Phillips v. Napa State Hospital

Filing 10

ORDER OF DISMISSAL. Signed by Judge Nathanael Cousins on 9/13/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(lmh, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/13/2017)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 DONALD PHILLIPS, Case No. 17-cv-03267 NC (PR) Petitioner, 12 ORDER OF DISMISSAL v. 13 14 NAPA STATE HOSPITAL, 15 Respondent. 16 17 Donald Phillips, a California state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed an amended 18 petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons stated 19 below, Court dismisses the amended petition. 20 BACKGROUND According to the amended petition, in 1985, 1 Petitioner was sentenced to a term of 21 22 imprisonment at Napa State Hospital after being convicted of attempted murder, second 23 degree murder, and robbery. It does not appear that Petitioner exhausted his claims to the 24 25 26 27 28 1 In the original petition, Petitioner had stated that he was sentenced in 1999. Case No. 17-cv-03267 NC (PR) ORDER OF DISMISSAL 1 California Supreme Court. 2 3 Petitioner filed the original petition on June 7, 2017. He then filed his amended petition on August 24, 2017. 4 5 DISCUSSION A. 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 Standard of Review This Court may entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus “in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in 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 an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled thereto.” 28 U.S.C. § 2243. Summary dismissal is appropriate only where the allegations in the petition are vague or conclusory, palpably incredible, or patently frivolous or false. See Hendricks v. Vasquez, 908 F.2d 490, 491 (9th Cir. 1990). B. Legal Claims In the Court’s August 10, 2017 initial screening order of Petitioner’s original petition, the Court stated that it could not decipher what Petitioner’s claims were. The Court reminded Petitioner that challenges to the lawfulness of confinement or to particulars affecting its duration are the province of habeas corpus.’” Hill v. McDonough, 547 U.S. 573, 579 (2006) (quoting Muhammad v. Close, 540 U.S. 749, 750 (2004)). “Where the prisoner’s claim would not ‘necessarily spell speedier release,’ however, suit may be brought under § 1983.’” Skinner, 561 U.S. at 525 (quoting Wilkinson, 544 U.S. at 82). The Court informed Petitioner that he must specify all the grounds for relief available and state the facts supporting each ground. See Hendricks v. Vasquez, 908 F.2d 490, 491- 25 26 27 28 Case No. 17-cv-03267 NC (PR) ORDER OF DISMISSAL 1 92 (9th Cir. 1990) (habeas petitioner must state his claims with sufficient specificity). The 2 petition was dismissed with leave to amend so that Petitioner could clarify his claims, 3 present them more legibly, and provide specific facts to support a cognizable claim. 4 Unfortunately, Petitioner’s amended petition does not clarify his claims. The Court 5 again cannot determine what Petitioner’s claims are, nor can it decipher Petitioner’s 6 handwriting. At best, it appears Petitioner claims that his civil rights have been violated, 7 and that his case had been dismissed because he lacked funds. These are not proper claims 8 to bring in a habeas petition. In addition, Petitioner has again not complied with the rule 9 that he must specify the grounds upon which he bases his claims, or stated the facts 10 supporting each ground. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California The Court previously informed Petitioner that his original claims were 12 indecipherable and vague, and dismissed the original petition with leave to amend so that 13 Petitioner could cure those deficiencies. The Court also warned Petitioner that the failure 14 to comply with the order would result in dismissal of this case without prejudice. Because 15 Petitioner failed to cure the deficiencies as ordered, this case is DISMISSED without leave 16 to amend. 17 CONCLUSION 18 Petitioner’s amended petition is DISMISSED without leave to amend. The Clerk 19 shall terminate all pending motions and close the file. 20 21 22 23 24 The federal rules governing habeas cases brought by state prisoners require a district court that denies a habeas petition to grant or deny a certificate of appealability (“COA”) in its ruling. See Rule 11(a), Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254. Petitioner has not shown “that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the district court was correct in its procedural ruling.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 25 26 27 28 Case No. 17-cv-03267 NC (PR) ORDER OF DISMISSAL 1 (2000). Accordingly, a COA is DENIED. 2 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 5 DATED: September 13, 2017 NATHANAEL M. COUSINS United States Magistrate 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 Case No. 17-cv-03267 NC (PR) ORDER OF DISMISSAL

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