(HC) Jones v. Borders

Filing 23

ORDER REFERRING CASE back to the Now-Assigned Magistrate Judge for Amended or Supplemental Findings and Recommendations signed by District Judge Dale A. Drozd on 9/7/2021. (Sant Agata, S)

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Case 1:18-cv-01606-DAD-HBK Document 23 Filed 09/07/21 Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 RYANN LYNN JONES, 12 Petitioner, 13 14 v. No. 1:18-cv-01606-DAD-HBK ORDER REFERRING CASE BACK TO THE NOW-ASSIGNED MAGISTRATE JUDGE FOR AMENDED OR SUPPLEMENTAL FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS DEAN BORDERS, (Doc. No. 20) 15 Respondent. 16 17 18 Petitioner Ryann Lynn Jones is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis 19 with a petition for habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. No. 1.) The matter was 20 referred to a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 21 302. 22 On June 24, 2020, the then-assigned magistrate judge issued findings and 23 recommendations recommending that the pending petition be denied on its merits. (Doc. No. 20.) 24 Those findings and recommendations were served on petitioner’s counsel of record and contained 25 notice that any objections thereto were to be filed within thirty (30) days of service. (Id. at 3.) 26 Counsel filed timely objections to the pending findings and recommendations on petitioner’s 27 behalf. (Doc. No. 21.) 28 ///// 1 Case 1:18-cv-01606-DAD-HBK Document 23 Filed 09/07/21 Page 2 of 3 1 In accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), this court has conducted a 2 de novo review of this case. Having carefully reviewed the entire file, the undersigned declines to 3 adopt the findings and recommendations at this time. Rather, the undersigned finds petitioner’s 4 objections, at least in part, to be potentially well taken. Specifically, as petitioner’s objections 5 point out, petitioner specifically alleged in his pending petition and in his traverse that the 6 California Court of Appeal relied on “material factual . . . errors” in affirming the state trial 7 court’s judgment and “unreasonably determined facts” in rejecting both petitioner’s eyewitness 8 identification and prosecutorial misconduct claims, as well as in its harmless error analysis. (Doc. 9 Nos. 18 at 12, 24, 35, 41; 21 at 4.) Petitioner argues in his objections that the pending findings 10 and recommendations misinterpreted and/or overlooked his claim that the California Court of 11 Appeal decision was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence 12 presented. (Doc. No. 21 at 4.) The undersigned agrees that the pending findings and 13 recommendations do not meaningfully engage the substance of petitioner’s claim that the state 14 court erroneously rejected his claims based upon an unreasonable determination of the facts in 15 light of the evidence presented in the state court proceedings.1 Because petitioner’s allegations challenging the state court decision as having been based 16 17 upon an unreasonable determination of the facts are material to whether petitioner received due 18 process in the state court proceedings, the undersigned will refer the matter back to the now- 19 assigned magistrate judge for issuance of amended or supplemental findings and 20 recommendations. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 The pending findings and recommendations refer to this aspect of petitioner’s collateral challenge to his state court conviction only in passing: 1 Petitioner does not claim that the Court of Appeal decision was “based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented,” and we do not believe it was. Even assuming that the Court of Appeal decision contained omissions or misinterpretations of the factual record, the alleged errors are small in the overall context of the evidence and legal issues presented, and could have led to no “unreasonable determination” of the facts. (Doc. No. 20 at 20, n.4). It appears to the undersigned that petitioner has consistently asserted in these federal habeas proceedings an “unreasonable determination of the facts” challenge to the state court judgment. If so, a more thorough review and analysis of that claim is called for here. 2 Case 1:18-cv-01606-DAD-HBK Document 23 Filed 09/07/21 Page 3 of 3 1 Accordingly, 2 1. 3 4 The undersigned at this time declines to adopt the findings and recommendations issued on June 24, 2020 (Doc. No. 20); and 2. This case is referred back to the assigned magistrate judge for the issuance of 5 amended or supplemental findings and recommendations, addressing the issues 6 raised in petitioner’s objections (Doc. No. 21). 7 8 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 7, 2021 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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