Dyleski v. Grounds

Filing 6


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1 2 3 4 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 No. C-12-5336 SI SCOTT EDGAR DYLESKI, ORDER STAYING PROCEEDINGS AND ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING CASE Petitioner, v. RANDY GROUNDS, Warden of the Salinas Valley State Prison, and MATTHEW CATE, Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Respondents. 13 / 14 Scott Edgar Dyleski, an inmate currently incarcerated at Salinas Valley State Prison, through his 15 attorney filed this action for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. His petition is now 16 before the Court for review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2243 and Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 17 2254 Cases. His request to stay proceedings and hold the petition in abeyance is also now before the 18 Court. 19 20 BACKGROUND 21 The petition and attachments thereto provide the following information: Dyleski was convicted 22 in Contra Costa County Superior Court of first degree murder and was sentenced on September 26, 23 2006, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Dyleski appealed. On appeal, his conviction 24 was affirmed by the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court denied his petition 25 for review. The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari on May 24, 2010, which triggered the one year 26 period of limitation on Dyleski's right to seek federal habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. 27 § 2244(d)(1)(A). 28 1 On May 23, 2011, 364 days later, Dyleski filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in Contra 2 Costa County Superior Court, thereby tolling the one year limitation period until the California courts 3 issue a final decision. On October 2, 2012, Dyleski filed his petition in the California Supreme Court, 4 where he awaits a decision. On October 16, 2012, Dyleski filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus 5 in this Court. Because the California Supreme Court had not issued a decision on all of his claims prior 6 to his filing in this Court, at least some of Dyleski's claims appear to be "unexhausted" within the 7 meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 254(b)(1)(A). Therefore, Dyleski has also moved for a stay. 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 DISCUSSION A. Review of Petition 11 This court may entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus "in behalf of a person in custody 12 pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the 13 Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). A district court considering 14 an application for a writ of habeas corpus shall "award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent 15 to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the 16 applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto." 28 U.S.C. § 2243. Summary dismissal is 17 appropriate only where the allegations in the petition are vague or conclusory, palpably incredible, or 18 patently frivolous or false. See Hendricks v. Vasquez, 908 F.2d 490, 491 (9th Cir. 1990). 19 The petition alleges the following claims: (1) his trial court counsel's failure to investigate the 20 facts of the case and present meritorious defenses deprived him of his right to due process and effective 21 assistance of counsel; (2) the prosecutor's improper actions rendered his trial fundamentally unfair 22 thereby depriving him of due process; (3) his appellate counsel's failure to sufficiently review the record 23 and present available, meritorious defenses deprived him or his right to due process and effective 24 assistance of counsel; (4) the combination of the first three claims resulted in a miscarriage of justice 25 in violation of the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; and (5) California 26 Penal Code § 190.5 is unconstitutionally vague, favors life without parole sentences over more lenient 27 sentences, and fails to provide sentencing discretion in violation of Dyleski's Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth 28 Amendment rights. Liberally construed, the claims appear to be cognizable in a federal habeas action. 2 1 B. Motion For Stay 2 Pursuant to Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269 (2005), Dyleski requests a stay of these proceedings 3 so that he may exhaust his claims in the California Supreme Court. Additionally, because Dyleski 4 waited 364 days to file his collateral appeal in California State Court, without a stay here Dyleski would 5 only have only one (1) day to re-file or amend his federal habeas petition in this Court if the California 6 Supreme Court denies relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2) (excluding time during which a properly filed 7 application for state post-conviction of other collateral view is pending from the one year limitation 8 period established under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A)). A stay under Rhines “is only appropriate when the district court determines there was good cause 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 9 for the petitioner’s failure to exhaust his claims first in state court,” the claims are not meritless, and 11 there are no intentionally dilatory litigation tactics by the petitioner. Rhines, 544 U.S. at 277-78. Any 12 such stay must be limited in time to avoid indefinite delay. Id. The Court cautioned district courts 13 against being too liberal in allowing a stay because a stay works against several of the purposes of the 14 AEDPA in that it “frustrates AEDPA’s objective of encouraging finality by allowing a petitioner to 15 delay the resolution of the federal proceeding” and “undermines AEDPA’s goal of streamlining federal 16 habeas proceedings by decreasing a petitioner’s incentive to exhaust all his claims in state court prior 17 to filing his federal petition.” Id. at 277. 18 19 The Court concludes that Dyleski satisfies the requirements for a Rhines stay. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS the motion to stay. 20 21 CONCLUSION 22 For the foregoing reasons, 23 1. The petition states cognizable claims for habeas relief. The court will not order a 24 response from respondent at this time because the action is being stayed so that Dyleski can exhaust 25 state court remedies for additional claims. 26 2. The clerk shall serve by mail a copy of this order, the petition and all attachments thereto 27 upon respondents and respondents' attorney, the Attorney General of the State of California. The clerk 28 shall also serve a copy of this order on petitioner's counsel. 3 1 3. Petitioner's motion to stay is GRANTED. (Docket No. 4) 2 4. This action is now STAYED and the clerk shall ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSE the 3 action. Nothing further will take place in this action until Dyleski exhausts any unexhausted claims and, 4 within thirty days of doing so, moves to reopen this action, lift the Court’s stay and amend his petition 5 to add any new claims. Dyleski must return to federal court within thirty days of a final decision by the 6 state courts on the unexhausted claims. Dyleski must act diligently to get his state court petition 7 resolved and must return to federal court within thirty days of a final decision by the state courts on the 8 unexhausted claims. 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 12 Dated: November 8, 2012 SUSAN ILLSTON United States District Judge 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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