Swanigan v. Grounds

Filing 4

ORDER DISMISSING CASE. Signed by Judge William Alsup on 10/28/11. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(dt, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/28/2011)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 FRED SWANIGAN, Petitioner, 12 ORDER OF DISMISSAL v. 13 14 No. C 11-4808 WHA (PR) RANDY GROUNDS, et al., Respondent. 15 / 16 INTRODUCTION 17 Petitioner, a California prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a petition for a writ of habeas 18 19 corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2254. The petition challenges the denial of parole by the 20 California Board of Parole Hearings (“Board”). ANALYSIS 21 22 A. STANDARD OF REVIEW 23 This court may entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus "in behalf of a person in 24 custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in 25 violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. 2254(a); Rose 26 v. Hodges, 423 U.S. 19, 21 (1975). Habeas corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading 27 requirements. McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994). An application for a federal writ 28 of habeas corpus filed by a prisoner who is in state custody pursuant to a judgment of a state 1 court must “specify all the grounds for relief which are available to the petitioner ... and shall 2 set forth in summary form the facts supporting each of the grounds thus specified.” Rule 2(c) of 3 the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, 28 U.S.C. foll. 2254. “‘[N]otice’ pleading is not 4 sufficient, for the petition is expected to state facts that point to a ‘real possibility of 5 constitutional error.’” Rule 4 Advisory Committee Notes (quoting Aubut v. Maine, 431 F.2d 6 688, 689 (1st Cir. 1970)). 7 B. 8 9 LEGAL CLAIMS Petitioner claims that the denial of parole was not supported by sufficient evidence of his current dangerousness. For purposes of federal habeas review, the federal constitutional right to due process entitles a California only to “minimal” procedural protections in connection 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 with a parole suitability determination. Swarthout v Cooke, 131 S.Ct. 859, 863 (2011). The 12 procedural protections are limited to an opportunity to be heard and a statement of the reasons 13 why parole was denied. Id. at 862. Petitioner does not dispute that he received an opportunity 14 to be heard and a statement of the reasons parole was denied. The constitution does not require 15 more. Ibid. The court in Swarthout explained that no Supreme Court case “supports converting 16 California’s ‘some evidence’ rule into a substantive federal requirement.” Ibid. It is simply 17 irrelevant in federal habeas review "whether California's 'some evidence' rule of judicial review 18 (a procedure beyond what the Constitution demands) was correctly applied." Id. at 863. As the 19 Supreme Court has determined that due process does not require that there be any amount of 20 evidence to support the parole denial, petitioner’s claim that the denial of parole was supported 21 by insufficient evidence fails to establish grounds for habeas relief. 22 CONCLUSION 23 In light of the foregoing, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is DISMISSED. 24 Petitioner has failed to make a substantial showing that a reasonable jurist would find this 25 // 26 // 27 28 2 1 court’s denial of his claim debatable or wrong. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). 2 Consequently, no certificate of appealability is warranted in this case. 3 The clerk shall enter judgment and close the file. 4 IT IS SO ORDERED. 5 Dated: October 28 , 2011. WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 6 7 8 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 G:\PRO-SE\WHA\HC.11\SWANIGAN4808.DSM.wpd 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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