Kearns v. Nebraska Brown County Jail
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER that this case is dismissed without prejudice to reassertion of a petition or complaint filed by Voss or by an attorney on his behalf. The court will enter judgment by a separate document. Ordered by Chief Judge Laurie Smith Camp. (Copy mailed to pro se party) (LAC)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
MICHAEL JOSEPH KEARNS,
BRUCE PAPSTEIN, Brown County
Michael Joseph Kearns submitted to this court a habeas corpus petition on behalf
of Kenneth Dewey Voss. (Filing No. 1.) The document is signed by Kearns, but is not
signed by Voss. Nothing in the pleading suggests that Kearns is a licensed attorney. This
is a problem for two reasons.
First, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(a) requires that all pro se parties to a case
sign every pleading, written motion, and other paper that they submit to the court. Rule
11(a) helps to ensure that pro se parties consent to the filing of documents on their behalf.
See United States v. Brenton, No. 8:04CR262, 2007 WL 3124539, at *1-2 (D. Neb. Oct.
23, 2007) (discussing Johnson v. O’Donnell, No. 01-C-0257-C, 2001 WL 34372892 (W.D.
Wis. Aug 24, 2001)).
Second, it is improper for a non-lawyer to sign papers in place of, or to otherwise
represent, parties other than themselves. See id. at *1 (citing 5A C. Wright & A. Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 1333, at 513 & n.15 (2004)).
Kearns may not represent Voss in federal litigation and he may not sign documents
on his behalf. If Voss seeks release from custody or some other relief, he must file such
a request himself or through an attorney.
IT IS ORDERED: This case is dismissed without prejudice to reassertion of a
petition or complaint filed by Voss or by an attorney on his behalf. The court will enter
judgment by a separate document.
DATED this 9th day of February, 2016.
BY THE COURT:
s/Laurie Smith Camp
Chief United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?