UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
March 10, 2009
SHAWKI AWAD BALZUHAIR, PETITIONER,
ROBERT GATES ET AL., RESPONDENTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard W. Roberts United States District Judge
A petition for habeas corpus relief was filed on behalf of Guantánamo Bay detainee Shawki Awad Balzuhair purportedly by a "next friend." On July 29, 2008 Judge Hogan issued an Order in this case requiring petitioner's counsel to file a signed authorization from the petitioner to pursue the action, or a declaration by counsel that states that the petitioner directly authorized counsel to pursue the action and explains why counsel was unable to secure a signed authorization. Petitioner's counsel have not complied with that Order and have provided no evidence of direct authorization of representation despite traveling to Guantánamo Bay two times. Respondents have moved to stay the case until petitioner's counsel complies with Judge Hogan's Order. Because petitioner's counsel has not complied with Judge Hogan's Order which was explicitly directed at cases filed by next friends, and because staying petitioner's case is a more equitable method of resolving this issue than dismissing the petition without prejudice, respondent's motion to stay the case will be granted. Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED that respondents' motion  to stay this case pending evidence of direct authorization of representation be, and hereby is, GRANTED, and this case will be administratively closed. Petitioner's counsel may move to reopen the case upon obtaining evidence of direct authorization of representation, in the manner required by Judge Hogan's Order of July 29, 2008.
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