rhines stay”) to exhaust
state remedies for his unexhausted claim. Dkt. 3. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the request for a
6, 2016, following a jury trial in Los Angeles County
Superior Court, Petitioner was convicted of murder, attempted
murder, and shooting at an occupied vehicle. Pet. at 2. On
June 30, 2016, Petitioner was sentenced 82 years to life in
state prison. Id.
appealed his conviction and sentence to the California Court
of Appeal on the grounds that the trial court erred in (1)
allowing detectives to testify about videos depicting the
crime; (2) declining to investigate allegations of juror
misconduct; and (3) finding Petitioner had served prison
terms for prior felony convictions. Pet. at 24, Ex. A. On
January 10, 2018, the California Court of Appeal affirmed
Petitioner's conviction and sentence. Id.
then filed a petition for review in the California Supreme
Court. Pet. at 24. On March 21, 2019, the California Supreme
Court denied review. Pet. at 29, Ex. B.
17, 2019, Petitioner filed a habeas petition in Los Angeles
County Superior Court raising the following grounds: (1)
ineffective assistance of counsel; and (2) jury misconduct.
Pet. at 8.
19, 2019, Petitioner filed the instant Petition. Dkt. 1.
Petitioner challenges his 2016 conviction and sets forth two
grounds for habeas relief: (1) ineffective assistance of
counsel; and (2) jury misconduct. Pet. at 5-6, 30-35.
Petitioner concurrently filed a Request for a Rhines
stay to exhaust state remedies for his unexhausted
ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Dkt. 3.
IS ENTITLED TO A RHINES STAY
prisoner must exhaust his state court remedies before a
federal court may consider granting habeas corpus relief. 28
U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A); O'Sullivan v.
Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842, 119 S.Ct. 1728, 144 L.Ed.2d
1 (1999). To satisfy the exhaustion requirement, a habeas
petitioner must fairly present his federal claims in the
state courts in order to give the State the opportunity to
pass upon and correct alleged violations of the
prisoner's federal rights. Duncan v. Henry, 513
U.S. 364, 365, 115 S.Ct. 887, 130 L.Ed.2d 865 (1995) (per
curiam). The inclusion of both exhausted and unexhausted
claims in a federal habeas petition renders it mixed and
subject to dismissal without prejudice. See Rose v.
Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 522, 102 S.Ct. 1198, 71 L.Ed.2d 379
Rhines, 544 U.S. 269, a court has discretion to stay
a mixed or wholly unexhausted petition to allow a petitioner
time to present his unexhausted claims to state courts.
Id. at 276; see Mena v. Long, 813 F.3d 907,
912 (9th Cir. 2016) (holding a district court has the
discretion to stay and hold in abeyance fully unexhausted
petitions under the circumstances set forth in
Rhines). This stay and abeyance procedure is called
a “Rhines stay” and is available only
when: (1) there is “good cause” for the failure
to exhaust; (2) each unexhausted ...