Richardson v. Montgomery

Filing 18

ORDER DENYING 14 NEXT FRIEND MOTION. Traverse due by 5/22/2017. Signed by Judge William H. Orrick on 03/29/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (jmdS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/29/2017)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 JERRY ALAN RICHARDSON, Petitioner, United States District Court Northern District of California 11 ORDER DENYING “NEXT FRIEND” MOTION v. 12 13 Case No. 16-cv-05639-WHO (PR) W. L. MONTGOMERY, Respondent. 14 Dkt. No. 14 15 16 Petitioner Jerry Richardson moves to have his former cellmate, Eugene Cuypers, 17 proceed as his “next friend” in this habeas action. (Dkt. No. 14.) Because Cuypers, not 18 Richardson, must make this sort of request, the motion is DENIED. 19 A person other than the detained person may file an application for a writ of habeas 20 corpus and establish standing as a “next friend.” Whitmore v. Arkansas, 495 U.S. 149, 163 21 (1990). A next friend does not himself become a party to the habeas petition, “but simply 22 pursues the cause on behalf of the detained person, who remains the real party in interest.” 23 Id. 24 There are two firmly rooted prerequisites to next friend standing. First, a next 25 friend “must provide an adequate explanation — such as inaccessibility, mental 26 incompetency, or other disability — why the real party in interest cannot appear on his 27 own behalf to prosecute the action.” Id. at 163. Second, the next friend “must be truly 28 dedicated to the best interests of the person on whose behalf he seeks to litigate and it has 1 been further suggested that a next friend must have some significant relationship with the 2 real party in interest.”1 Id. at 163-164. The purported next friend bears the burden “to 3 establish the propriety of his status and thereby justify the jurisdiction of the court.” Id. at 4 164 (citations omitted). These limitations on the next friend doctrine are driven by the 5 recognition that “[i]t was not intended that the writ of habeas corpus should be availed of, 6 as matter of course, by intruders or uninvited meddlers, styling themselves next friends.” 7 Id. (citation omitted). Richardson’s motion is DENIED because it is Cuypers, not Richardson, who must 8 9 make the motion and “establish the propriety of his status.” Id. at 163. Richardson asks the Court to take notice of the declaration Cuypers filed with 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Richardson’s motion for the appointment of counsel. The declaration is insufficient to 12 establish the propriety of Cuypers’s being recognized as the next friend. First, it addressed 13 whether the Court should appoint counsel, not whether Cuypers should be the next friend. 14 Second, the declaration does not address the problems that will arise now that Cuypers has 15 been transferred to a prison in Minnesota. If Cuypers files a next friend request, he must 16 address the effect of his transfer and how he can dedicate himself to Richardson’s “best 17 interests” from such a distance. 18 The Court extends the traverse deadline to May 22, 2017. 19 The Clerk shall terminate Dkt. No. 14. 20 IT IS SO ORDERED. 21 Dated: March 29, 2017 _________________________ WILLIAM H. ORRICK United States District Judge 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 In its discussion of the “significant relationship” issue, the Court cited Davis v. Austin, 492 F. Supp. 273, 275-276 (N.D. Ga. 1980) in which a minister and first cousin of prisoner was denied “next friend” standing. 2

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