Riley v. Grounds

Filing 15

ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS. Signed by Judge Thelton E. Henderson on 03/10/2014. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(tmi, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/11/2014)

Download PDF
1 2 3 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 7 8 9 SHANNON RILEY, United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 No. C-13-2524 TEH (PR) Petitioner, ORDER GRANTING RESPONDENT’S MOTION TO DISMISS v. (Doc. #8) RANDY GROUNDS, Warden, Respondent. / 15 Petitioner Shannon Riley, a state prisoner incarcerated at 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) in Soledad, California, has filed a pro se Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 alleging that a document in his prison file falsely identifies him as a sex offender and that this could be used as a negative factor in determining unsuitability when he is being considered for parole. Respondent has filed a motion to dismiss. Petitioner has filed an opposition and Respondent has filed a reply. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the motion to dismiss. I Respondent argues that the petition must be dismissed because it is unexhausted, it is procedurally defaulted and it fails 1 to state a cognizable federal habeas claim for relief.1 2 A 3 Prisoners in state custody who wish to challenge in 4 federal habeas proceedings either the fact or length of their 5 confinement are first required to exhaust state judicial remedies by 6 presenting the highest state court available with a fair opportunity 7 to rule on the merits of each and every claim they seek to raise in 8 federal court. 9 U.S. 509, 515-16 (1982). See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b), (c); Rose v. Lundy, 455 If available state remedies have not been United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 exhausted as to all claims, the district court must dismiss the 11 petition. 12 Cir. 1988). 13 to returning to federal court after exhausting available state 14 remedies. 15 1995). 16 Id. at 510; Guizar v. Estelle, 843 F.2d 371, 372 (9th A dismissal solely for failure to exhaust is not a bar Trimble v. City of Santa Rosa, 49 F.3d 583, 586 (9th Cir. The exhaustion-of-state-remedies doctrine reflects a 17 policy of federal-state comity to give the state "the initial 18 'opportunity to pass upon and correct alleged violations of its 19 prisoners' federal rights.’" 20 (1971) (citations omitted). 21 only if the federal claim (1) has been "fairly presented" to the 22 state courts, id.; Castillo v. McFadden, 399 F.3d 993, 998 (9th Cir. 23 2004); or (2) no state remedy remains available, see Johnson v. 24 Zenon, 88 F.3d 828, 829 (9th Cir. 1996). Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275 The exhaustion requirement is satisfied However, a claim is not 25 26 27 28 1 Respondent first argues procedural default and then exhaustion. Because the procedural default claim is based on Petitioner's failure to exhaust, the Court addresses lack of exhaustion first. 2 1 fairly presented to the state's highest court if it is raised in a 2 procedural context which makes it unlikely that it will be 3 considered on the merits. 4 (1989); Casey v. Moore, 386 F.3d 896, 917 (9th Cir. 2004); Kibler v. 5 Walters, 220 F. 3d 1151, 1153 (9th Cir. 2000). 6 Castille v. Peoples, 489 U.S. 346, 351 Even though non-exhaustion is an affirmative defense, the 7 petitioner bears the burden of proof that state judicial remedies 8 were properly exhausted. 9 Cir. 2005); see Darr v. Burford, 339 U.S. 200, 218-19 (1950) Parker v. Kelchner, 429 F.3d 58, 62 (3d United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 ("petitioner has the burden . . . of showing that other available 11 remedies have been exhausted"), overruled on other grounds, Fay v. 12 Noia, 372 U.S. 391 (1963). 13 When the petitioner challenges a prison grievance, the 14 prison's internal administrative remedies must be exhausted before 15 the petitioner may seek judicial relief. 16 921, 925 (1979). 17 In re Dexter, 25 Cal. 3d B 18 On May 14, 2012, the Monterey County Superior Court denied 19 Petitioner's habeas petition on the ground that Petitioner had not 20 "exhausted administrative remedies through the Director's Level of 21 Appeal, which he must do before seeking judicial review of his 22 claims." 23 No. HC 7675, at 1, Monterey County Sup. Ct. May 14, 2012. 24 Superior Court summarized the facts of Petitioner’s claim as 25 follows: 26 27 28 Pl.'s Opp, Ex. D, In re Shannon Riley, On Habeas Corpus, The According to Petitioner, when he received a copy of his record from his recent program review with the Unit Classification Committee (UCC), he noticed an entry which reflected that he 3 1 2 3 4 had a prior arrest history as a sex offender disrupting a school. . . . He alleges that this entry is false. . . . He alleges that he talked to his counselor who told him to file an administrative appeal. He states that he attempted to file an appeal but it was cancelled as being untimely. In re Shannon Riley, No. HC 7675 at 1. 5 In denying the petition, the Superior Court explained that 6 requiring exhaustion of administrative remedies "promotes judicial 7 efficiency as it allows prison officials to investigate facts and 8 correct any problems before there is need for a court to get 9 involved." Id. The court noted that Petitioner's appeal was United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 canceled as untimely and "he failed to appeal the cancellation, 11 which if processed, would have allowed him to exhaust his 12 administrative remedies." 13 Petitioner failed to state sufficient facts to waive the exhaustion 14 requirement. Id. at 1-2. The court also ruled that Id. at 2. 15 The Superior Court also addressed the merits of 16 Petitioner's claim, noting that Petitioner merely contended that the 17 allegation that he was a sex offender was false, but presented no 18 documentary evidence to support his position. 19 Id. Petitioner filed a petition with the California Court of 20 Appeal, which was summarily denied. 21 filed a petition in the California Supreme Court which was summarily 22 denied with a citation to In re Dexter, 25 Cal. 3d 23 (1979). 24 proposition that a state habeas petitioner "will not be afforded 25 judicial relief unless he has exhausted state administrative 26 remedies." 27 28 Opp'n., Ex. J. Opp'n., Ex. H. Petitioner then 921, 925-26 A citation to Dexter stands for the Id. at 925. Based on the above authority, the petition was not fairly 4 1 presented to the California Supreme Court because Petitioner 2 submitted an unexhausted petition and, thus, that court was not able 3 to rule on its merits. 4 Castille, 489 U.S. at 351 (if procedural context of petition does 5 not allow highest state court to rule on merits, petition is 6 unexhausted). 7 Therefore, the petition is unexhausted. See In his opposition, Petitioner concedes that the petition is unexhausted, Opp'n at 7 at ¶ 33, but claims that exhaustion 9 should be excused as an "inadvertent error" because "he was unaware 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 of the fact that he could appeal a cancellation of an administrative 11 appeal" and it was an extremely stressful time for him due to racial 12 tension in the prison. 13 14 15 16 17 Opp'n at 5. A federal habeas court may consider an unexhausted claim under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(B)(i)-(ii) if: there is an absence of available State corrective process; or circumstances exist that render such process ineffective to protect the rights of the applicant. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(B)(i)-(ii). 18 Petitioner’s own documents show that he was informed not 19 only that he could appeal a cancellation decision but that this was 20 the only path for eventually resubmitting the original appeal. 21 Pet’n., Ex. A. 22 forms accompanying the return of his appeal, the following notice 23 appears: 24 25 26 27 28 See Specifically, at the bottom of each of the four Be advised that you cannot appeal a rejected appeal, but should take the corrective action necessary and resubmit the appeal within the timeframes specified . . . Pursuant to CCR 3084.6(e), once an appeal has been cancelled, that appeal may not be resubmitted. However, a separate appeal can be filed on the cancellation decision. The original appeal may only be resubmitted if the appeal on the cancellation is granted. 5 1 Ex. A. 2 Furthermore, it appears that Petitioner knew that he could 3 appeal the cancellation, but chose not to do so because he thought 4 the appeal would be futile. 5 (explaining that appeal would be futile because appeal coordinator 6 "has a history of arbitrarily refusing to process Petitioner’s 7 appeals"). 8 appeal process was ineffective. 9 See Pet’n. Mem. of P. and A at 4, ¶ 5 These reasons are insufficient to show that the state’s Petitioner also argues that the California Supreme Court United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 prevented him from exhausting state court remedies because it denied 11 his motion for a stay. This claim is based on the following facts. 12 After the California Court of Appeal denied his habeas 13 petition, Petitioner filed an untimely petition for review and a 14 stay motion in the California Supreme Court. 15 a letter dated November 2, 2012, the Court informed Petitioner that 16 it lacked jurisdiction over his petition for review because he had 17 filed it after the one-month deadline. 18 November 21, 2012, the Court informed Petitioner that, although it 19 lost jurisdiction to act on a petition for review of the Court of 20 Appeal’s decision, he could file a petition for a writ of habeas 21 corpus, and enclosed the correct form. 22 petition in the California Supreme Court, which was summarily denied 23 on February 27, 2013 with a citation to In re Dexter. 24 Opp. Ex. H at 2-3. In However, in a letter dated Petitioner then filed a Thus, the California Supreme Court read and considered 25 Petitioner’s petition for habeas relief. 26 grant his motion for a stay regarding his petition for review of the 27 Court of Appeal’s order did not prevent Petitioner from presenting 28 6 The fact that it did not 1 2 his petition to the state’s highest court. Petitioner fails to demonstrate that there was an absence 3 of an available state corrective process or that circumstances 4 rendered this process ineffective to protect his rights. 5 petition is unexhausted and is dismissed on this ground. 6 II 7 The A 8 9 As noted above, the California Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s petition with a citation to In re Dexter, 25 Cal. 3d United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 921 (1979). 11 petitioner "will not be afforded judicial relief unless he has 12 exhausted state administrative remedies." 13 contends that the procedural default invoked by the California 14 Supreme Court bars this petition. 15 Dexter stands for the proposition that a state habeas Id. at 925. Respondent In all cases in which a state prisoner has defaulted his 16 federal claims in state court pursuant to an independent and 17 adequate state procedural rule, federal habeas review of the claims 18 is barred unless the prisoner can demonstrate cause for the default 19 and actual prejudice as a result of the alleged violation of federal 20 law, or demonstrate that failure to consider the claims will result 21 in a fundamental miscarriage of justice. 22 U.S. 722, 750 (1991). 23 defaulted only if the Supreme Court of California's bar was an 24 independent and adequate state procedural ground and Petitioner 25 cannot show that an exception to the procedural bar applies. 26 27 28 Coleman v. Thompson, 501 That is, Petitioner's claim is procedurally Petitioner does not contend that the bar was not independent, and indeed it is clear that it was – the only reason 7 1 given for rejecting the state petition was failure to exhaust 2 administrative remedies. 3 intertwined with a decision on the merits. 4 state has pleaded the existence of the bar, thereby shifting the 5 burden to Petitioner to come forward with specific factual 6 allegations and citations to authority to demonstrate that the rule 7 is not consistently enforced. 8 585-86 (9th Cir. 2003). 9 argues that he has shown cause and prejudice. The ruling was in no way on the merits, or See Bennett v. Mueller, 322 F.3d 573, This he has not done. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 As to adequacy, the Instead, Petitioner B The cause standard requires the petitioner to show that 12 "some objective factor external to the defense" prevented 13 presentation to the state court. 14 493 (1991) (citing Murray v. Carrier, 477 U.S. 478, 488 (1986)). 15 other words, to show cause, a petitioner must show that something 16 external to himself, something that cannot be attributed to him, 17 impeded his efforts to comply with the state’s procedural rule. 18 Maples v. Thomas, 132 S. Ct. 912, 922 (2012). 19 McCleskey v. Zant, 499 U.S. 467, In To show cause, Petitioner repeats the arguments he made 20 above in regard to the issue of exhaustion. 21 (1) he was unaware of the fact that he could appeal the cancellation 22 of his administrative appeal, Opp. at 5, ¶ 17, and (2) he was under 23 a great deal of stress due to the high level of racial tension at 24 his prison, id. at ¶ 18. 25 notified that he could appeal the cancellation of his appeal. 26 Furthermore, Petitioner’s allegations of racial tension and his 27 emotional distress, without more, are not sufficient to constitute 28 That is, he states that As discussed above, Petitioner was 8 1 an external factor that prevented him from exhausting administrative 2 remedies. 3 Petitioner also argues that a fundamental miscarriage of 4 justice would occur if his claim is not adjudicated because he "has 5 provided the exact document that was used to falsely label him a 6 "‘sex offender.’" 7 justice, a petitioner must show that "a constitutional violation has 8 probably resulted in the conviction of one who is actually 9 innocent." However, to show a fundamental miscarriage of Murray v. Carrier, 477 U.S. 478, 496 (1986). Because United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Petitioner does not challenge his underlying conviction in this 11 petition, he cannot meet this exception to the procedural bar rule. 12 Respondent has established that Petitioner's claim was 13 procedurally defaulted. 14 on the ground of procedural default as well as on the failure to 15 exhaust administrative remedies. 16 Because the motion to dismiss is granted on Respondent’s first two 17 grounds for relief, the Court need not address Respondent’s third 18 ground for dismissal.2 19 Therefore, the motion to dismiss is granted Dismissal is with prejudice. III 20 Petitioner has not shown "that jurists of reason would 21 find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the 22 denial of a constitutional right [or] that jurists of reason would 23 24 25 26 27 28 2 Petitioner is advised to review pages 11-12 of Respondent’s motion which describes California Penal Code section 626.8, which Respondent indicates is the section in Petitioner’s record that he challenges in this petition. Respondent clarifies that this section does not describe a sex offense, but provides that disruption of a school is a misdemeanor, resulting in mandatory jail time if the offender has been convicted of an enumerated sex crime and that it does not indicate that Petitioner is a sex offender. 9 1 find it debatable whether the district court was correct in its 2 procedural ruling." 3 Accordingly, a certificate of appealability is DENIED. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). 4 CONCLUSION 5 Based on the foregoing, the Court orders as follows: 6 1. Respondent’s motion to dismiss is GRANTED. 7 is with prejudice. 8 2. A certificate of appealability is denied 9 3. This order terminates docket number 8. 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California Dismissal 11 4. The Clerk of the Court shall enter a separate judgment and close the file. 12 IT IS SO ORDERED. 13 DATED 03/10/2014 14 THELTON E. HENDERSON United States District Judge 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 P:\PRO-SE\TEH\HC.13\Riley 1302524 MTD.wpd 10

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?