ResetAA Font size: Print

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

JOHN ARTHUR FREE, Petitioner-Appellant, v. GARY SWARTHOUT, Warden, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 11-17631

    Decided: March 17, 2017

Before: LEAVY, W. FLETCHER, and OWENS, Circuit Judges.


John Arthur Free appeals from the district court's judgment denying his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas petition challenging a 2010 decision by the Board of Parole Hearings denying parole and deferring his next parole hearing for seven years in accordance with California Penal Code § 3041.5 (“Marsy's Law”). We dismiss.

This court issued a certificate of appealability (“COA”) on whether application of Marsy's Law to delay Free's next parole hearing for seven years violates the Ex Post Facto Clause, and whether Free's membership in a class action precludes his individual litigation of this claim in habeas. We vacate the COA as improvidently granted and dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction. See Nettles v. Grounds, 830 F.3d 922, 934-35 (9th Cir. 2016) (en banc) (holding that claims fall outside “the core of habeas corpus” if success will not necessarily lead to immediate or earlier release from confinement), cert. denied, 580 U.S. __ (U.S. Jan. 9, 2017) (No. 16-6556); Phelps v. Alameda, 366 F.3d 722, 727-28, 730 (9th Cir. 2004) (merits panel has the power to rule on the propriety of a COA).

The dismissal of this appeal does not preclude Free from pursuing conditions of confinement claims in a properly filed civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

All pending motions are denied as moot.


FindLaw Career Center

    Select a Job Title

      Post a Job  |  Careers Home

    View More