Ault v. California Department of Corrections

Filing 2

ORDER DISMISSING CASE. Signed by Judge William Alsup on 11/30/10. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(dt, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/30/2010)

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Ault v. California Department of Corrections Doc. 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 EDWARD JOHN AULT, Petitioner, vs. CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent. / INTRODUCTION Petitioner, a state parolee, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. 2254 challenging the imposition of certain conditions on his parole pursuant to California's Sexually Violent Predator Act ("SVPA"). See Cal. Welfare & Inst. Code 66006609.3. He has paid the filing fee. STATEMENT According to the petition, petitioner was convicted in Santa Clara County Superior Court of felony drunk driving. He was placed on probation, but he violated the terms of his probation and was sentenced to a term of sixteen months in state prison. He was thereafter granted parole, but before he was released, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation placed hold on him pursuant to the SVPA based upon a 1991 sex offense. He has since been released from prison and his serving his three-year parole term, but he continues to be subject to certain conditions of his parole pursuant to the SVPA, such as reporting to a parole officer in San Jose and not entering into a relationship with someone who has a minor Dockets.Justia.com IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA No. C 10-4987 WHA (PR) ORDER OF DISMISSAL 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 child. The attachments to the petition indicate that petitioner has previously filed a habeas petition in the California Supreme Court, which was denied recently. ANALYSIS A. STANDARD OF REVIEW Upon the filing of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2241(c)(3), a court should "award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto." 28 U.S.C. 2243. B. LEGAL CLAIM Petitioner claims that the imposition of conditions on his parole pursuant to the SVPA violates his rights under the Double Jeopardy Clause because he was already punished for his 1991 sex offense. The United States Supreme Court has rejected challenges on Double Jeopardy and Ex Post Facto grounds to a similar sexual offender statute because of the civil nature of the statute. Seling v. Young, 531 U.S. 250 (2001). In addition, the California Supreme Court rejected such challenges to the SVPA because it is a civil statute. Hubbart v. Superior Court, 19 Cal. 4th 1138 (1999); see also Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978, 993 (9th Cir. 2007) rev'd on other grounds, 129 S. Ct. 2431 (2009) (discussing Seling and Hubbart in holding that civil nature of SVPA means challenges to its application under Double Jeopardy and Ex Post Facto Clauses are foreclosed, even if individuals argue statute is punitive "as applied" to them). In light of this authority, petitioner's claims that the application of provisions of the SVPA to him violate his rights under the Double Jeopardy Clause are foreclosed because the SVPA is a civil statute. Accordingly, he has failed to state a cognizable claim for federal habeas relief. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is DISMISSED for failure to state a cognizable claim for relief. Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases now requires a district court to rule on whether a petitioner is entitled to a certificate of appealability in the same order in 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 which the petition is denied. Petitioner has failed to make a substantial showing that his claims amounted to a denial of his constitutional rights or demonstrate that a reasonable jurist would find the denial of his claim debatable or wrong. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). Consequently, no certificate of appealability is warranted in this case. The clerk shall close the file. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: November 30 , 2010. WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 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 3 G:\PRO-SE\WHA\HC.10\AULT4987.DSM.wpd.

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