federalize it!


Fed habeas begins by federalizing your state issues:

FAQ on Federalizing Issues in the AOB
Frequently Asked Questions that staff attorneys field on federalizing issues and federal habeas corpus relief.

Posted: 04/21/08

How To Get Ahead In Federalizing

This article provides an in-depth discussion of the what, why, and how of federalization.

Federalizing (PDF)

Posted: 05/13/10

A View of State Criminal Appeals From The Federal Habeas Side

This article provides a discussion of recent cases from the U.S. Supreme Court on preserving issues in state court for clients who may seek federal habeas relief.

A View of State Criminal Appeals From The Federal Habeas Side (PDF)

Posted: 08/22/11


Gail Weinheimer's Federalization Table (revised 12/10)
A comprehensive list of federal case authorities for “garden variety” errors that may violate the federal constitution.

Gail Weinheimer's 2010 Federalization Table (PDF)

Useful federalization links:

Federal Habeas Forms

Generally, counsel should send the three forms listed here to help state prisoners initiate a federal habeas corpus petition:

1. Generic Habeas Corpus 2254 Petition Form (external link to PDF)
This generic federal habeas form can be used by state prisoners in any Federal District Court (28 U.S.C. § 2254), although most of the district courts have their own 2254 habeas petition and IFP forms on their individual websites.

2. Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (IFP) Application (external link to PDF)
The IFP form is critical, even if the client can afford the $5 filing fee for a federal habeas petition. The client must have "in forma pauperis" status to be eligible for appointment of counsel. In addition, if the client loses in district court and wants to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals, s/he can avoid the hefty filing fee for an appeal if s/he has "in forma pauperis" status.


3. Request for Appointment of Counsel
A generic form for request for appointed counsel in federal cases. There is no official form for this. This sample was drafted by the Sacramento Federal Defender's Office.

Download Request for Appointment of Counsel (Word doc)

Download Request for Appointment of Counsel (WordPerfect doc)

Download Request for Appointment of Counsel (PDF)


"Setting the Stage to Give Your Client a Fair Shot in the Federal Court"
An article and MCLE video presentation by Carolyn M. Wiggin, Assistant Federal Defender, Sacramento Federal Defender's Office & Linnea Johnson, CCAP Staff Attorney (external link website is for panel attorneys only)


FDAP Article:
"Avoiding Procedural Defaults and Protecting Clients for Future Post-Affirmance Pro-Per Remedies" (PDF external link)
Don't be fooled by the topic title. This article lays out a clear and understandable discussion of federal exhaustion of issues in state court, and subsequent review in the federal court.


ADI Manual, Chap. 9:
"The Courthouse Across the Street: Federal Habeas Corpus" (PDF external link)

This chapter provides basic information about federal habeas corpus law and procedure. Focusing on post-appeal review of noncapital California state convictions and the need to properly preserve federal issues throughout the state appellate process.


Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Outline:
"Standards of Review" (external link)

This outline prepared by the court staff of the Ninth Circuit discusses the different standards of review on appeal and provides citations for which standard to apply to various alleged errors.