Newton v. State of Nevada et al

Filing 11

ORDER. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that the Clerk ofCourt is directed to RE-OPEN this case and VACATE 4 the 1/20/17, dismissal order. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that 10 Newton's application to proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTE D; and 1 Newton's petition is DENIED without prejudice to her ability to bring her claims and arguments at the proper time in the proper forum. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a Certificate of Appealability is DENIED. The Clerk of Court is directed to RE-CLOSE THIS CASE. Signed by Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey on 3/23/17. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - ADR)

Download PDF
1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 3 4 Shelly Newton, 2:16-cv-02948-JAD-NJK 5 Petitioner 6 v. 7 State of Nevada, et al., 8 Order Vacating Dismissal Order, Granting Application to Proceed in forma pauperis, and Dismissing and Reclosing Case Respondents [ECF No. 10] 9 10 11 On January 20, 2017, I dismissed without prejudice this § 2254 action brought by Nevada 12 state pre-trial detainee Shelly Newton because she failed to submit a completed application to 13 proceed in forma pauperis or pay the $5.00 filing fee. Rather than filing her petition and an IFP 14 application in a new action as instructed by my order, Newton filed an application to proceed in 15 forma pauperis in this closed case. It appears from Newton’s application and supporting 16 documentation that she is was—and remains—unable to pay the filing fee to initiate this case. In the 17 interests of judicial economy, I vacate my January 20, 2017, dismissal order, re-open this case to 18 consider Newton’s IFP application, grant Newton pauper status, and screen her petition under 19 Habeas Rule 4. 20 Petitioner Shelly Newton is currently incarcerated at the Clark County Detention Center 21 awaiting trial on burglary, forgery, and related charges, and her trial is currently set to begin on May 22 30, 2017, in Nevada’s Eighth Judicial District Court.1 In the petition, Newton generally challenges 23 her August 2015 arrest and the resulting state-court charges. She first explains that she was arrested 24 25 26 27 28 1 I take judicial notice of this website. Daniels-Hall v. Nat’l Educ. Ass’n, 629 F.3d 992, 998–99 (9th Cir. 2010) (courts may take judicial notice of government websites). Page 1 of 3 1 at a Wal-Mart after she was questioned and detained by a security officer.2 She states that she was 2 not granted release on her own recognizance but was instead granted $5,000 bail, which she posted. 3 She was later remanded to custody after she arrived late to a court hearing and additional charges 4 were added against her.3 Though Newton does not articulate any specific claims, it appears that she 5 believes that she was unlawfully detained, the evidence is insufficient to support the charges against 6 her, and that she should be released on her own recognizance pending trial. 7 It plainly appears from the face of Newton’s petition that she is not entitled to federal habeas 8 relief because her claims are barred by Younger v. Harris, which requires a federal court to abstain 9 from interfering with pending state criminal prosecutions absent extraordinary circumstances.4 10 Younger abstention is appropriate when: (1) state judicial proceedings are pending; (2) the state 11 proceedings involve important state interests; and (3) the state proceedings afford adequate 12 opportunity to raise the constitutional issue.5 13 In light of Newton’s impending criminal trial in state court, all of the requirements for 14 Younger abstention are present, and I do not find that there are extraordinary circumstances 15 warranting federal-court intervention here.6 I therefore dismiss Newton’s petition and re-close this 16 action.7 And because reasonable jurists would not find my dismissal of Newton’s petition based on 17 18 2 See ECF No. 1 at 4–6. 19 3 ECF No. 1. 20 4 21 Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 44 (1972); Edelbacher v. Calderon, 160 F.3d 582, 587 (9th Cir. 1998) (Younger applies to claims brought in federal habeas corpus proceedings). 22 5 23 6 24 25 26 27 28 Dubinka v. Judges of the Superior Court, 23 F.3d 218, 223 (9th Cir. 1994). Younger, 410 U.S. at 43 (explaining that Younger abstention is not required when there is evidence of state proceedings motivated by bad faith or harassment, where irreparable injury will occur, or when there is no adequate alternative state forum where the constitutional issues can be raised); Mannes v. Gillespie, 967 F.2d 1310, 1312 (9th Cir. 1992) (Younger abstention not required where a pending state prosecution violates the double-jeopardy clause). 7 Newton’s petition fails for the additional reason that it appears her claims are unexhausted because she admits in her petition that she has never presented these claims to the Nevada Supreme Court. ECF No. 1 at 2. Page 2 of 3 1 Younger abstention debatable or wrong, I decline to issue a certificate of appealability. 2 Conclusion 3 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that the Clerk of 4 Court is directed to RE-OPEN this case and VACATE the January 20, 2017, dismissal order [ECF 5 No. 4]. 6 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Newton’s application to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF 7 No. 10] is GRANTED; and Newton’s petition [ECF No. 1] is DENIED without prejudice to her 8 ability to bring her claims and arguments at the proper time in the proper forum. 9 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a Certificate of Appealability is DENIED. 10 The Clerk of Court is directed to RE-CLOSE THIS CASE. 11 Dated this 23rd day of March, 2017. 12 13 _________________________________ ____ ___________ _____ ____ __ __ __ _ _ __ _ ____ _ Jennifer A. Dorsey fer A Dorsey o United States District Judge d States District Judge ate D ud ud 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Page 3 of 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?