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Ohman v. Arizona Department of Corrections

United States District Court, D. Arizona

January 18, 2019

Phillip M. Ohman, Petitioner,
v.
Arizona Department of Corrections, et al., Respondents.

          TO THE HONORABLE JAMES A. TEILBORG, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          EILEEN S. WILLETT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is Phillip M. Ohman's (“Petitioner”) Amended Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. 11) (the “Amended Petition”).[1] Also pending before the Court is Petitioner's “Motion Requesting an Order for Extradition From ADOC to U.S. B.O.P.” (Doc. 33), which duplicates the relief requested in the Amended Petition. For the reasons explained herein, the undersigned recommends that the Court dismiss the Amended Petition (Doc. 11) with prejudice and deny Petitioner's Motion (Doc. 33).

         I. BACKGROUND

         In 2015, a Maricopa County Grand Jury indicted Petitioner on numerous counts in five separate cases. (Bates Nos. 1-14).[2] Petitioner signed plea agreements in each of the cases. (Bates Nos. 27-41). The trial court accepted Petitioner's guilty pleas. (Bates Nos. 42-51). The trial court sentenced Petitioner in all five cases at an August 2, 2016 hearing. (Bates Nos. 69-92). The trial court ordered the sentences to run consecutively to Petitioner's sentence imposed in a federal criminal case in the Western District of Texas, explaining that to do otherwise “would be to totally ignore the Arizona crime spree [Petitioner committed].” (Bates No. 88-89). The trial court stated that “[i]t is the intent of this Court that you serve your federal sentence first, so you may be transported to federal custody, but that will be their call.” (Bates No. 89). On August 10, 2016, the United States Marshals Service filed a detainer against Petitioner with the Arizona Department of Corrections on the basis of the Western District of Texas case, but did not take custody of Petitioner. (Bates No. 95).

         Petitioner did not seek post-conviction relief in state court. In June 2017, Petitioner initiated this federal habeas proceeding. (Doc. 1). Pursuant to the Court's Screening Order (Doc. 14), Respondents answered the Amended Petition. (Doc. 27). Respondents assert that all of Petitioner's habeas claims are procedurally defaulted without excuse. Petitioner filed a Reply (Doc. 28). On September 13, 2018, Petitioner filed a “Motion Requesting an Order for Extradition From ADOC to U.S. B.O.P.” (Doc. 33).

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Exhaustion-of-State-Remedies Doctrine

         It is well-settled that a “state prisoner must normally exhaust available state remedies before a writ of habeas corpus can be granted by the federal courts.” Duckworth v. Serrano, 454 U.S. 1, 3 (1981); see also Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275 (1971) (“It has been settled since Ex parte Royall, 117 U.S. 241, 6 S.Ct. 734, 29 L.Ed. 868 (1886), that a state prisoner must normally exhaust available state judicial remedies before a federal court will entertain his petition for habeas corpus.”). The rationale for the doctrine relates to the policy of federal-state comity. Picard, 404 U.S. at 275 (1971). The comity policy is designed to give a state the initial opportunity to review and correct alleged federal rights violations of its state prisoners. Id. In the U.S. Supreme Court's words, “it would be unseemly in our dual system of government for a federal district court to upset a state court conviction without an opportunity to the state courts to correct a constitutional violation.” Darr v. Burford, 339 U.S. 200, 204 (1950).

         The exhaustion doctrine is codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2254. That statute provides that a habeas petition may not be granted unless the petitioner has (i) “exhausted” the available state court remedies; (ii) shown that there is an “absence of available State corrective process”; or (iii) shown that “circumstances exist that render such process ineffective to protect the rights of the applicant.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1).

         Case law has clarified that in order to “exhaust” state court remedies, a petitioner's federal claims must have been “fully and fairly presented” in state court. Woods v. Sinclair, 764 F.3d 1109, 1129 (9th Cir. 2014). To “fully and fairly present” a federal claim, a petitioner must present both (i) the operative facts and (ii) the federal legal theory on which his or her claim is based. This test turns on whether a petitioner “explicitly alerted” a state court that he or she was making a federal constitutional claim. Galvan v. Alaska Department of Corrections, 397 F.3d 1198, 1204-05 (9th Cir. 2005).

         B. Procedural Default Doctrine

         If a claim was presented in state court, and the court expressly invoked a state procedural rule in denying relief, then the claim is procedurally defaulted in a federal habeas proceeding. See, e.g., Zichko v. Idaho, 247 F.3d 1015, 1021 (9th Cir. 2001). Even if a claim was not presented in state court, a claim may be procedurally defaulted in a federal habeas proceeding if the claim would now be barred in state court under the state's procedural rules. See, e.g., Beaty v. Stewart, 303 F.3d 975, 987 (9th Cir. 2002).

         Similar to the rationale of the exhaustion doctrine, the procedural default doctrine is rooted in the general principle that federal courts will not disturb state court judgments based on adequate and independent state grounds. Dretke v. Haley, 541 U.S. 386, 392 (2004). A habeas petitioner who has failed to meet the state's procedural requirements for presenting his or her federal claims has deprived the state ...


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