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Case No. 1:16-cv-00618-DAD-SAB-HC (E.D. Cal. Jul. 29, 2016)

Case No. 1:16-cv-00618-DAD-SAB-HC


VESTER L. PATTERSON, Petitioner, v. HEDI LACKER, Respondent.




Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus, wherein he challenges: (1) the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's policy that prevents two inmates from marrying each other; and (2) a prison disciplinary proceeding that resulted in the loss of good time credit. (ECF No. 1). On June 3, 2016, the Court ordered Petitioner to show cause why the petition should not be dismissed for nonexhaustion. (ECF No. 9). On June 3, 2016, the order to show cause was served on Petitioner and contained notice that a response should be filed within thirty days of the date of service of the order. Over thirty days have passed and Petitioner has not responded to the Court's order to show cause.

Petitioner asserts that he is proceeding under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (ECF No. 1 at 1). However, the Ninth Circuit has held "that 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is the exclusive vehicle for a habeas petition by a state prisoner in custody pursuant to a state court judgment, even when the petitioner is not challenging his underlying state court conviction." White v. Lambert, 370 F.3d 1002, 1009-10 (9th Cir. 2004), overruled on other grounds by Hayward v. Marshall, 603 F.3d 546 (9th Cir. 2010).



Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases requires preliminary review of a habeas petition and allows a district court to dismiss a petition before the respondent is ordered to file a response, if it "plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court." A petitioner in state custody who is proceeding with a petition for writ of habeas corpus must exhaust state judicial remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). The exhaustion doctrine is based on comity to the state court and gives the state court the initial opportunity to correct the state's alleged constitutional deprivations. Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 731 (1991); Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 518 (1982). A petitioner can satisfy the exhaustion requirement by providing the highest state court with a full and fair opportunity to consider each claim before presenting it to the federal court. O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999); Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365 (1995); Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 276 (1971).

If Petitioner has not sought relief in the California state court for the claims that he raises in the instant petition, the Court cannot proceed to the merits of those claims. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1). Here, Petitioner asserts that administrative remedies have been exhausted, but there is no indication that Petitioner has fairly presented his claims to the state court. (ECF No. 1 at 5, 8). It is possible that Petitioner presented his claims to the state court and failed to indicate this to the Court. However, as Petitioner has not responded to the order to show cause, it appears that Petitioner failed to exhaust his claims in the instant petition.

Page numbers refer to the ECF page numbers stamped at the top of the page. --------



Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that the petition for writ of habeas corpus be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for nonexhaustion.

This Findings and Recommendation is submitted to the assigned United States District Court Judge, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(B) and Rule 304 of the Local Rules of Practice for the United States District Court, Eastern District of California. Within THIRTY (30) days after service of the Findings and Recommendation, any party may file written objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be captioned "Objections to Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendation." Replies to the objections shall be served and filed within fourteen (14) days after service of the objections. The assigned United States District Court Judge will then review the Magistrate Judge's ruling pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that failure to file objections within the specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court's order. Wilkerson v. Wheeler, 772 F.3d 834, 839 (9th Cir. 2014) (citing Baxter v. Sullivan, 923 F.2d 1391, 1394 (9th Cir. 1991)). IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: July 29 , 2016



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