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Simons Pattioay v. Thomas

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

June 21, 2019

MATTHAN JAMES SIMONS PATTIOAY, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN T. THOMAS, Respondent.

          ORDER (1) DENYING PETITION UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 2254 FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS; AND (2) DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

          Derrick K. Watson United States District Judge.

         On January 16, 2019, Petitioner Matthan James Simons Pattioay filed an amended petition under Section 2254 of Title 28 for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in state custody (“the Section 2254 Petition”). The Section 2254 Petition asserts four claims, some exhausted and others not, and thus, is a “mixed” petition. Nonetheless, as explained below, because Pattioay's exhausted claims fail to demonstrate an entitlement to federal habeas relief and his unexhausted claims do not present a colorable claim, the Court DENIES the Section 2254 Petition and declines to award a certificate of appealability.

         BACKGROUND

         I. State Proceedings

         After a jury trial, Pattioay was found guilty of one count of Terroristic Threatening in the First Degree, in violation of Section 707-716(1)(e) of the Hawai'i Revised Statutes (Section 707-716). He was subsequently sentenced to five years' imprisonment with credit for time served. Pattioay appealed his judgment of conviction and sentence, raising a single claim: his rights to due process and a fair trial were violated when the trial court refused to instruct the jury as to “knowing” and “negligent” states of mind. The State of Hawai'i Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) rejected this claim, concluding that the instruction given to the jury complied with the relevant statutes and was not otherwise deficient. On September 11, 2018, the Supreme Court of the State of Hawai'i rejected Pattioay's application for a writ of certiorari from the ICA's decision.

         II. This Proceeding

         On November 26, 2018, Pattioay initiated this proceeding by filing a petition under Section 2254, asserting four claims for relief (“the Initial Petition”). Dkt. No. 1. Shortly thereafter, after granting Pattioay leave to proceed in forma pauperis, the assigned Magistrate Judge, pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the U.S. District Courts, preliminarily reviewed the Initial Petition and dismissed the same with leave to amend. Dkt. No. 7. Specifically, the Magistrate Judge found that, with respect to all of Pattioay's claims, he failed to provide sufficient facts suggesting an entitlement to federal habeas relief. In addition, with respect to the third and fourth claims, the Magistrate Judge found that those claims were incomprehensible and, to the extent they could be understood, they had not been raised in Pattioay's direct appeal, and thus, were unexhausted.

         On January 16, 2019, Pattioay filed the instant Section 2254 Petition. Dkt. No. 8.[1] Liberally construing the Section 2254 Petition, Pattioay raises the following four claims: (1) the state trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on the “knowing” and “negligent” states of mind, violating his right to a fair trial (Claim One); (2) the trial court failed to instruct the jury on “all four states of mind, ” thereby reducing the state's burden of proof (Claim Two); (3) the trial court overruled an unidentified matter related to self-defense (Claim Three); and (4) the trial court overruled an unidentified matter related to the use of the victim, Kerry Atwood, as a witness (Claim Four).

         After the Magistrate Judge ordered Respondent, Warden Todd Thomas, to file an answer, Respondent did so on March 27, 2019. Dkt. No. 17. On May 22, 2019, Pattioay filed a reply. Dkt. No. 21.[2]

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Under Section 2254, a court shall entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus from a person in state custody “only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. §2254(a). When a claim is “adjudicated on the merits” in a state court proceeding, the state adjudication may not be overturned unless it “resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States” or “resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.” Id. § 2254(d).

         In addition, a petition for writ of habeas corpus by a person in state custody may not be granted unless the petitioner exhausts the remedies available in the state courts. Id. § 2254(b)(1)(A). However, notwithstanding the failure to exhaust remedies available in state courts, a court may deny a petition for writ of habeas corpus on the merits. Id. § 2254(b)(2).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Exhaustion

         Here, the record of Pattioay's direct appeal reflects that he raised one substantive issue before the ICA. As the ICA explained, that issue concerned whether the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on the knowing and negligent states of mind. Dkt. No. 17-3 at 2. While that issue may encompass Claims One and Two in the Section 2254 Petition, it certainly does not encompass Claims Three and Four.[3] As a result, the Section 2254 Petition is a “mixed” petition. See Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 510 (1982) (describing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus that contains exhausted and unexhausted claims as a “mixed” petition). While Respondent argues that Claims Three and Four are unexhausted, neither party addresses the fact that the Section 2254 Petition is a mixed petition.

         A federal habeas petition containing exhausted and unexhausted claims is subject to dismissal. Rose, 455 U.S. at 522. That being said, before dismissing a mixed petition, there are various avenues a court can take. First, a court can provide the petitioner an opportunity to amend his petition to delete unexhausted claims and proceed only with exhausted claims. Henderson v. Johnson, 710 F.3d 872, 873 (9th Cir. 2013).[4] Second, a court, if requested by the petitioner, can determine whether the petition should be stayed so that the petitioner can present his unexhausted claims to a state court in the first instance. Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 277-278 (2005); Henderson, 710 F.3d at 874.[5], [6] Third, if a petitioner has been provided with an opportunity to amend his petition and the court determines that a stay is not appropriate, a court must dismiss the petition in its entirety without considering exhausted claims. Wooten v. Kirkland, 540 F.3d 1019, 1026 (9th Cir. 2008). Fourth, a court may consider a mixed petition on the merits and deny, but not grant, the same. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(2); Jackson v. Roe, 425 F.3d 654, 658 n.5 (9th Cir. 2005).

         In this case, the Court takes the latter approach and considers the ...


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