United States District Court, D. Idaho
RODNEY R. BAUMGARTNER, Petitioner,
STATE OF IDAHO, Respondent.
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER AND ORDER OF
E. Bush Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge.
Rodney R. Baumgartner has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus challenging his state court convictions. (Dkt. 1.)
habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is available
to petitioners who show that they are held in custody under a
state court judgment and that such custody violates the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). The Court is required
to review a habeas corpus petition upon receipt to determine
whether it is subject to summary dismissal. Habeas Rule 4.
Summary dismissal is appropriate where “it plainly
appears from the face of the petition and any attached
exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the
district court.” Id.
a jury trial in the Fifth Judicial District Court in Cassia
County, Idaho, Petitioner was convicted of possession of a
controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance
with intent to deliver, and possession of paraphernalia with
intent to use, in violation of Idaho Code §§
37-2721(a)(1)(A), 372732(c)(1), and 37-2734A. (Dkt. 1-1.) The
judgment of conviction was entered on August 21, 2018.
Petitioner received concurrent unified sentences totaling
twelve years' imprisonment with three years fixed.
Petitioner filed a direct appeal, which remains pending in
Idaho state court. (Dkt. 1 at 3.)
appears from the face of the Petition that Petitioner's
claims are unexhausted. A habeas petitioner must exhaust his
remedies in the state courts before a federal court can grant
relief on constitutional claims. O'Sullivan v.
Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842 (1999). This means that the
petitioner must invoke one complete round of the state's
established appellate review process, fairly presenting all
constitutional claims to the state courts so they have a full
and fair opportunity to correct alleged constitutional errors
at each level of appellate review. Id. at 845. In a
state that has the possibility of discretionary review in the
highest appellate court, like Idaho, the petitioner must have
presented all of his federal claims in at least a petition
seeking review before that court. Id. at 847.
Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 277 (2005), the Court
determined that federal district courts have discretion to
stay a mixed habeas petition containing exhausted and
unexhausted claims to allow the petitioner to present his
unexhausted claims to the state court and then to return to
federal court for review of his perfected petition. In
determining whether to exercise discretion to grant a stay, a
court should consider whether the petitioner had good cause
for his failure to exhaust, whether his unexhausted claims
are potentially meritorious, and whether there is any
indication that the petitioner engaged in intentionally
dilatory litigation tactics. Id. at 277-78. Although
the Rhines case involved a mixed petition (one that
includes both exhausted and unexhausted claims), the Ninth
Circuit has extended Rhines and determined that
“a district court may stay a petition that raises
only unexhausted claims.” Mena v.
Long, 813 F.3d 907, 908 (9th Cir. 2016).
direct appeal remains pending, and he has not requested a
Rhines stay. Therefore, this case is subject to
dismissal without prejudice. If Petitioner intends to file a
motion to stay, he must do so within 28 days after entry of
this Order, setting forth facts relating to the
Rhines factors identified above.
TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
has requested in forma pauperis status. Good cause appearing,
Petitioner's Application shall be granted, which allows
Petitioner to pay the filing fee when and as he can afford to
do so, rather than at the time of filing. Petitioner is
ordered to pay the $5.00 filing fee when Petitioner next
receives funds in his prison trust account.