United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
Date: December 29, 2017
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge
District Court has referred this action to United States
Magistrate Judge David W. Christel. Petitioner Quran Dayman
Ali Ingram filed his federal habeas Petition on August 25,
2017, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, seeking relief from
a state court conviction. See Dkt. 1, 6. On October
30, 2017, Respondent Daniel Holbrook filed a Motion to
Dismiss. Dkt. 9. The Court concludes Petitioner is currently
challenging his state court conviction on direct appeal.
Therefore, he has failed to properly exhaust his state court
remedies as to all grounds raised in the Petition.
Accordingly, the Court recommends Respondent's Motion to
Dismiss be granted and the Petition be dismissed without
1, 2017, a jury found Petitioner guilty of residential
burglary -domestic violence. Dkt. 9-1, p. 2. Petitioner was
sentenced to 50 months imprisonment. Id. at p. 5.
Petitioner is currently challenging his conviction and
sentence on direct appeal. See id. at pp. 17-19.
August 25, 2017, Petitioner filed the Petition raising the
following four grounds: (1) ineffective assistance of counsel
for failure to investigate actual innocence claim; (2)
counsel was ineffective when he failed to dismiss a juror;
(3) ineffective assistance of counsel as Petitioner's
counsel was subsequently running for state judge; and (4)
incorrect computation of Petitioner's criminal history
score. Dkt. 6.
filed a Motion to Dismiss asserting the Petition is not ripe
because Petitioner is currently pursuing his direct appeal.
Dkt. 9. Respondent served the Motion to Dismiss on Petitioner
on October 30, 2017. Id. at p. 4; Dkt. 11.
Petitioner has not filed a response.
decision to hold an evidentiary hearing is committed to the
Court's discretion. Schriro v. Landrigan, 550
U.S. 465, 473 (2007). “[A] federal court must consider
whether such a hearing could enable an applicant to prove the
petition's factual allegations, which, if true, would
entitle the applicant to federal habeas relief.”
Id. at 474. In determining whether relief is
available under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1), the Court's
review is limited to the record before the state court.
Cullen v. Pinholster, 131 S.Ct. 1388 (2011). A
hearing is not required if the allegations would not entitle
Petitioner to relief under §2254(d). Landrigan,
550 U.S. at 474. “It follows that if the record refutes
the applicant's factual allegations or otherwise
precludes habeas relief, a district court is not required to
hold an evidentiary hearing.” Id.; see
Cullen, 131 S.Ct. 1388. The Court finds it is not
necessary to hold an evidentiary hearing in this case because
Petitioner's claims may be resolved on the existing state
asserts the Petition should be dismissed without prejudice
because Petitioner is still pursuing his direct appeal. Dkt.
9. “[A] state prisoner must normally exhaust available
state judicial remedies before a federal court will entertain
his petition for habeas corpus.” Picard v.
Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275 (1971). Petitioner's
claims will be considered exhausted only after “the
state courts [have been afforded] a meaningful opportunity to
consider allegations of legal error without interference from
the federal judiciary.” Vasquez v. Hillery,
474 U.S. 254, 257 (1986). “[S]tate prisoners must give
the state courts one full opportunity to resolve any
constitutional issues by invoking one complete round of the
State's established appellate review.”
O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845
Petitioner is still pursuing his direct appeal. See
Dkt. 9-1, pp. 17-19. Regardless of whether Petitioner raised
his habeas grounds on direct appeal, as Petitioner's
direct appeal is still pending, the state courts have not had
a full opportunity to resolve any constitutional issues. The
Court also notes the state court may resolve Petitioner's
direct appeal in his favor, which could moot this Petition.
Therefore, the Court finds Petitioner has not exhausted the
state court remedies available to him.
Petitioner's case is not appropriate in federal court
under the Younger abstention doctrine. See
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). Under
Younger, abstention from interference with pending
state judicial proceedings is appropriate if (1) the
proceedings are ongoing; (2) the proceedings implicate
important state interests; and (3) there is an adequate
opportunity in the state proceedings to raise federal
questions. Dubinka v. Judges of the Superior Ct., 23
F.3d 218, 223 (9th Cir. 1994); Middlesex County Ethics
Comm'n v. Garden State Bar Ass'n, 457
U.S. 423, 432 (1982). Here, Petitioner's case meets all
three elements of the Younger abstention doctrine.
First, Petitioner's state criminal case is ongoing as he
is currently appealing his conviction and sentence on direct
appeal. See Dkt. 9-1, pp. 17-19. Second, as the
state court proceedings involve a criminal prosecution, they
implicate important state interests. See Kelly v.
Robinson, 479 U.S. 36, 49, (1986); Younger, 401
U.S. at 43-44. Third, Petitioner can raise his federal
constitutional questions on direct appeal and in a state
personal restraint petition. Therefore, the Younger
abstention applies in this case.
courts cannot interfere with pending state criminal
proceedings, absent extraordinary circumstances that create a
threat of irreparable injury. Younger, 401 U.S. at
53- 54. Petitioner fails to show there is a threat of
irreparable injury and that injunctive relief is appropriate
in this case. See O'Shell v. Mayberg, 2009 WL
3061982, at *8 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 24, 2009). Therefore, under
the circumstances presented in this case, federal
intervention with Petitioner's pending state criminal
proceedings would be inappropriate under the Younger
abstention doctrine. See ...