Author: Federal Public Defender, CDCA

What Is a Material Witness?

Posted on June 9, 2017

A material witness is a person whose testimony is material to a criminal proceeding, and where it appears from an affidavit filed by a party that this person’s presence for testimony cannot be secured by a subpoena. A judge can order the person arrested, but also order that s/he be released from custody if certain conditions are met. 18 USC section 3144...

What Happens After the 2254 Petition Is Filed?

Posted on June 9, 2017

If you file a 2254 petition in the Central District of California, it is assigned to both a magistrate judge and a district court judge. The magistrate judge is responsible for the preliminary litigation. Because the magistrate judge does not have the legal authority to issue a final order, the magistrate judge will issue a report and recommendation to the district court judge. The district court judge can either adopt the magistrate judge’s recommendation or issue his or her own order...

What Issues Can Be Raised in a 2254 Petition?

Posted on June 9, 2017

Only issues related to federal constitutional violations (with the exception of Fourth Amendment claims) may be raised in a 2254 petition. The federal court will not consider issues based solely on state law. Also, the federal court cannot consider any claims that were not first presented to the highest state court. You must exhaust all of your state court remedies first...