Cotton v. The People

Filing 9

FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS recommending that Petition be DISMISSED without prejudice for Petitioner's failure to follow the order of the Court and failure to prosecute the action; Court DECLINE to ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY; Clerk DIRECTED to close the action re 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Branden Doyle Cotton ; referred to Judge O'Neill,signed by Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on 11/5/13. Objections to F&R due by 12/9/2013 (Martin-Gill, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 11 BRANDEN DOYLE COTTON, Case No. 1:13-cv-00977-LJO-SKO-HC 12 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO DISMISS THE PETITION FOR PETITIONER’S FAILURE TO FOLLOW AN ORDER OF THE COURT, TO DECLINE TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, AND TO DIRECT THE CLERK TO CLOSE THE CASE 13 14 Petitioner, v. 15 THE PEOPLE, 16 Respondent. OBJECTIONS DEADLINE: THIRTY (30) DAYS 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauerpis with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The matter has been referred to the Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rules 302 and 304. Pending before the Court are the petition, which was filed on June 26, 2013, and several orders to Petitioner to inform the Court within thirty days of his decision to consent to, or to decline to consent to, the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge in the present case. The notices were served by mail on Petitioner at his address as listed in the docket on June 26, 2013; August 6, 2013; September 26, 2013; and November 1, 2013. 1 1 I. 2 Local Rule 110 provides: 3 Failure of counsel or of a party to comply with these Rules or with any order of the Court may be grounds for imposition by the Court of any and all sanctions authorized by statute or Rule or within the inherent power of the Court. 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Dismissal of the Petition District courts have the inherent power to control their dockets and “in the exercise of that power, they may impose sanctions including, where appropriate... dismissal of a case.” Thompson v. Housing Auth., 782 F.2d 829, 831 (9th Cir. 1986). A court may dismiss an action, with prejudice, based on a party’s failure to prosecute an action, failure to obey a court order, or failure to comply with local rules. See, e.g. Ghazali v. Moran, 46 F.3d 52, 53-54 (9th Cir. 1995) (dismissal for noncompliance with local rule); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260-61 (9th Cir. 1992) (dismissal for failure to comply with an order requiring amendment of complaint); Carey v. King, 856 F.2d 1439, 1440-41 (9th Cir. 1988) (dismissal for failure to comply with local rule requiring pro se plaintiffs to keep court apprised of address); Malone v. U.S. Postal Service, 833 F.2d 128, 130 (9th Cir. 1987) (dismissal for failure to comply with court order); Henderson v. Duncan, 779 F.2d 1421, 1424 (9th Cir. 1986) (dismissal for lack of prosecution and failure to comply with local rules). Here, Petitioner has repeatedly failed to respond to the Court’s orders regarding consent for a period of over four months. In determining whether to dismiss an action for lack of prosecution, failure to obey a court order, or failure to comply with local rules, the Court must consider several factors: (1) the public’s interest in expeditious resolution of litigation; (2) the Court’s 2 1 need to manage its docket; (3) the risk of prejudice to the 2 respondents; (4) the public policy favoring disposition of cases on 3 their merits; and (5) the availability of less drastic alternatives. 4 Thompson, 782 F.2d at 831; Henderson, 779 F.2d at 1423-24; Malone, 5 833 F.2d at 130; Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1260-61; Ghazali, 46 F.3d at 6 53. 7 Here, the petition has been pending for a lengthy period; thus 8 the Court finds that the public’s interest in expeditiously 9 resolving this litigation and the Court’s interest in managing the 10 docket weigh in favor of dismissal. The third factor, risk of 11 prejudice to respondents, also weighs in favor of dismissal, since a 12 presumption of injury arises from the occurrence of unreasonable 13 delay in prosecuting an action. 14 524 (9th Cir. 1976). Anderson v. Air West, 542 F.2d 522, The fourth factor -- public policy favoring 15 disposition of cases on their merits -- is greatly outweighed by the 16 factors in favor of dismissal discussed herein. Finally, the Court 17 has reviewed the “consideration of alternatives” requirement. See, 18 Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d at 1262; Malone, 833 at 132-33; 19 Henderson, 779 F.2d at 1424. The Court’s order dated September 26, 20 2013, gave Petitioner another thirty days to comply with the Court’s 21 order but expressly informed Petitioner that the action would be 22 dismissed without prejudice if Petitioner failed to respond to the 23 order within thirty days. Over thirty days have passed, but 24 Petitioner has again failed to respond to the Court’s order. 25 The Court concludes that dismissal is appropriate. 26 II. 27 Unless a circuit justice or judge issues a certificate of Certificate of Appealability 28 appealability, an appeal may not be taken to the court of appeals 3 1 from the final order in a habeas proceeding in which the detention 2 complained of arises out of process issued by a state court. 28 3 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A); Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336 4 (2003). A certificate of appealability may issue only if the 5 applicant makes a substantial showing of the denial of a 6 constitutional right. § 2253(c)(2). Under this standard, a 7 petitioner must show that reasonable jurists could debate whether 8 the petition should have been resolved in a different manner or that 9 the issues presented were adequate to deserve encouragement to 10 proceed further. Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. at 336 (quoting 11 Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000)). A certificate should 12 issue if the Petitioner shows that jurists of reason would find it 13 debatable whether: (1) the petition states a valid claim of the 14 denial of a constitutional right, or (2) the district court was 15 correct in any procedural ruling. 16 483-84 (2000). Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, In determining this issue, a court conducts an 17 overview of the claims in the habeas petition, generally assesses 18 their merits, and determines whether the resolution was debatable 19 among jurists of reason or wrong. Id. An applicant must show more 20 than an absence of frivolity or the existence of mere good faith; 21 however, an applicant need not show that the appeal will succeed. 22 Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. at 338. 23 A district court must issue or deny a certificate of 24 appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the applicant. 25 Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. 26 Here, it does not appear that reasonable jurists could debate 27 whether the petition should have been resolved in a different 28 manner. Petitioner has not made a substantial showing of the denial 4 1 of a constitutional right. Accordingly, a certificate of 2 appealability should not issue. 3 III. Recommendations 4 Based on the foregoing, it is RECOMMENDED that: 5 1) The petition be DISMISSED without prejudice for 6 Petitioner’s failure to follow the order of the Court and failure to 7 prosecute the action; 8 2) The Court DECLINE to issue a certificate of appealability; 3) The Clerk be DIRECTED to close the action because an order 9 and 10 11 of dismissal would terminate the proceeding in its entirety. 12 These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United 13 States District Court Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the 14 provisions of 28 U.S.C. ' 636 (b)(1)(B) and Rule 304 of the Local 15 Rules of Practice for the United States District Court, Eastern 16 District of California. Within thirty (30) days after being served 17 with a copy, any party may file written objections with the Court 18 and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be 19 captioned AObjections to Magistrate Judge=s Findings and 20 Recommendations.@ Replies to the objections shall be served and 21 filed within fourteen (14) days (plus three (3) days if served by 22 mail) after service of the objections. The Court will then review 23 the Magistrate Judge=s ruling pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 636 (b)(1)(C). 24 The parties are advised that failure to file objections within the 25 /// 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 5 1 specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court=s 2 order. Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). 3 4 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. 6 7 Dated: November 5, 2013 /s/ Sheila K. Oberto UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6

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