United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. Bowman United Suites Magistrate Judge
before the court is the petitioner's motion that the
court authorize discovery and expand the case record, filed
on August 25, 2017. (Doc. 15)
pending is the petitioner's motion for an evidentiary
hearing and for appointment of counsel, also filed on August
25, 2017. (Doc. 16)
pending is the petitioner's motion for “access to
case authorities available only in electronic databases as
LEXIS and WESTLAW, ” also filed on August 25, 2017.
petitioner, Rosalio Delgado Beltran, was convicted after a
jury trial of aggravated driving while under the influence
(DUI) for which he received a sentence of 10 years'
imprisonment. (Doc. 1, p. 2) Beltran filed in this court a
petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 on January 3, 2017. (Doc. 1) He claims (1) his
trial was unfair because (a) he was limited as to the
evidence he was able to present, (b) the state witnesses gave
false and misleading testimony, (c) discovery was late or
withheld, (d) favorable evidence was concealed, and (e) trial
counsel was ineffective; (2) the state did not disclose
Brady and Giglio material; (3) trial and
appellate counsel were ineffective; and (4) he was denied
presentence sentencing credits and his prior felony
conviction was improperly used to enhance his sentence. (Doc.
case was referred to Magistrate Judge Bowman pursuant to the
Rules of Practice of this court. See LRCiv 72.1(c).
first pending motion, Beltran moves that this court permit
discovery pursuant to Rules 6 and 7 of the Rules Governing
§ 2254 cases. Specifically he moves that this court
order disclosure of the transcripts of the four 911 calls
made at the time of the traffic accident, phone records from
Officers Eppley and Hibbs made while Beltran was trying to
call an attorney, Officer Hibbs's report, “the
report of the TPD officer who refused to take Beltran from
the hospital to the county jail, ” “and any other
police report, city building inspection report” or
other record concerning his aggravated DUI case. (Doc. 15)
a party to a normal civil action, a habeas petitioner
“is not entitled to discovery as a matter of ordinary
course.” Bracy v. Gramley, 520 U.S. 899, 904,
117 S.Ct. 1793, 1796-97 (1997). Rule 6(a) of the Rules
Governing § 2254 cases permits discovery “only in
the discretion of the court and for good cause shown.”
Rich v. Calderon, 187 F.3d 1064, 1068
(9thCir.1999), cert. denied, 528 U.S.
1092. “A ‘good cause' analysis requires the
reviewing court to identify the ‘essential
elements' of the underlying substantive claim, and
determine whether petitioner's allegations, if proven,
would satisfy those elements and show the violation of a
constitutional right.” Williams v. Hall, 648
F.Supp.2d 1222, 1225 (D. Or. 2009) (citing Bracy,
520 U.S. at 904, 117 S.Ct. at 1797).
Bracy was decided, the Supreme Court has held in
Pinholster that a federal court analyzing a properly
exhausted habeas claim is limited to the record that was
before the state court when the claim was originally denied.
See Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170, 131 S.Ct.
1388 (2011). The holding in Pinholster is an
additional hurdle the petitioner must overcome if he is to
establish “good cause” for habeas discovery.
pending motion, Beltran lists a number of documents that he
would like to discover. He does not, however, clearly explain
how those documents relate to the claims in his petition.
Apparently, Beltran believes that if he has access to these
documents he will uncover even more reasons why his original
trial was unfair. The purpose of habeas discovery, however,
is not to engage in a “fishing expedition” to
explore the possibility of new claims. Rich v.
Calderon, 187 F.3d 1064, 1067 (9th Cir.
1999); see also U.S. ex rel. Nunes v. Nelson, 467
F.2d 1380, 1380 (9th Cir. 1972) (“Appellant
is not entitled to a discovery order to aid in the
preparation of some future habeas corpus petition.”).
alleges that all of his claims were previously presented to
the Arizona Court of Appeal. (Doc. 1) Accordingly, this court
must adjudicate his claims based on the evidence presented to
that court. See Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170,
131 S.Ct. 1388 (2011). There is no need for further
further argues that the discovery of additional documents
would enable the post-conviction relief court to better
review his trial for reversible error. Rule 6, however, does
not authorize discovery for this purpose. Rules Governing
§ 2254 cases. Beltran's motion for discovery will be
second pending motion, Beltran moves for an evidentiary
hearing. (Doc. 16) Beltran argues that he was denied an
opportunity for a full evidentiary hearing in the state
courts and an evidentiary hearing is necessary now to prove
his innocence. Id. However, as the court already
stated above, when analyzing a properly exhausted habeas
claim, this court is limited to the record that was before
the state court when the claim was originally denied. See
Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170, 131 S.Ct. 1388