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SINGLETARY v. ROSE

United States District Court, D. Columbia


December 2, 2005.

Roger M. Singletary, Petitioner,
v.
Kenneth Rose, Respondent.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD LEON, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

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

20051202

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