Jonathan F. Burke v. Warden

Filing 9

ORDER DISMISSING ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE by Judge Stephen V. Wilson. The Court dismisses this habeas corpus action for lack of habeas jurisdiction and Younger abstention reasons. (see document for further details) Case Terminated. Made JS-6. (hr)

Download PDF
1 2 JS-6 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 11 12 13 JONATHAN F. BURKE, Petitioner, 14 15 v. 16 UNKNOWN, Case No. ED CV 22-1478 SVW (MRW) ORDER DISMISSING ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE Respondent. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 The Court dismisses this habeas corpus action for lack of habeas jurisdiction and Younger abstention reasons. *** 1. In August 2022, Petitioner Burke filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in this federal court under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner used the Court’s standard habeas form petition (Form CV-69) to present his claims. (Docket # 1.) 2. The gist of the claims (grievances against his appointed defense lawyer, the prosecutor, and the trial judge) and his location in local custody 1 suggested that Petitioner was a pretrial detainee, not a convicted person 2 seeking review of his criminal conviction. Additionally, Petitioner provided 3 no information about the criminal charges, his sentence, or the status of 4 post-conviction appellate proceedings. 5 3. For these reasons, Magistrate Judge Wilner screened the 6 petition. Judge Wilner explained that habeas relief was not available 7 under AEDPA for those involved in ongoing criminal cases. The screening 8 order also identified other obvious procedural defects with the petition. 9 The magistrate judge directed Petitioner to submit a supplemental 10 statement addressing these issues, explaining why the action should not be 11 dismissed, and setting forth the status of Petitioner’s criminal case. 12 (Docket # 7.) 13 4. Petitioner filed a timely statement. (Docket # 8.) The 14 statement did not address the substance of Judge Wilner’s screening order. 15 However, the statement made clear that Petitioner is involved in an 16 ongoing criminal case. The closing paragraph of the statement also 17 clarified that Petitioner does not seek habeas corpus relief from a 18 conviction. Rather, Petitioner is “suing for civil rights violations [and] false 19 incarceration” from the named parties. (Id. at 4.) 20 21 *** 5. If it “appears from the application that the applicant or person 22 detained is not entitled” to habeas relief, a court may summarily dismiss a 23 habeas action. 28 U.S.C. § 2243; see also Rule 4 of Rules Governing 24 Section 2254 Cases in United States District Courts (petition may be 25 summarily dismissed if petitioner plainly not entitled to relief); Local Civil 26 Rule 72-3.2 (magistrate judge may submit proposed order for summary 27 28 2 1 dismissal to district judge “if it plainly appears from the face of the petition 2 [ ] that the petitioner is not entitled to relief”). 3 4 *** 6. The petition must be dismissed. AEDPA allows federal review 5 on behalf of “a person in custody pursuant to a judgment of a State court 6 only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution” or 7 other provision of federal law. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a) (emphasis added). 8 Here, Petitioner is a pretrial detainee who has not been criminally 9 convicted. There is no judgment for this federal court to review. 10 11 Petitioner’s habeas petition is premature. 7. Further, because of the existence of an ongoing criminal case, 12 Younger abstention is appropriate. Federal courts generally abstain from 13 interfering with pending state criminal proceedings until the conviction 14 becomes final after the conclusion of appellate proceedings. Younger v. 15 Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 45 (1971); Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court of 16 Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 489 (1973) (same). Younger abstention “is 17 appropriate if (1) there are ongoing state judicial proceedings, (2) the 18 proceedings implicate important state interests, and (3) there is adequate 19 opportunity in the state proceedings to raise federal questions.” Dubinka 20 v. Judges of Superior Court, 23 F.3d 218, 223 (9th Cir. 1994); Sheehee v. 21 Baca, 588 F. App’x 716 (9th Cir. 2014) (same). These factors militate 22 against allowing a habeas action to proceed. 23 8. Finally, the Court recognizes that it has discretion to convert a 24 habeas petition into a civil rights complaint, but declines to do so here. 25 Wilwording v. Swenson, 404 U.S. 249, 251 (1971) (superceded by statute on 26 other grounds). The petition is too vague in identifying any culpable 27 tortfeasor, and does not adequately set forth all elements of a violation of 28 3 1 federal law. Moreover, Petitioner would be liable for a considerably higher 2 filing fee should the Court automatically convert the petition to a civil 3 complaint. The prudent outcome is to dismiss the habeas action without 4 initiating a civil rights action. 5 6 7 Therefore, the present action is hereby DISMISSED without prejudice. IT IS SO ORDERED. 8 9 10 September 15, 2022 Dated: __________________ 11 12 13 _______________________________ _____________________ _ ___ HON. STEPHEN V V. WILSON HON WIL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE Presented by: 14 15 16 17 ____________________________________ HON. MICHAEL R. WILNER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?