Grimes v. Superior Court of California et al

Filing 3

ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE AND DENYING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS. Signed by Judge Claudia Wilken on 2/28/2013. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/28/2013)

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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 JEROME L. GRIMES, 5 6 7 Petitioner, v. SUPERIOR COURT, 8 9 No. C 13-0480 CW (PR) ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE AND DENYING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS Respondent. ________________________________/ United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 Petitioner Jerome L. Grimes has been found incompetent to 12 stand trial and currently is incarcerated at Napa State Hospital. 13 This is the third pro se habeas corpus action Petitioner has 14 filed in this court concerning his ongoing state criminal 15 proceedings. 16 presiding over his criminal proceedings had not allowed him to 17 represent himself in propria persona after finding him incompetent 18 19 20 In his first petition, he claimed that the judge to stand trial, in violation of his rights under Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975). in his ongoing state proceedings. He asked this Court to intervene The Court dismissed the petition without prejudice on abstention grounds. See Grimes v. 21 Wong, No. C 12-5698 CW (PR). 22 In his second petition, he indicated that he had pursued his 23 Faretta claim all the way to the California Supreme Court and 24 25 26 27 28 renewed his request that this Court review the merit of that claim. The Court again declined to do so on abstention grounds. See Grimes v. Wong, No C 12-5989 CW (PR). In the present petition, Petitioner informs the Court that 1 after he was found incompetent to stand trial on October 15, 2012, 2 he was transferred to Napa State Hospital on November 12, 2012, 3 for a period of thirty to sixty days to participate in the “Court 4 Trial Competency Program.” 5 challenge the denial of his Faretta motion and the ruling that he 6 is incompetent to stand trial. 7 his state remedies with respect to these claims, and has attached 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Pet. at 2. He again attempts to He states that he has exhausted to his petition a copy of an order filed by the California Supreme Court on January 18, 2013, that transfers Petitioner’s state habeas petition to the California Court of Appeal to consider in the first instance. Pet. Attach. 1. He also has attached an 11 order filed by the California Court of Appeal on January 24, 2013, 12 that dismisses the transferred petition as “substantially 13 identical” to prior petitions denied by that court. 14 15 Pet. Attach. 2. The present petition is subject to dismissal for the same 16 reasons explained in the Court’s prior orders. 17 Petitioner has been found incompetent to stand trial at this time, 18 his state criminal proceedings are ongoing. 19 comity and federalism, a federal court should not interfere with 20 ongoing state criminal proceedings by granting injunctive or 21 declaratory relief absent extraordinary circumstances. 22 Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 43-54 (1971). 23 should not enjoin pending state criminal prosecutions absent a 24 showing of the state’s bad faith or harassment. 25 (holding that the cost, anxiety and inconvenience of a criminal 26 defense are not the kind of special circumstances or irreparable 27 harm that would justify federal court intervention). 28 may be inappropriate in the extraordinary circumstance that the 2 Although Under principles of See Federal courts See id. at 53-54 Abstention 1 party seeking relief in federal court does not have an adequate 2 remedy at law and will suffer irreparable injury if denied 3 equitable relief. 4 1528 (9th Cir. 1997) (citing Younger, 401 U.S. at 43-44). See Mockaitis v. Harcleroad, 104 F.3d 1522, In the present case, Petitioner clearly disagrees with the 5 6 state court’s decision to deny his Faretta motion and find him 7 incompetent to stand trial. 8 9 criminal proceedings, however, the state court system provides him with adequate means to raise his legal challenges. The Court will not intervene in Petitioner’s ongoing state United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 proceedings until they have concluded and he has exhausted his state judicial remedies.1 Leave to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED. The Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment and close the 15 17 18 Accordingly, this action is DISMISSED without prejudice. 14 16 At this stage of Petitioner’s file. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: 2/28/2013 CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 Petitioner maintains he exhausted state remedies because his petition was rejected by the California Supreme Court. The exhaustion requirement is not met, however, when a claim is raised by a procedural method which makes it unlikely that the claim will be considered on the merits. See Castille v. Peoples, 489 U.S. 346, 351 (1989). As noted, the California Supreme Court transferred the petition to the California Court of Appeal to review in the first instance; this suggests that the petition was presented to the California Supreme Court by an improper procedural method. Moreover, even if the claims are exhausted, the present petition remains subject to dismissal on abstention grounds. 3

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