Saldana v. Curry

Filing 6

ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY. Signed by Judge Claudia Wilken on 1/6/2012. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/6/2012)

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1 2 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 3 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 4 5 PACO SALDANA, 8 v. BEN CURRY, Warden, 9 Respondent. 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY Petitioner, 6 7 No. C 10-05011 CW (PR) / 11 12 Petitioner, a state prisoner, filed this pro se habeas corpus 13 action challenging as a violation of his constitutional rights the 14 denial of parole by the California Board of Parole Hearings (Board) 15 on February 24, 2009. 16 action for failure to pay the filing fee, but subsequently reopened 17 the action when the fee was paid. 18 allegations in the petition to determine whether a cognizable claim 19 for federal habeas corpus relief is presented. Thereafter, the Court dismissed the The Court now reviews the 20 Petitioner maintains that the Board's finding that he was not 21 suitable for parole violated his right to due process because that 22 finding was not supported by “some evidence" that Petitioner poses 23 a current danger to society if released. 24 A “federal court may issue a writ of habeas corpus to a state 25 prisoner 'only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of 26 the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.'" 27 Swarthout v. Cooke, 131 S. Ct. 859, 861 (2011) (internal citation 28 omitted). The court may not grant habeas relief for state law 1 errors. Id. 2 In Cooke, the Supreme Court explained that earlier Supreme 3 Court cases had determined that the procedural protections to which 4 a parole applicant is entitled under the Due Process Clause of the 5 Fourteenth Amendment are “minimal." 6 the Supreme Court had “found that a prisoner subject to a parole 7 statute similar to California's received adequate process when he 8 was allowed an opportunity to be heard and was provided a statement 9 of the reasons why parole was denied." Id. at 862. In particular, Id. at 862 (citing United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Greenholtz v. Inmates of Nebraska Penal & Corr. Complex, 442 U.S. 11 1, 16 (1979)). 12 that much process at a parole hearing, the federal court's habeas 13 review is at an end. 14 Thus, as long as a petitioner receives at least See Cooke, 131 S. Ct. at 862. Further, Cooke made clear that no Supreme Court case “supports 15 converting California's 'some evidence' rule into a substantive 16 federal requirement." 17 have no authority in habeas to determine whether California's “some 18 evidence" rule was correctly applied. 19 if an inmate seeking parole “receives an opportunity to be heard, a 20 notification of the reasons as to denial of parole, and access to 21 [his] records in advance," then there is no due process violation 22 stemming from a claim that a parole denial did not comply with 23 California's “some evidence" rule of judicial review. 24 Muntz, 639 F.3d 1185, 1191 (9th Cir. 2011). 25 Id. at 861. Therefore, the federal courts Id. at 863. Consequently, Pearson v. Here, as noted, Petitioner claims the Board's denial of parole 26 violated his right to due process because there was not “some 27 evidence" to find that Petitioner poses a current danger to society 28 if released. In light of the Supreme Court's determination that 2 1 the constitutionally-mandated procedural protections for which 2 federal habeas relief is available do not include a requirement 3 that there be some evidence (or any other amount of evidence) to 4 support the parole denial, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus 5 is DISMISSED for failure to state a cognizable claim for federal 6 habeas corpus relief. 7 A certificate of appealability will not issue because 8 Petitioner has not made “a substantial showing of the denial of a 9 constitutional right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). This is not a case United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 in which “reasonable jurists would find the district court's 11 assessment of the constitutional claims debatable or wrong." 12 v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). 13 seek a certificate of appealability from the Ninth Circuit Court of 14 Appeals. 15 16 17 18 Slack Petitioner may, however, The Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment, terminate all pending motions and close the file. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: 1/6/2012 19 CLAUDIA WILKEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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