Griffin v. Lizaraga

Filing 8

ORDER DISMISSING PETITION WITH LEAVE TO AMEND - Amended Complaint due by 2/19/2019. Signed by Judge William H. Orrick on 1/7/2019. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (jmdS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/7/2019)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 WILLIE RUSSEL GRIFFIN, Case No. 18-cv-06733-WHO (PR) Petitioner, 12 ORDER DISMISSING PETITION WITH LEAVE TO AMEND 13 v. 14 JOE LIZARAGA, 15 Respondent. 16 INTRODUCTION 17 18 Petitioner Willie Russel Griffin seeks federal habeas relief from his state 19 convictions. The petition does not state any claim for relief for the reasons discussed 20 below. Accordingly, the petition is DISMISSED with leave to file an amended petition on 21 or before February 18, 2019. BACKGROUND 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 In 2011, Griffin pleaded guilty in state court to voluntary manslaughter. A sentence of 37 years was imposed. Griffin filed no appeals. In 2018 he sought, but was denied, collateral relief in the state courts. This federal habeas petition followed. DISCUSSION 1 This Court may entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus “in behalf of a person 2 3 in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in 4 custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. 5 § 2254(a). A district court considering an application for a writ of habeas corpus shall 6 “award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ 7 should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person 8 detained is not entitled thereto.” 28 U.S.C. § 2243. Summary dismissal is appropriate 9 only where the allegations in the petition are vague or conclusory, palpably incredible, or 10 patently frivolous or false. See Hendricks v. Vasquez, 908 F.2d 490, 491 (9th Cir. 1990). United States District Court Northern District of California 11 As grounds for federal habeas relief, Griffin claims that his sentence is illegal under 12 state laws that forbid multiple punishments for the same crime and the “dual use of facts.” 13 (Pet., Dkt. No. 1 at 19 and 30.) He fails to state a claim for two reasons. First, violations 14 of state law are not remediable on federal habeas review, even if state law was erroneously 15 interpreted or applied. Swarthout v. Cooke, 562 U.S. 216, 218-20 (2011). Accordingly, 16 because Griffin alleges violations of state law, he fails to articulate a claim for federal 17 habeas relief. Second, after a defendant has entered a plea of guilty, the only challenges left open 18 19 on federal habeas corpus review concern the (i) voluntary and intelligent character of the 20 plea and (ii) adequacy of the advice of counsel. Womack v. Del Papa, 497 F.3d 998, 1002 21 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52, 56-57 (1985)).1 Griffin pleaded 22 guilty. His habeas claim does not arise from one of the two circumstances listed above. 23 As a result, his petition will be dismissed with leave to file an amended petition. Because Griffin has not exhausted his claims in state court, he may wish to file a 24 25 26 27 28 There are exceptions to this general bar. For example, a defendant who pleads guilty still may raise in habeas corpus proceedings the very power of the state to bring him into court to answer the charge brought against him, see Haring v. Prosise, 462 U.S. 306, 320 (1983) (citing Blackledge v. Perry, 417 U.S. 21, 30 (1974)), and may raise a double jeopardy claim, see id. (citing Menna v. New York, 423 U.S. 61 (1975)). 1 2 1 motion to stay habeas proceedings while he exhausts his claims. Prisoners in state custody 2 who wish to challenge collaterally either the fact or length of their confinement in federal 3 habeas proceedings are first required to exhaust state judicial remedies, either on direct 4 appeal or through collateral proceedings, by presenting the highest state court available 5 with a fair opportunity to rule on the merits of each and every claim they seek to raise in 6 federal court. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b), (c); Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 515-16 (1982). 7 If the claims are unexhausted, respondent will likely file a motion to dismiss on grounds of 8 nonexhaustion. 9 Griffin must also be aware of the following. If he exhausts his claims and if the Court allows them to proceed here, respondent will likely file a motion to dismiss the 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 petition as untimely. He was convicted in 2011 but did not file this habeas action until 12 2018. Federal habeas petitions must be filed within one year of the latest of the date on 13 which: (A) the judgment became final after the conclusion of direct review or the time 14 passed for seeking direct review; (B) an impediment to filing an application created by 15 unconstitutional state action was removed, if such action prevented petitioner from filing; 16 (C) the constitutional right asserted was recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right was 17 newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactive to cases on collateral 18 review; or (D) the factual predicate of the claim could have been discovered through the 19 exercise of due diligence. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). 20 To successfully challenge such a motion, Griffin will have to demonstrate that he is 21 entitled to equitable tolling. A federal habeas petitioner is entitled to equitable tolling if he 22 can show “‘(1) that he has been pursuing his rights diligently, and (2) that some 23 extraordinary circumstance stood in his way’ and prevented timely filing.” Holland v. 24 Florida, 560 U.S. 631, 649 (2010) (quoting Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 418 25 (2005)). 26 27 28 CONCLUSION The petition is DISMISSED with leave to file an amended petition on or before February 19, 2019. Griffin may wish to file a motion for a stay along with the amended 3 1 petition. 2 The filing fee has been paid. 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 Dated: January 7, 2019 _________________________ WILLIAM H. ORRICK United States District Judge 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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