Lopez v. Hernandez

Filing 2

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE. Signed by Judge William Alsup on 11/5/08. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(dt, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/5/2008)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 JESUS CARLOS LOPEZ, Petitioner, v. ROBERT J. HERNANDEZ, Warden, Respondent. / No. C 08-4903 WHA (PR) ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Petitioner, a California prisoner currently incarcerated at the Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2254. He has paid the filing fee. Venue is proper because the conviction was obtained in Santa Clara County, which is in this district. See 28 U.S.C. 2241(d). STATEMENT A jury convicted petitioner of fourteen counts of committing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under age fourteen by force. See Cal. Penal Code 288(b)(1). With sentencing enhancements, he was sentenced to 168 years to life in prison. His conviction was affirmed on direct appeal by the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court denied review. /// /// 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A. STANDARD OF REVIEW DISCUSSION This court may entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus "in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. 2254(a); Rose v. Hodges, 423 U.S. 19, 21 (1975). Habeas corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading requirements. McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994). An application for a federal writ of habeas corpus filed by a prisoner who is in state custody pursuant to a judgment of a state court must "specify all the grounds for relief which are available to the petitioner ... and shall set forth in summary form the facts supporting each of the grounds thus specified." Rule 2(c) of the Rules Governing 2254 Cases, 28 U.S.C. foll. 2254. "`[N]otice' pleading is not sufficient, for the petition is expected to state facts that point to a `real possibility of constitutional error.'" Rule 4 Advisory Committee Notes (quoting Aubut v. Maine, 431 F.2d 688, 689 (1st Cir. 1970). "Habeas petitions which appear on their face to be legally insufficient are subject to summary dismissal." Calderon v. United States Dist. Court (Nicolaus), 98 F.3d 1102, 1108 (9th Cir. 1996) (Schroeder, J., concurring). B. LEGAL CLAIMS As grounds for federal habeas relief, petitioner asserts that: (1) his due process and Sixth Amendment rights were violated by his lawyer's failure to raise a statute of limitations defense; (2) his due process and Sixth Amendment rights were violated when the trial court gave an extemporaneous instruction to the jury which undermined the reasonable doubt standard and gave it in the absence of defendant and counsel; (3) the trial court committed instructional errors. Issue three presents only a state-law claim. Federal habeas relief is unavailable for violations of state law or for alleged error in the interpretation or application of state law. See Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 67-68 (1991). Issue three therefore will be dismissed. The other issues are sufficient to require a response. /// 2 United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 CONCLUSION 1. Leave to proceed in forma pauperis (document number 2 on the docket) is GRANTED. 2. The clerk shall mail a copy of this order and the petition with all attachments to the respondent and the respondent's attorney, the Attorney General of the State of California. The clerk shall also serve a copy of this order on the petitioner. 3. Respondent shall file with the court and serve on petitioner, within sixty days of service of this order, an answer conforming in all respects to Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, showing cause why a writ of habeas corpus should not be granted. Respondent shall file with the answer and serve on petitioner a copy of all portions of the state trial record that have been transcribed previously and that are relevant to a determination of the issues presented by the petition. If petitioner wishes to respond to the answer, he shall do so by filing a traverse with the court and serving it on respondent within thirty days of service of the answer. 4. Respondent may file a motion to dismiss on procedural grounds in lieu of an answer, as set forth in Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. If respondent files such a motion, petitioner shall file with the court and serve on respondent an opposition or statement of non-opposition within thirty days of receipt of the motion, and respondent shall file with the court and serve on petitioner a reply within 15 days of receipt of any opposition. If a motion is filed it will be ruled upon without oral argument, unless otherwise ordered. 5. Petitioner is reminded that all communications with the court must be served on respondent by mailing a copy of the document to respondent's counsel. Papers intended to be filed in this case should be addressed to the clerk rather than to the undersigned. Petitioner also must keep the court informed of any change of address and comply with any orders of the court within the time allowed, or ask for an extension of that time. Failure to do so may result in the dismissal of this action for failure to prosecute. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: November 4 , 2008. United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE G:\PRO-SE\WHA\HC.08\LOPEZ4903.OSC.wpd 3

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