Delmonico v. People of California

Filing 3

ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND Amended Petition due by 4/28/2021. Signed by Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. on 3/31/2021. (ndrS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/31/2021)Any non-CM/ECF Participants have been served by First Class Mail to the addresses of record listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 MICHAEL JOHN DELMONICO, Petitioner, 8 ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH LEAVE TO AMEND v. 9 10 MATTHEW RODRIQUEZ, Respondent. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 21-cv-02009-HSG 12 13 Petitioner has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 14 15 § 2254 challenging a 2018 misdemeanor conviction from Palo Alto Superior Court.1 Dkt. No. 1. 16 Petitioner has paid the filing fee. Dkt. No. 2. BACKGROUND 17 On August 24, 2018, Petitioner was convicted in Palo Alto Superior Court of a 18 19 misdemeanor of disorderly conduct (Cal. Penal Code § 647(a)). Dkt. No. 1 at 1. Petitioner was 20 sentenced to twelve days in county jail. Dkt. No. 1 at 1. Petitioner states that he is not yet 21 confined pending his appeal and that he is on formal probation. Dkt. No. 1 at 1. 22 // 23 // 24 25 26 27 28 1 The Clerk of the Court is directed to substitute Matthew Rodriquez, the California Attorney General, in place of the previously named respondent because Attorney General Rodriquez is Petitioner’s current custodian. See Ortiz-Sandoval v. Gomez, 81 F.3d 891, 894 (9th Cir.), as amended (May 8, 1996) (where petitioner is on probation or parole, he may name as respondent his probation or parole officer, or the official in charge of the parole or probation agency, or the state correctional agency, or the state attorney general). Petitioner appealed his conviction to the appellate division of the superior court, and the 1 2 appeal was denied on December 7, 2020. Dkt. No. 1 at 2. The state appellate court denied the 3 petition for transfer on February 11, 2021. Dkt. No. 1 at 2-3. Petitioner filed the instant petition 4 on or about March 20, 2021. Dkt. No. 1 at 36. DISCUSSION 5 6 A. Standard of Review This Court may entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus “in behalf of a person in 7 8 custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in 9 violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). A district court considering an application for a writ of habeas corpus shall “award the writ or issue 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it 12 appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto.” 28 13 U.S.C. § 2243. 14 B. 15 Claims In the body of his petition, Petitioner states that he has two claims for federal habeas relief. 16 The first claim alleges ineffective assistance of trial counsel and refers the Court to an attachment 17 for the supporting facts. The attachment is a 20-page commentary on the respondent’s appellate 18 brief, which Petitioner provided to his state appellate attorney. The commentary, in narrative 19 format, alleges various instances of ineffective assistance by trial counsel and various weaknesses 20 in the prosecution’s case. The second claim alleges that Petitioner was not provided with a 21 Miranda warning prior to his interrogation. 22 Liberally construed, Petitioner’s second claim states a cognizable claim for federal habeas 23 relief. However, this petition will be dismissed with leave to amend because Petitioner’s first 24 claim fails to clearly identify what trial counsel did or did not do that constituted ineffective 25 assistance of counsel. See James v. Borg, 24 F.3d 20, 26 (9th Cir. 1994) (“Conclusory allegations 26 which are not supported by a statement of specific facts do not warrant habeas relief.”). In filing 27 an amended petition, Petitioner should list each specific instance of ineffective assistance of 28 counsel that he believes warrant federal habeas relief. Petitioner should number these claims, and 2 1 not merely provide a summary in narrative format. Each claim should be supported by a statement 2 of specific facts. 3 Claims cannot be incorporated by reference. Petitioner’s appellate opening brief was not 4 filed with his petition. If the appellate opening brief set forth claims of ineffective assistance of 5 counsel which Petitioner seeks to raise here, Petitioner must list these claims in his amended 6 petition, and provide supporting facts for each claim. In the alternative, Petitioner may attach a 7 copy of his appellate opening brief to his amended petition, as long as he clearly identifies which 8 claims in the appellate opening brief he wishes to raise in his federal habeas petition. 9 The Court notes that Petitioner states that he did not present some of these claims in his appellate opening brief. Petitioner is cautioned that prisoners in state custody who wish to 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 challenge collaterally in federal habeas proceedings either the fact or length of their confinement 12 are first required to exhaust state judicial remedies, either on direct appeal or through collateral 13 proceedings, by presenting the highest state court available with a fair opportunity to rule on the 14 merits of each and every claim they seek to raise in federal court. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b), (c); 15 Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 515-16 (1982). A district court may not grant the writ unless state 16 court remedies are exhausted, or there is “an absence of available state corrective process,” or such 17 process has been “rendered ineffective.” See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A)-(B). CONCLUSION 18 19 For the foregoing reasons, the Court orders as follows. 20 1. 21 22 The Clerk is directed to substitute California Attorney General Matthew Rodriquez as Respondent. 2. The petition is dismissed with leave to amend. Within twenty-eight (28) days of 23 the date of this order, Petitioner shall file an amended petition. The amended petition must 24 include the caption and civil case number used in this order (21-cv-02009 HSG) and the words 25 “AMENDED PETITION” on the first page. Because an amended petition completely replaces the 26 previous petitions, Petitioner must include in his amended petition all the claims he wishes to 27 present. Petitioner may not incorporate material from the prior petition by reference. Failure to 28 file an amended petition in accordance with this order will result in dismissal of this action for 3 1 2 3 4 5 failure to prosecute under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: 3/31/2021 ______________________________________ HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge 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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