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Padilla v. Blades

United States District Court, D. Idaho

March 6, 2019

TARANGO D. PADILLA, Petitioner,
v.
RANDY BLADES, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill, U.S. District Court Judge.

         Petitioner Tarango D. Padilla filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus challenging his state court grand theft and persistent violator convictions. (Dkt. 1.) Respondent Randy Blades filed a Motion for Partial Summary Dismissal. (Dkt. 8.) Petitioner has filed his Response (Dkt. 8), and the motion is ripe for adjudication.

         The Court takes judicial notice of the records from Petitioner's state court proceedings, which have been lodged by the parties. See Fed. R. Evid. 201(b); Dawson v. Mahoney, 451 F.3d 550, 551 (9th Cir. 2006). Having carefully reviewed the record, including the state court record, the Court finds that the parties have adequately presented the facts and legal arguments in the briefs and record and that oral argument is unnecessary. See D. Idaho L. Civ. R. 7.1(d). Accordingly, the Court enters the following Order.

         REVIEW OF MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY DISMISSAL

         1. Introduction

         Petitioner brings four claims in his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus:

1. Claim One: A Sixth Amendment ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim that counsel was ineffective for (a) failing to investigate, (b) deficiently relying on the state's investigation, (c) failing to discover favorable witnesses; and (d) failing to obtain Brady evidence from the State.[1]
2. Claim Two: A Fourth Amendment violation regarding suppression of evidence (it is unclear whether this is intended to be an ineffective assistance of counsel claim and/or a stand-alone claim);
3. Claim Three: A Fourteenth Amendment withholding of exculpatory evidence claims (it is unclear whether this is intended to be an ineffective assistance claim and/or a stand-alone claim); and
4. Claim Four: A Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment trial court error claim, based on the state district court's refusal to give Petitioner's proposed jury instruction on a lesser included offense (it is unclear whether this is intended to be an ineffective assistance claim and/or a stand-alone claim).

(See Dkts. 1, 5.)

         In the Motion for Partial Summary Dismissal, Respondent asserts that the following claims are procedurally barred: Claim One is procedurally defaulted; Claim Two, if construed as a stand-alone claim, is procedurally defaulted and noncognizable as a federal claim; and Claims Three and Four, construed as stand-alone or ineffective assistance claims, are procedurally defaulted. Claim Two, construed as an ineffective assistance claim is not at issue.

         2. Standard of Law

         Habeas corpus law requires that a petitioner “exhaust” his state court remedies before pursuing a claim in a federal habeas petition. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b). To exhaust a claim, a habeas petitioner must fairly present it as a federal claim to the highest state court for review in the manner prescribed by state law. See O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999). Unless a petitioner has exhausted his state court remedies relative to a particular claim, a federal district court cannot grant relief on that claim, although it does have the discretion to deny the claim. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(2).

         State remedies are considered technically exhausted, but not properly exhausted, if a petitioner failed to pursue a federal claim in state court and there are no remedies now available. O'Sullivan, 526 U.S. at 848. A claim may also be considered exhausted, though not properly exhausted, if a petitioner pursued a federal claim in state court, but the state court rejected the claim on ...


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