United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY MOTION FOR ORDER
DISMISSING STATE COURT ACTION WITH PREJUDICE, OR IN THE
ALTERNATIVE, SCHEDULE AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING [DOCS. 84, 85]
[TWENTY-ONE DAY OBJECTION DEADLINE]
K. OBERTO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
filed a habeas petition on October 4, 2012, challenging his
2007 conviction in Fresno County Superior Court of possession
of a firearm by a felon. On October 5, 2018, the Court issued
an order granting the petition with instructions that
Petitioner be released from custody within ninety days unless
he was arraigned and a new trial date set.
before the Court are Petitioner's two motions to dismiss
the state court action, filed on December 23 and 27, 2019,
respectively. (Docs. 84, 85.) Petitioner contends that the
state court has failed to abide by the Court's
instructions and requests dismissal of all charges, or in the
alternative, that the Court schedule an evidentiary hearing
on his complaints. The Court finds that the state court has
complied with the Court's order of October 5, 2018. As to
Petitioner's complaints concerning violations of his
rights in the state court hearing, the Court finds that it
must abstain from interfering in ongoing state court
proceedings, insofar as Petitioner has avenues of relief
available to him in the state courts.
principles of comity and federalism, a federal court should
not interfere with ongoing state criminal proceedings by
granting injunctive or declaratory relief except under
special circumstances. Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S.
37, 43-54 (1971). Younger abstention is required when: (1)
state proceedings, judicial in nature, are pending; (2) the
state proceedings involve important state interests; and (3)
the state proceedings afford adequate opportunity to raise
the constitutional issue. Middlesex County Ethics Comm.
V. Garden State Bar Ass'n, 457 U.S. 423, 432 (1982);
Dubinka v. Judges of the Superior Court, 23 F.3d
218, 223 (9th Cir. 1994). The rationale of Younger
applies throughout the appellate proceedings, requiring that
state appellate review of a state court judgment be exhausted
before federal court intervention is permitted.
Dubinka, 23 F.3d at 223 (even if criminal trials
were completed at time of abstention decision, state court
proceedings still considered pending).
of habeas corpus also provides guidance on when a district
court should abstain from review of a claim. To be granted
federal habeas corpus relief, the petition must have
exhausted his available state remedies. 28 U.S.C. §
2254(b). The rule of exhaustion is based on comity to the
state court and gives the state court the initial opportunity
to correct the state's alleged constitutional
deprivations. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 731
(1991). The exhaustion requirement can be satisfied by
providing the highest state court with a full and fair
opportunity to consider each claim before presenting it to
the federal court. Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270,
previously stated, the District Court issued the order
granting the petition on October 5, 2018. (Doc. 82.) The
Court's order instructed Respondent to release Petitioner
unless he was arraigned and a new trial date was set within
ninety days. Petitioner has submitted a copy of a minute
order from the Fresno County Superior Court reflecting that
Petitioner was re-arraigned on the charges on December 17,
2018, and a new trial date was set for January 31, 2019.
(Doc. 85 at 6-7.) Thus, the Court's order was satisfied.
contends that he was not present during the re-arraignment
hearing despite the fact that the minute order reflects that
he was present. This issue and the question whether
Petitioner's rights were violated are matters that must
first be addressed by the state courts. State court
proceedings are ongoing, and California has an important
interest in passing upon and correcting violations of a
defendant's rights. Roberts v. Dicarlo, 296
F.Supp.2d 1182, 1185 (C.D. Cal. 2002) (citing Koerner v.
Grigas, 328 F.3d 1039, 1046 (9th Cir. 2003). In
addition, the Fresno County Superior Court, the California
Court of Appeals, and the California Supreme Court are
adequate forums for Petitioner to seek relief for his claims
prior to seeking relief in the Federal Court.
Roberts, 296 F.Supp.2d at 1185. Therefore, the Court
recommends Petitioner's motion be denied and the Court
abstain from interfering in state proceedings.
on the foregoing, the Court HEREBY RECOMMENDS that
Petitioner's motions be DENIED.
Findings and Recommendation is submitted to the United States
District Court Judge assigned to this case, pursuant to the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. section 636 (b)(1)(B) and Rule 304 of
the Local Rules of Practice for the United States District
Court, Eastern District of California. Within twenty-one (21)
days after being served with a copy, any party may file
written objections with the Court. Such a document should be
captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge's
Findings and Recommendation.” Any reply to objections
may be filed within ten (10) days of the date of service of
objections. The Court will then review the Magistrate
Judge's ruling pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § ...