UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
April 12, 2010
KWASI SEITU, PETITIONER,
FLORENCE PAN, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: John D. Bates United States District Judge
This matter is before the Court on consideration of Kwasi Seitu's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. It appears that petitioner had been arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor. See Pet. ¶¶ 1-5.*fn1 He states that he is currently confined at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital pursuant to an order issued by The Hon. Florence Pan, Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, for the purpose of evaluating his competency to stand criminal charges. See id. ¶¶ 16-20, 23-24. According to petitioner, no judge has made a probable cause determination, see id. ¶¶ 6-7, 17, and Judge Pan "intends to keep [him] held at least until March 31st, 2010, at which time her plan is to further the detention until [he] concedes to waiving his issues and his rights." Id. ¶ 25.
Generally, the proper respondent to a petition for a writ of habeas corpus is the petitioner's custodian. See Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 439 (2004) ("In challenges to present physical confinement, we reaffirm that the immediate custodian, not a supervisory official who exercises legal control, is the proper respondent."); Blair-Bey v. Quick, 151 F.3d 1036, 1039 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (dismissing the United States Parole Commission as a party to a habeas action because the prisoner's custodian is the appropriate respondent); Chatman-Bey v. Thornburgh, 864 F.2d 804, 810 (D.C. Cir. 1988) ("It is also well settled that the appropriate defendant in a habeas action is the custodian of the prisoner."). Judge Pan presides over petitioner's ongoing criminal case; she is not petitioner's custodian. Accordingly, Judge Pan will be dismissed as a party to this action.*fn2
An Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.