(HC) Yocom v. Attorney General

Filing 14

ORDER ADOPTING 8 Findings and Recommendations; ORDER DISMISSING Petition and DECLINING to Issue Certificate of Appealability, signed by District Judge Dale A. Drozd on 11/19/2020. CASE CLOSED(Martin-Gill, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 MICHAEL A. YOCOM, 12 13 14 15 16 No. 1:20-cv-01141-DAD-SAB (HC) Petitioner, v. ATTORNEY GENERAL, ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS DISMISSING PETITION, AND DECLINING TO ISSUE CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY Respondent. (Doc. No. 8) 17 18 Petitioner Michael A. Yocom is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis 19 with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The matter was referred to 20 a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302. 21 On September 8, 2020, the assigned magistrate judge issued findings and 22 recommendations recommending that the pending petition for federal habeas relief be dismissed 23 because petitioner’s direct appeal of his state court judgment of conviction is still pending before 24 the state appellate court. (Doc. No. 8 at 2–3.) Accordingly, the magistrate judge recommended 25 dismissing the petition without prejudice. (Id. at 3.) The pending findings and recommendations 26 were served on petitioner with notice that any objections thereto were to be filed within thirty 27 (30) days of the service. (Id. at 3–4.) After seeking and receiving an extension of time to do so, 28 petitioner timely filed objections to the pending findings and recommendations on October 23, 1 1 2020. (Doc. No. 12.) Petitioner also filed a “Declaration of Most Unusual Circumstances to 2 Entitle Him to Have Federal Interposition,” on October 26, 2020. (Doc. No. 13.) 3 In accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), the court has conducted a 4 de novo review of the case. Having carefully reviewed the entire file, including petitioner’s 5 objections and declaration, the court concludes that the findings and recommendations are 6 supported by the record and by proper analysis. 7 In his objections, petitioner contends that his criminal appeal is no longer pending in the 8 California Court of Appeal as of October 7, 2020. (Doc. No. 12 at 1.) However, petitioner’s 9 direct appeal remains pending because the Court of Appeal “remanded for the [trial] court to 10 consider whether to exercise its discretion to dismiss the five-year term imposed for the section 11 667, subdivision (a) prior serious felony enhancement,” “strike the true findings and the terms 12 imposed for the section 667.5, subdivision (b) prior prison term enhancements, and recalculate 13 [petitioner]’s credits.” People v. Yocom, No. F077786, 2020 WL 5939771, at *20 (Cal. Ct. App. 14 Oct. 7, 2020).1 Moreover, petitioner appealed from the Court of Appeal’s decision to the 15 California Supreme Court on November 9, 2020. See Petition for Review, People v. Yocom, No. 16 S265438 (Cal. Nov. 9, 2020), 17 When, as in the present case, an appeal of a state criminal conviction is pending, a would-be habeas corpus petitioner must await the outcome of his appeal before his state remedies are exhausted, even where the issue to be challenged in the writ of habeas corpus has been finally settled in the state courts. 18 19 20 Sherwood v. Tomkins, 716 F.2d 632, 634 (9th Cir. 1983). Here, petitioner’s direct appeal of his 21 state criminal conviction is still pending before the state appellate courts. Thus, petitioner’s 22 objections do not meaningfully dispute the magistrate judge’s finding that the pending petition 23 must be dismissed. The court will therefore dismiss the pending petition without prejudice to its 24 refiling after petitioner’s direct appeal from his judgment of conviction has come to a conclusion. 25 ///// 26 1 27 28 The court “may take notice of proceedings in other courts, both within and without the federal judicial system, if those proceedings have a direct relation to matters at issue.” U.S. ex rel. Robinson Rancheria Citizens Council v. Borneo, Inc., 971 F.2d 244, 248 (9th Cir. 1992) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 2 1 Having determined that petitioner is not entitled to habeas relief, the court now turns to 2 whether a certificate of appealability should issue. “[A] state prisoner seeking a writ of habeas 3 corpus has no absolute entitlement to appeal a district court’s denial of his petition,” and an 4 appeal is only allowed in certain circumstances. Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 335–36 5 (2003); see 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A) (permitting habeas appeals from state prisoners only with a 6 certificate of appealability). Specifically, the federal rules governing habeas cases brought by 7 state prisoners require a district court issuing an order denying a habeas petition to either grant or 8 deny therein a certificate of appealability. See Rules Governing § 2254 Case, Rule 11(a). A 9 judge shall grant a certificate of appealability “only if the applicant has made a substantial 10 showing of the denial of a constitutional right” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2), and the certificate must 11 indicate which issues satisfy this standard, 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(3). Here, petitioner has not made 12 such a showing. Accordingly, a certificate of appealability will not be issued. 13 Accordingly, 14 1. 15 16 The findings and recommendations issued September 8, 2020 (Doc. No. 8) are adopted in full; 2. The petition for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. No. 1) is dismissed without prejudice 17 to its refiling, if appropriate, after petitioner’s direct appeal of his judgment of 18 conviction before the state courts has concluded; 19 3. The court declines to issue a certificate of appealability; and 20 4. The Clerk of the Court is directed to close this case. 21 22 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: November 19, 2020 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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