King v. Payne et al
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge Gregory M. Sleet on 8/291/7. (sar)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
Civil Action No.17-798-GMS
KYLE PAYNE, Assistant District Attorney, and
IRWIN CARMICHAEL, Sheriff,
Petitioner Keith King ("King") filed the instant habeas petition (D.I. 2), along with a
motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (D.I 1). Although not entirely clear, it appears that
King is presently incarcerated in some prison in Mecklenbrug County, North Carolina. King
asserts his current imprisonment is illegal, and he asks the court to order his immediate release.
(D.1. 2 at 7)
Although the caption of the petition indicates that Regina Boston is acting as King's
"next friend", the petition contains no statement from Boston requesting status as King's "next
friend." Rather, it appears that the "next friend" designation was included because the address on
record is Regina Boston's address. Given this situation, the court is treating the petition as
though filed by Keith King. Even if the court were to treat Regina Boston as seeking "next
friend" status, it would deny the request because she has not satisfied the requirements for
obtaining such status. See Whitmore v. Arkansas, 495 U.S. 149, 162 (1990). As a general rule, a
"next friend" may appear in court "on behalf of a detained prisoner who is unable, usually
because of mental incompetence or inaccessibility, to seek relief himself," provided that the
person has some "significant relationship" with the prisoner and that he or she is truly dedicated
to best interests of the prisoner. Id. at 162-64. The burden of proving "next friend" status rests
with the moving party. Id. at 163.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Federal courts are required to liberally construe prose filings. See Royce v. Hahn, 151
F .3d 116, 118 (3d Cir. 1998). Nevertheless, a district court may summarily dismiss a habeas
petition "if it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief." See Rule 4, 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254.
After reviewing the face of the petition, the court concludes that summary dismissal is
appropriate in this case. King is not in custody in the State of Delaware, he does not challenge a
sentence or conviction imposed by the State of Delaware, and he does not challenge a sentence or
conviction imposed by this court. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254; 28 U.S.C. § 224l(d)(petition may be
filed either in the district "wherein such person is in custody or ... the district within which State
court was held which convicted and sentenced him"); 28 U.S.C. § 2242; Rule 2(a), 28 U.S.C.
foll. § 2254. Therefore, the court does not have jurisdiction over the instant proceeding.
For the aforementioned reasons, the court will dismiss King's habeas petition for lack of
jurisdiction. Given this conclusion, the court will dismiss as moot King's motion for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. The court also declines to issue a certificate of appealability because
King has failed to make a "substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right." 28 U.S.C.
§ 2253(c)(2); 3d Cir. L.A.R. 22.2 (2011); United States v. Eyer, 113 F.3d 470 (3d Cir. 1997). A
separate Order will be entered.
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