United States District Court, D. Columbia
December 2, 2005.
Roger M. Singletary, Petitioner,
Kenneth Rose, Respondent.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD LEON, District Judge
In this action seeking a writ of habeas corpus, petitioner
challenges actions taken by the District of Columbia Air National
Guard with respect to his service. Petitioner is a staff sergeant
assigned to the 113th Wing's Security Forces Squadron at
Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. He appears to challenge
specifically an alleged recommendation that he be
administratively discharged "under other than honorable
conditions." Petition at 5. Respondent asserts that the petition
should be denied because (1) the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction, (2) petitioner has not named the proper respondent,
(3) the Court lacks jurisdiction over the proper respondent, and
(4) petitioner has failed to state a claim for habeas relief. The
petition will be denied on the second and third grounds.*fn1 The proper respondent to an application for a writ of habeas
corpus is the petitioner's immediate custodian. Rumsfeld v.
Padilla, 124 S.Ct. 2711 (2004); Blair-Bey v. Quick,
151 F.3d 1036, 1039 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (citing Chatman-Bey v. Thornburgh,
864 F.2d 804, 810 (D.C. Cir. 1988)). "[A] district court may not
entertain a habeas petition . . . unless the respondent custodian
is within its territorial jurisdiction." Stokes v. U.S. Parole
Commission, 374 F.3d 1235, 1239 (D.C. Cir. 2004). A serviceman's
custodian is his commanding officer, Rooney v. Secretary of
Army, 405 F.3d 1029, 1032 (D.C. Cir. 2005). Respondent has
provided unrefuted evidence that the named respondent, Kenneth
Rose, is not petitioner's commanding officer, Respondent's Exh.
1, Declaration of Timothy Lehmann ¶¶ 1, 16, and that the putative
commanding officer is located at Andrews Air Force Base in
Maryland. Id. ¶ 1. This Court lacks personal jurisdiction over
the proper respondent, who is subject to the jurisdiction of the
United States District Court for the District of Maryland. The
petition therefore is denied.*fn2
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