United States District Court, D. Arizona
Murray Snow, Chief United States District Judge.
before the Court is Magistrate Judge Eileen S. Willett's
Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) (Doc. 21)
and Petitioner Christian Lee Sanders's objections to that
R&R. (Doc. 22). For the following reasons, the R&R
will be adopted and Sanders's Petition for relief will be
no party has objected to the procedural background as set
forth in the R&R, the Court adopts the background as an
accurate account. (Doc. 21 at 1-2). Magistrate Judge Willett
recommends that Sanders' Petition be denied. (Doc. 21 at
8-9). Sanders objected to the conclusions of the R&R,
arguing that a fundamental miscarriage of justice will result
if the Court does not consider the merits of his claim. (Doc.
22 at 4). But because the R&R correctly analyzed his
claims, his petition for habeas corpus will be denied.
court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in
part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate
judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). “[T]he
district judge must review the magistrate judge's
findings and recommendations de novo if objection is made,
but not otherwise. United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328
F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc). District courts
are not required to conduct “any review at all . . . of
any issue that is not the subject of an objection.”
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985).
writ of habeas corpus affords relief to persons in custody in
violation of the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the
United States. 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). Review of
petitions for habeas corpus is governed by the Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. 28 U.S.C. §
2244 et seq. For a state prisoner to receive review
of his federal claims in federal court, he must first exhaust
all available state remedies. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A).
exhaust state remedies, a prisoner must “fairly
present” his claims to the appropriate state court.
See Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 731 (1991)
(holding that “a state prisoner's federal habeas
petition should be dismissed if the prisoner has not
exhausted available state remedies as to any of his federal
claims”). A prisoner must describe “both the
operative facts and the federal legal theory on which his
claim is based so that the state courts [could] have a fair
opportunity to apply controlling legal principles to the
facts bearing upon his constitutional claim.” Kelly
v. Small, 315 F.3d 1063, 1066 (9th Cir. 2003) (citations
and internal quotation marks omitted). If a prisoner fails to
fairly present his claims to the proper state court, his
claims are procedurally defaulted and barred from habeas
review. Ylst v. Nunnemaker, 501 U.S. 797, 802-05
(1991). In Arizona, a petitioner does not exhaust a claim for
purposes of federal review unless he has presented it to the
state Court of Appeals. Castillo v. McFadden, 399
F.3d 993, 998 (9th Cir. 2004).
claim is procedurally defaulted, a petitioner may overcome
that procedural bar by demonstrating a fundamental
miscarriage of justice. To demonstrate a fundamental
miscarriage of justice, a petitioner must demonstrate that
“a constitutional violation has resulted in the
conviction of one who is actually innocent.” Schulp
v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298, 327 (1995). Generally, to prove a
fundamental miscarriage of justice, a petitioner must point
to new reliable evidence that could support a finding of
actual innocence. Id. at 324- 325.
Sanders Did Not Present His Claims to the Arizona Court of
filed two separate post-conviction relief petitions in the
Maricopa County Superior Court. Both petitions were not filed
correctly with the Arizona Court of Appeals.
Judge Willett correctly concluded that all of
Petitioner's claims are procedurally defaulted. The first
post-conviction relief petition filed in the trial court
alleged that his guilty plea was wrongfully induced. That
claim is now included in Grounds Three and Four of
Sanders' petition before this Court. (Doc. 1 at 8-9). On
June 17, 2016 the Maricopa County Superior Court denied
Sanders's Motion for Reconsideration. (Doc. 13-3 at 105).
Under Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.9(c), Sanders had
thirty days to petition the Arizona Court of Appeals, but did
not file a petition for review until August 1, 2016. The
Arizona Court of Appeals dismissed Sanders's first
post-conviction relief ...