United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING ACTION FOR FAILURE TO STATE A
FERNANDO M. OLGUIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
August 2019, William Joe Long (“Petitioner”)
filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in
State Custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (the
“Petition”). (Dkt. 1.) The Petition fails to
allege that Petitioner is in custody in violation of the
Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.
2009, Petitioner was sentenced to a 27-year term of
imprisonment after he pled guilty to manslaughter. (Dkt. 1 at
2.) The Petition, however, does not challenge
Petitioner's 2009 conviction. It “concerns Prop.
#57.” (Id.) As a claim for relief, Plaintiff
alleges, “Prop. #57 signed in law allowed non-violent
offenders to seek early parole on the portion of the term
deemed non-violent.” (Id. at 5.)
Proposition 57, approved by voters in November 2016, expanded
eligibility for parole for certain felons convicted of
non-violent crimes. See Travers v. California, 2018
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18715, 2018 WL 707546 at *2-3 (N.D. Cal.
Feb. 5, 2018). Specifically, Proposition 57 added language to
the California Constitution, providing, in relevant part:
“Any person convicted of a nonviolent felony offense
and sentenced to state prison shall be eligible for parole
consideration after completing the full term of his or her
primary offense.” Cal. Const., art. I, § 32(a)(1).
Proposition 57 also gave the California Department of
Corrections (“CDCR”) the “authority to
award credits earned for good behavior.” Cal. Const.,
art. I, § 32(a)(2).
does not allege that he is eligible for early parole under
Proposition 57. He does not allege that the CDCR denied
him early parole or credits for good behavior. But even if
Petitioner could amend his Petition to add such factual
allegations, he would still fail to state a claim for federal
September 4, 2019, the Court issued an order to show cause
why the Petition should not be summarily dismissed. (Dkt. 4.)
Petitioner never responded.
an independent constitutional violation, “it is not the
province of a federal habeas court to re-examine state-court
determinations on state-law questions.” Estelle v.
McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 67-68 (1991); Bonin v.
Calderon, 59 F.3d 815, 841 (9th Cir. 1995) (holding that
a violation of a “state law right does not warrant
habeas corpus relief).
at best, Petitioner alleges that he has been wrongfully
deprived of some state law right affecting his eligibility
for parole. Because federal habeas corpus only provides a
remedy for violations of the Constitution or laws or treaties
of the United States, Petitioner's claim of state law
error is not cognizable. See Swarthout v. Cooke, 562
U.S. 216, 222 (2011) (“[T]he responsibility for
assuring that the constitutionally adequate procedures
governing California's parole system are properly applied
rests with California courts, and is no part of the Ninth
Circuit's business.”); see also Wilson v.
Biter, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106790, 2018 WL 3197815, at
*2 (E.D. Cal. June 26, 2018) (dismissing claim of Proposition
57 error because it was “not cognizable under federal