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King v. United States

United States District Court, C.D. California

November 5, 2019

SCOTT KAHALA KING, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING PETITION WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          HON. CHRISTINA A SNYDER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On October 8, 2019, petitioner Scott Kahala King, who appears to be detained at the West Valley Detention Center in connection with state parole violation proceedings and is proceeding pro se, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ("Petition") with multiple miscellaneous attachments. As the Petition is deficient in at least the following respects, it is dismissed with leave to amend.[1]

         First, the Petition has not been submitted on either the national form appended to the current Habeas Rules or the form currently approved by the Central District of California for habeas petitions. See Local Rule 83-16; Rule 2(d) of the Habeas Rules. It is important to utilize the approved form, because, among other reasons, the approved form calls for specific information regarding whether individual claims have been presented to and resolved by the California Supreme, i.e., whether they have been exhausted, as discussed further below.

         Second, the Petition improperly names the United States of America as a Respondent. Cf. Morehead v. State of California 339 F.2d 170, 171 (9th Cir. 1964) (State of California incorrectly named as respondent). An appropriate respondent is petitioner's immediate custodian (i.e., the warden at the facility where he is currently housed). See Rumsfeld v. Padilla. 542 U.S. 426, 439 (2004); see also 28 U.S.C. § 2242; Rule 2(a) of the Habeas Rules and the Advisory Committee Notes thereto. The failure to name the correct respondent destroys personal jurisdiction. See Ortiz-Sandoval v. Gomez. 81 F.3d 891, 894 (9th Cir. 1996).

         Third, the Petition does not clearly specify its ground(s) for relief, and the facts supporting the ground(s) are largely incomprehensible. See Rule 2(c) of the Habeas Rules. As best as the Court can determine, petitioner appears to challenge a 2006 conviction because it was allegedly based on "insignificant evidence of facts" (Ground One) and suggests that he is entitled to "Keheya support" because he is "Keheya pro se" (Ground Two). Given the attachments to the Petition which appear to pertain to pending parole violation proceedings, it may be that petitioner intends to challenge his arrest and detention since September 25, 2019 for an alleged parole violation. See Attachment to Petition (Probable Cause Determination form for the arrest). Rule 2(c) of the Habeas Rules requires that a petition: (1) specify all grounds of relief available to the petitioner; (2) state the facts supporting each ground; and (3) state the relief requested. The petition must state facts that point to a real possibility of constitutional error. See Blackledee v. Allison. 431 U.S. 63, 75 n. 7 (1977) (summary disposition of habeas petition appropriate where allegations are vague or conclusory; "the petition is expected to state facts that point to a real possibility of constitutional error") (citation and quotation omitted). The facts currently alleged in the Petition are largely incomprehensible and do not point to a real possibility of constitutional error.

         Fourth, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1), habeas relief may not be granted unless a petitioner has exhausted the remedies available in the state courts.[2]Exhaustion requires that the petitioner's contentions were fairly presented to the state courts, Ybarra v. McDaniel. 656 F.3d 984, 991 (9th Cir. 2011), cert, denied. 568 U.S. 959 (2012), and disposed of on the merits by the highest court of the state, Greene v. Lambert. 288 F.3d 1081, 1086 (9th Cir. 2002). As a matter of comity, a federal court will not entertain a habeas petition unless the petitioner has exhausted the available state judicial remedies on every ground presented in it. See Rosey, Lmrdy. 455 U.S. 509, 518 (1982). Petitioner has the burden of demonstrating he has exhausted available state remedies. See, e.g.. Williams v. Craven. 460 F.2d 1253, 1254 (9th Cir. 1972) (per curiam); Rollins v. Superior Court. 706 F.Supp.2d 1008, 1011 (CD. Cal. 2010). In this case, the Petition does not reflect that petitioner's claim(s) have been presented to and resolved by the California Supreme Court, and the Court cannot discern from the Petition whether any ground petitioner may intend to assert has been presented to and resolved by the California Supreme Court as required.

         In light of the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

         1. The Petition is dismissed with leave to amend.[3]

         2. If petitioner wishes to pursue this action, he shall file a First Amended Petition correcting the above-referenced errors within fourteen (14) days of the date of this Order. The First Amended Petition shall name a proper respondent, reflect the same case number, be clearly labeled "First Amended Petition," be filled out completely, and be complete in itself. In other words, petitioner may not incorporate by reference the original Petition or its attachments. He must clearly identify the state court case number of the judgment which is being challenged. He must also clearly state each ground for relief with supporting facts and specify whether it was raised in state court, and if so, the name of the court in which the claim was raised, the case number, the date filed, the date decided, and the result.

         3. In the event petitioner elects not to proceed with this action, he shall sign and return the attached Notice of Dismissal by the foregoing deadline which will result in the voluntary dismissal of this action without prejudiced[4]

         4. Petitioner is cautioned that the failure timely to file a First Amended Petition in conformity with this Order or a Notice of Dismissal may result in the dismissal of this action based upon the above-referenced deficiencies in the Petition, petitioner's failure to obey the Court's order, and/or petitioner's failure to prosecute. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b); Link v. Wabash R.R. Co.. 370 U.S. 626, 629-30 (1962); see also Pagtalunan v. Calaza. 291 F.3d 639, 640, 642-43 (9th Cir. 2002) (district court may dismiss habeas petition for failure to obey court order or failure to prosecute), cert, denied. 538 U.S. 909 (2003).

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

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