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Eline v. Attorney General of State of Hawaii

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

July 9, 2019

RICHARD ELINE, #A0154372, Petitioner,
v.
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF HAWAII, Respondent,

          DISMISSAL ORDER

          LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the court is Petitioner Richard Eline's Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for a Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody and in forma pauperis application. ECF Nos. 1, 3. Eline challenges the revocation of his probation in State v. Eline, Cr. No. 15-1-01201 (Haw. 1st Cir. 2017), and State v. Eline, Cr. No. 12-1-01492, entered in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (“circuit court”), State of Hawaii, on August 14, 2018. See eCourt Kokua: https://jimspss1.courts.state.hi.us (1PC151001201 and 1PC121001492) (last visit 7/1/2019).

         For the following reasons, Eline's Petition is DISMISSED without prejudice, his in forma pauperis application is GRANTED, and any request for a certificate of appealability is DENIED. The Clerk shall enter judgment and terminate this case.

         I. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Court must screen all actions brought by prisoners who seek any form of relief from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity, including habeas relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases (Habeas Rule 4) requires the Court to dismiss a habeas petition “[i]f it plainly appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court.” Habeas Rule 11 applies the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to habeas proceedings, “to the extent that they are not inconsistent with any statutory provisions or these rules.” Habeas Rule 2(c) requires every habeas petition to (1) specify all the grounds for relief available to the petitioner; (2) state the facts supporting each ground; and (3) state the relief requested.

         When screening a habeas petition, the Court must accept the allegations of the petition as true, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007), and construe it in the light most favorable to the petitioner, see Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). See also Corjasso v. Ayers, 278 F.3d 874, 878 (9th Cir. 2002) (“Pro se habeas petitioners may not be held to the same technical standards as litigants represented by counsel.”). “It is well-settled that ‘[c]onclusory allegations which are not supported by a statement of specific facts do not warrant habeas relief.'” Jones v. Gomez, 66 F.3d 199, 204 (9th Cir. 1995) (quoting James v. Borg, 24 F.3d 20, 26 (9th Cir. 1994)); Porter v. Ollison, 620 F.3d 952, 958 (9th Cir. 2010) (“[T]he petitioner is not entitled to the benefit of every conceivable doubt; the court is obligated to draw only reasonable factual inferences in the petitioner's favor.”). That is, even a pro se petitioner must give fair notice of his claims by stating the factual and legal elements of each claim in a short, plain, and succinct manner. See Mayle v. Felix, 545 U.S. 644, 648 (2005) (“In ordinary civil proceedings . . . Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires only ‘a short and plain statement[.] . . . Rule 2(c) of the Rules Governing Habeas Corpus Cases requires a more detailed statement.”). Allegations in a petition that are vague, conclusory, or palpably incredible, and that are unsupported by a statement of specific facts, are insufficient to warrant relief and are subject to summary dismissal. Jones, 66 F.3d at 204-05; James, 24 F.3d at 26.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Public records reveal that bench warrants for the revocation of Eline's sentences of probation in Cr. Nos. 12-1-01492 and 15-1-01201 were served on May 31, 2018. See https://jimspss1.courts.state.hi.us. On July 10, 2018, the circuit court held a hearing on the motions for revocation; Eline was present in custody and represented by Catherine Gutierrez, Esq. The circuit court continued the hearing until August 14, 2018.

         Eline was also present with counsel at the August 14, 2018 hearing on the motions for revocation of probation. The minutes of that hearing state:

Ms. Gutierrez represented that Defense is in receipt of the motions for revocation of probation and that she has gone over the motions with her client. Defendant will waive his right to a hearing and stipulate to the violations. Defendant sworn by Court. In response to Courts inquiry, Defendant waived his right to hearing. Court found that Defendant understood the allegations and terms and conditions of his probation and that he inexcusably violated said terms and conditions of probation. Court granted the motions and revoked probation in each case. Counsel argued sentencing. State went through procedural history of the cases and argued for the open term. Ms. Gutierrez represented that Defendant will honor the agreement previously made regarding serving an open term. Defendant made a statement prior to imposition of sentence. Court gave reasons and sentenced Defendant to the open term of 5 years set forth in the Judgment of Conviction and Sentence filed in each case.

Id. (1PC151001201 and 1PC121001492, 08/14/2018).

         Eline filed a notice of appeal to the circuit court and then to the Hawaii Supreme Court. See CAAP-18-0000772; Eline Decl. (Haw. App. 2018) (requesting to withdraw appeal, signed and dated October 26, 2018). On November 5, 2018, however, Eline signed a stipulation for Dismissal of Appeal. The Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”) approved the stipulation and dismissed Eline's appeal on November 20, 2018. Id.; Order Approving the November 5, 2018 Stipulation for Dismissal of Appeal.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Grounds for ...


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