Andrew Rachal v. Robert W. Fox

Filing 9

Order by Hon. Phyllis J. Hamilton granting 4 Motion to Stay Proceedings.(pjhlc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/3/2017)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 ANDREW RACHAL, 8 9 Case No. 17-cv-01254-PJH Petitioner, 7 v. ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO STAY PROCEEDINGS ROBERT W. FOX, Re: Dkt. No. 4 Respondent. 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 Petitioner Andrew Mark Rachal, a California prisoner, has filed a petition for a writ 14 of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Before the court is petitioner’s motion to 15 stay the federal habeas corpus proceedings. Dkt. 4. 16 Petitioner’s motion indicates that he filed the current federal petition to avoid a 17 potential bar from AEDPA’s one-year statute of limitations. His petition for a writ of 18 habeas corpus in state court was filed on December 2, 2016 and remains pending. 19 Petitioner submits that a stay is proper under Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269 (2005), in 20 order to allow him to first exhaust his remaining claims in state court, and then file an 21 amended federal petition containing all the claims once the state proceedings are 22 concluded. 23 The United States Supreme Court has held that district courts have discretion to 24 stay mixed habeas petitions to allow the petitioner to exhaust all of his claims in state 25 court. Rhines, 544 U.S. at 277–78. The district court's discretion to stay is circumscribed 26 by AEDPA's stated purposes of reducing delay in the execution of criminal sentences 27 and encouraging petitioners to seek relief in the state courts before filing their claims in 28 federal court. Id. at 277. Because the use of a “stay-and-abeyance” procedure has the 1 potential to undermine these dual purposes of AEDPA, its use is appropriate when “the 2 petitioner had good cause for his failure to exhaust, his unexhausted claims are 3 potentially meritorious, and there is no indication that the petitioner engaged in 4 intentionally dilatory litigation tactics.” Id. at 278. Petitioner has met the conditions 5 outlined above and the court will grant a stay pursuant to Rhines. 6 The motion for a stay is therefore GRANTED. This case is STAYED to allow 7 petitioner to present his unexhausted issues in state court. If petitioner is not granted 8 relief in state court, he may return to this court and ask that the stay be lifted. 9 The stay is subject to the following conditions: (1) petitioner must diligently pursue his state court habeas proceedings; and 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 (2) petitioner must notify this court within thirty days after the state courts have 12 13 completed their review of his claims or after they have refused review of his claims. If either condition of the stay is not satisfied, this court may vacate the stay and act 14 on this petition. See Rhines, 544 U.S. at 278 (district court must effectuate timeliness 15 concerns of AEDPA by placing “reasonable limits on a petitioner’s trip to state court and 16 back”). 17 The clerk shall administratively close this case. The closure has no legal effect; it 18 is purely a statistical matter. The case will be reopened and the stay vacated upon 19 notification by petitioner in accordance with section (2) above. 20 21 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: April 3, 2017 22 __________________________________ 23 PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON United States District Judge 24 25 26 27 28 2

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