United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER TO FILE SUPPLEMENTAL STATE COURT
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge.
District Court has referred this action filed pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254 to United States Magistrate Judge David W.
Christel. Petitioner Steven Kravetz, through retained
counsel, filed his federal habeas Petition seeking relief
from a state court conviction. See Dkt. 1. After
review of the record, the Court directs Respondent to file a
supplemental state court record. The Court also notifies the
parties that it will issue a report and recommendation on the
merits of the Petition without consideration of motions for
Supplemental Answer and State Court Record
Petition, Petitioner alleges that his trial counsel provided
ineffective assistance when trial counsel failed to move to
suppress documents and photographs obtained during the
execution of a search warrant at Petitioner's residence.
Dkt. 1. Respondent filed an Answer to the Petition with
portions of the state court record. Dkt. 4, 5. The Court has
reviewed the state court decision and finds relevant portions
of the state court record, including witness testimony and a
surveillance video related to Petitioner's claim of
ineffective assistance of counsel, were not included in state
court record provided to the Court. See Dkt. 5.
all relevant portions of the state court record, the Court
cannot meaningfully review the state court's decision and
determine if the state court's adjudication
“resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or
involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established
Federal law.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1); see
Nasby v. McDaniel, 853 F.3d 1049, 1054 (9th Cir. 2017)
(“Regardless of what documents the parties originally
submit, it is the district court's independent obligation
to obtain the relevant portions of the record.”). As
the Court must have all relevant portions of the record to
meaningfully review the state court's decision, the Court
directs Respondent to file a supplemental answer and state
court record. The supplemental state court record should
include the trial transcripts and any additional state court
records relevant to this Court's determination.
See Dkt. 5-3, pp. 226-27 (in concluding trial
counsel was not ineffective, the state supreme court relied
on witness testimony and a surveillance video, which were not
included in the state court record file with this Court).
Motion for Summary Judgment
April 18, 2019, Petitioner, through his counsel, filed a
Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. 6, 7. The Court struck the
Motion for Summary Judgment and supporting documents because
Petitioner failed to follow the Court's Order regarding
filing a response to the Answer. Dkt. 9. The Court, however,
allowed Petitioner additional time to file a response to the
Answer. See Dkt. 9. On May 13, 2019, Petitioner
filed a statement titled Petitioner's Decision Not to
File a Reply to the Respondent's Answer, wherein
Petitioner stated he would not file a response to the Answer
and would renew his summary judgment motion once the Court
indicated a summary judgment motion could be filed. Dkt. 10.
Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases “contemplate an
answer and reply [to the Petition] (Rule 5), an evidentiary
hearing in some cases (Rule 8), and the entry of an order
with or without a certificate of appealability (Rule
11)[.]” Gussner v. Gonzalez, 2013 WL 458250,
at *3 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 5, 2013). The Rules “do not
contemplate either a trial or an additional set of briefing
or hearing, ” and summary judgment motions add an
unnecessary step in resolving habeas cases. See id.
“Thus, motions for summary judgment are inappropriate
in federal habeas proceedings.” Kornfeld v.
Puentes, 2019 WL 1004578, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 1,
summary judgment motions are not necessary, nor appropriate.
The Court reviewed the Petition, directed Respondent to
answer the Petition, and set a briefing schedule, which
allowed Petitioner an opportunity to file a response to the
Answer. Dkt. 2. Respondent filed an Answer and Memorandum
of Authorities, but Petitioner declined to respond to the
Answer. See Dkt. 4, 5, 10. The Court will issue a
report and recommendation on the merits of the Petition after
Respondent files the supplemental state court record. As the
Court is directing Respondent to file a supplemental answer
and state court record, the Court will allow Petitioner one
additional opportunity to file a response to the Answer and
supplemental answer. However, summary judgment motions will
not be considered in this case.
on the above stated reasons, the Court directs Respondent to
file a supplemental answer and supplemental state court
record on or before July 17, 2019. Petitioner may file a
response to the Answer and supplemental answer on or before
August 5, 2019. Respondent may file a reply to
Petitioner's response on or before August 9, 2019.
Clerk of Court is directed to re-note the Petition (Dkt. 1)
for consideration on August 9, 2019.