Casteel v. Von Sluepth et al

Filing 7

ORDER ADOPTING 5 Findings and Recommendations, Converting 1983 Complaint to a 2241 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Dismissing Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Denying as Moot 2 Petitioner's Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and Directing Clerk of Court to Closed Case signed by District Judge Dale A. Drozd on 7/19/2021. CASE CLOSED. (Jessen, A)

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Case 1:20-cv-00781-DAD-EPG Document 7 Filed 07/19/21 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 CARLOS LEVELT CASTEEL, 12 16 ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION, CONVERTING § 1983 COMPLAINT TO A § 2241 PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS, DENYING AS MOOT PETITIONER’S MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, AND DIRECTING THE CLERK OF COURT TO CLOSE CASE 17 (Doc. Nos. 2, 5) 13 14 15 Plaintiff, No. 1:20-cv-00781-DAD-EPG v. ESTHER VON SLUEPTH, et al., Defendants. 18 19 Plaintiff Carlos Levelt Casteel is a pre-trial detainee proceeding pro se in this civil rights 20 action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge 21 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302. 22 Plaintiff filed this action on June 4, 2020 seeking dismissal of his ongoing state criminal 23 proceeding or, in the alternative, a writ of prohibition to prevent the Kern County Superior Court 24 from conducting any further criminal proceedings against him based on plaintiff’s allegations of 25 vindictive prosecution. (Doc. No. 1.) On August 20, 2020, the assigned magistrate judge 26 determined plaintiff’s action evinced a clear intent to bring a petition for writ of habeas corpus 27 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and issued an order to show cause directing plaintiff to explain why 28 the court should not dismiss the petition due to his failure to first exhaust his claims by presenting 1 Case 1:20-cv-00781-DAD-EPG Document 7 Filed 07/19/21 Page 2 of 3 1 them to the California Supreme Court. (Doc. No. 3 at 3–4.) On September 2, 2020, plaintiff’s 2 response to the order to show cause was timely docketed. 3 Thereafter, on September 23, 2020, the assigned magistrate judge issued findings and 4 recommendations recommending that plaintiff’s § 1983 complaint be converted to a § 2241 5 petition for writ of habeas corpus and that the petition be dismissed without prejudice based on 6 Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) and due to his failure to exhaust his claims for relief in 7 state court as required. (Doc. No. 5.) The findings and recommendation served on petitioner 8 contained notice that any objections were to be filed within thirty (30) days of the date of service 9 of the findings and recommendation. On October 30, 2020, the court timely received petitioner’s 10 objections. (Doc. No. 6.) In his objections, plaintiff states he will “submit” to the finding that his civil rights 11 12 complaint be construed as a habeas petition; however, he argues that this petition should not be 13 dismissed by repeating the allegations he has made elsewhere in this action that he is being 14 subjected to vindictive prosecution and that his Speedy Trial rights are being violated in the state 15 court criminal proceedings pending against him. (Id. at 1–2; Doc. No. 1 at 5–23.) Plaintiff 16 asserts that he has exhausted his state judicial remedies by his oral argument in his motion to 17 dismiss due to Speedy Trial violations, which he states was ignored by the Kern County Superior 18 Court, as well as the prosecution and defense attorneys. (Doc. No. 6 at 4–5.) 19 The Ninth Circuit has instructed that a district court should not convert a § 1983 action 20 into a habeas petition unless the prisoner’s intentions are clear so as to avoid co-opting a 21 prisoner’s sole chance at success on a habeas petition. See Trimble v. City of Santa Rosa, 49 F.3d 22 583, 586 (9th Cir. 1995) (citing McClesky v. Zant, 499 U.S. 467 (1991)). However, this concern 23 is not implicated when the district court converts a § 1983 action to a habeas petition and then 24 dismisses it due to the failure to exhaust the claims for relief in state court, because a dismissal on 25 these grounds does not render later filed habeas petitions second or successive. Trimble, 49 F.3d 26 at 586. Here, the court makes explicitly clear that this case’s dismissal is due entirely to 27 plaintiff’s failure to first exhaust his claims in state court as required. 28 ///// 2 Case 1:20-cv-00781-DAD-EPG Document 7 Filed 07/19/21 Page 3 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, including plaintiff’s 3 objections, the court finds the findings and recommendations to be supported by the record and 4 by proper analysis. 5 Accordingly: 6 1. The findings and recommendation issued on September 23, 2020 (Doc. No. 5) are 7 8 adopted; 2. Plaintiff’s § 1983 complaint is converted to a § 2241 petition for writ of habeas 9 10 corpus; 3. The petition for writ of habeas corpus is dismissed without prejudice due to plaintiff’s 11 12 failure to exhaust his claims in state court; 4. In light of the dismissal, petitioner’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. No. 2) 13 14 15 16 is denied as having been rendered moot; and 5. The Clerk of the Court is directed to close the case. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: July 19, 2021 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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