Stamps v. Grounds

Filing 42

ORDER REINSTATING STAY. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 10/17/2016. (blflc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/17/2016)

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1 2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 3 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 4 SAN JOSE DIVISION 5 6 KEITH STAMPS, Case No. 12-cv-05753-BLF Plaintiff, 7 v. ORDER REINSTATING STAY 8 9 RANDY GROUNDS, [Re: ECF 38] Defendant. 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals remanded this case for the limited purpose of 13 ruling on Petitioner’s motion to reopen proceedings, this Court granted Stamps’ motion and 14 reopened the action without reinstating the previously imposed stay. ECF 37. In its order, the 15 Court ordered Petitioner and his attorney of record, Donald Bergerson, to discuss the pendency of 16 the action and to file an amended petition alleging that Petitioner’s claims are entirely exhausted 17 or to provide an update regarding when the claims will be exhausted. ECF 37. 18 On September 15, 2016, Mr. Bergerson filed a letter with this Court. ECF 38. In the 19 letter, Mr. Bergerson provides an update of his attempts to contact Petitioner to discuss this action, 20 which, as of the date of the letter, had been unsuccessful. The letter also indicates that “the 21 California Supreme Court has at long last granted review on the primary issue on which Stamps 22 sought and obtained a Rhines v. Weber stay.” Id. The Court construes Mr. Bergerson’s letter as a 23 motion to reinstate the stay instituted by Judge Alsup. ECF 10. For the reasons discussed below, 24 the motion is GRANTED and the action is STAYED. 25 Petitioner Keith Stamps is an inmate at Salinas Valley State Prison. Pet. 1, ECF 1. 26 Petitioner was charged and convicted of one count of first-degree murder, enhanced with an 27 allegation that he injured the victim with a firearm under Cal. Penal Code § 12022.53(d). Id. at 3, 28 5. Prior to sentencing, the California trial court denied Petitioner’s motion for ineffective 1 2 assistance of counsel. Id. at 5. According to Petitioner, he filed an appeal to California’s Court of Appeal claiming that: 3 (1) there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction; (2) the trial court made an inadequate 4 inquiry into petitioner’s motion for ineffective assistance of counsel; (3) the jury instructions were 5 in federal constitutional error; and (4) counsel was ineffective by failing to request a clarifying 6 instruction that provocation could reduce a first-degree murder to the second degree. Id. at 6. The 7 Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction. Id. Petitioner’s request for review from the California 8 Supreme Court was denied. Id. 9 Here, Stamps seeks a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In addition to raising the allegedly exhausted claims listed above, through his petition, Stamps also raises three 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 unexhausted claims: “(1) his sentencing as an adult to confinement greater than what could have 12 been imposed on him as a juvenile violated the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments; (2) his 13 sentence of fifty-years-to-life violated the Eight and Fourteenth Amendments; and (3) his sentence 14 violated the Equal protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment since other minors, equally 15 culpable of similar crimes, were exempt from such punishment.” Id. at 2. Along with his federal 16 habeas petition, Petitioner filed a motion to stay pursuant to Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269 17 (2005), to stay and abate so he could pursue his unexhausted claims in state court. Judge Alsup 18 granted Petitioners’ motion to stay upon a finding that Petitioner’s demonstrated good cause as to 19 why he failed to exhaust his claims and showed that his allegedly unexhausted claims were not 20 plainly meritless. ECF 10. 21 On December 20, 2012, Stamps filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus before the 22 Supreme Court of California. See No. S207482 (Cal.). In March 2014, the Supreme Court of 23 California denied Stamps’ petition “without prejudice to any relief to which petitioner might be 24 entitled after this court decides In re Alatriste, S214652 and In re Bonilla, S214960.” Id. On 25 August 17, 2016, the Supreme Court of California transferred both In re Alatriste and In re 26 Bonilla to the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District with orders to vacate its prior denials of 27 the petitioners’ writs of habeas corpus and show cause “why [each] petitioner is not entitled to 28 make a record of ‘mitigating evidence tied to his youth.’” See No. S214652 (Cal.) (citing People 2 1 v. Franklin, 63 Cal. 4th 261, 268–69, 283–84 (Cal. 2016)); No. S214960 (Cal.) (same); see also 2 ECF 38. 3 The Supreme Court of California’s decision to deny Stamps’ petition without prejudice 4 pending the outcome of In re Alatriste and In re Bonilla reveals that it is likely that any decision in 5 those cases could alter the determination of Stamps’ unexhausted claims. Indeed, a favorable 6 decision in those actions might even resolve Stamps’ petition entirely. Accordingly, IT IS 7 HEREBY ORDERED this action shall be STAYED. The Court additionally ORDERS Petitioner 8 or Mr. Bergerson to file an amended petition or an update to this Court by no later than April 14, 9 2017. The update shall address the following: 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 1. The status of Petitioner’s claims, and in particularly, whether they are entirely exhausted or when they will be exhausted 12 2. The status of In re Alatriste and In re Bonilla, as relevant to Stamps’ petition; and 13 3. Whether or not Petitioner will be represented in this action, by Mr. Bergerson or 14 15 16 otherwise. Finally, given Mr. Bergerson’s difficulty contacting Petitioner, the Court will provide notice of this order to him by mail at: 17 Keith Stamps AB1095 Salinas Valley State Prison P.O. Box 1050 B5-135 Soledad, CA 93960. 18 19 20 21 22 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: October 17, 2016 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 24 25 26 27 28 3

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