Knotchapone v. Soto

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-02437

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR STAY; TO SHOW CAUSE. Signed by Judge Jeffrey S. White on 7/30/15.

Interested in this case?

Current View

Full Text

1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 8 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 RODNEY OWEN) No. C 15-2437 JSW (PR) KNOTCHAPONE,) 11) ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR United States District Court Petitioner,) STAY; TO SHOW CAUSE) For the Northern District of California 12 vs.) 13) J. SOTO, Warden,) 14) (Docket No. 5) Respondent.) 15) 16 17 Rodney Owen Knotchapone, a California prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this 18 petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. At the time he filed 19 his petition for writ of habeas corpus, he also filed a motion for a stay so that he could 20 exhaust state court remedies for an unexhausted claim. The petition was found to state 21 four cognizable claims for federal habeas relief, but denied the motion for a stay because Petitioner did not show that he qualified for stay under either Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 22 269 (2005), or King v. Ryan, 564 F.3d 1133 (9th Cir. 2009), and Kelly v. Small, 315 F.3d 23 1063 (9th Cir. 2003). The criteria for those two kinds of stays were explained to 24 Petitioner, and he was allowed an opportunity to file a new motion, which he did in a 25 timely fashion. 26 Petitioner argues that he is entitled to a stay under Rhines. In Rhines, the United 27 States Supreme Court held that a stay "is only appropriate when the district court 28 determines there was good cause for the petitioner's failure to exhaust his claims first in 1 state court," the claims are potentially meritorious, and there are no intentionally dilatory 2 litigation tactics by the petitioner. 544 U.S. at 277-78. "While a bald assertion cannot 3 amount to a showing of good cause, a reasonable excuse, supported by evidence to 4 justify a petitioner's failure to exhaust, will." Blake v. Baker, 745 F.3d 977, 982 (9th Cir. 5 2014) (good cause was shown by petitioner who argued that he failed to exhaust claim 6 due to state post-conviction attorney's failure to investigate, and backed up that argument 7 with extensive evidence as to what post-conviction attorney could have found in an 8 investigation); Wooten v. Kirkland, 540 F.3d 1019, 1024 (9th Cir. 2008) (upholding 9 denial of stay because petitioner's incorrect "impression" that counsel had raised claims 10 to the California Supreme Court on direct appeal did not establish good cause under 11 Rhines). United States District Court Mr. Knotchapone is not entitled to a Rhines stay because he does not show good For the Northern District of California 12 13 cause for his failure to exhaust his fourth claim. Mr. Knotchapone concedes that he did 14 not exhaust state court remedies for his fourth claim, i.e., his claim that his Fourteenth 15 Amendment right to effective assistance of appellate counsel was violated by appellate 16 counsel's failure to assert on appeal that Mr. Knotchapone had received ineffective 17 assistance of trial counsel. He simply argues his fourth claim is meritorious and that, 18 without it, habeas review will be precluded for that part of the case. That argument does 19 not offer any reason, let alone good cause, for his failure to first exhaust state court 20 remedies for the fourth claim. See Blake, 745 F.3d at 981 ("unspecific, unsupported 21 excuses for failing to exhaust–such as unjustified ignorance–did not satisfy the good 22 cause requirement."). As Petitioner is not entitled to a stay under Rhines, and he does 23 not argue for a stay under Kelly, his motion for a stay and abeyance is DENIED. 24 The fourth claim is DISMISSED without prejudice because it is undisputedly 25 unexhausted. 26 In order to expedite the resolution of this case: 27 1. Respondent shall file with the Court and serve on Petitioner, within ninety-one 28 (91) days of the issuance of this order, an answer conforming in all respects to Rule 5 of 2 1 the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, showing cause why a writ of habeas corpus 2 should not be granted. Respondent shall file with the answer and serve on Petitioner a 3 copy of all portions of the state trial record that have been transcribed previously and that 4 are relevant to a determination of the issues presented by the petition. If Petitioner 5 wishes to respond to the answer, he shall do so by filing a traverse with the Court and 6 serving it on Respondent within twenty-eight (28) days of the date the answer is filed. 7 3. Respondent may, within ninety-one (91) days, file a motion to dismiss on 8 procedural grounds in lieu of an answer, as set forth in the Advisory Committee Notes to 9 Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. If Respondent files such a motion, 10 Petitioner shall file with the Court and serve on Respondent an opposition or statement 11 of non-opposition within twenty-eight (28) days of the date the motion is filed, and United States District Court Respondent shall file with the Court and serve on Petitioner a reply within fourteen (14) For the Northern District of California 12 13 days of the date any opposition is filed. 14 4. It is Petitioner's responsibility to prosecute this case. Petitioner must keep 15 the Court informed of any change of address by filing a separate paper captioned "Notice 16 of Change of Address." He must comply with the Court's orders in a timely fashion. 17 Failure to do so may result in the dismissal of this action for failure to prosecute pursuant 18 to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 DATED: July 30, 2015 21 JEFFREY S. WHITE United States District Judge 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3