UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
August 21, 2010
RALPH LEO DAIGLE, PETITIONER,
JAMES A. KARNES, RESPONDENT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. United States District Judge
This matter is before the Court on initial consideration of petitioner's pro se Amended Petition for Emergency Writ of Habeas Corpus. The petition will be denied.
Petitioner alleges that, "[o]n or about June 1, 2010, James Thomas McBride['s] liberties commenced to be restrained and is on going to this day by RESPONDENT, who is or represents a 'CORPORATION for Profit", holding a natural man . . . against His will, over His objection, and without His consent[.]" Pet. ¶ 2 (capitalization in original). Petitioner demands Mr. McBride's immediate release from custody. See id. at 4.
"Three inter-related judicial doctrines -- standing, mootness, and ripeness, ensure that federal courts assert jurisdiction only over 'Cases' and 'Controversies.'" Worth v. Jackson, 451 F.3d 854, 855 (D.C. Cir. 2006). A party has standing if his claims "spring from an 'injury in fact' -- an invasion of a legally protected interest that is 'concrete and particularized,' 'actual or imminent' and 'fairly traceable' to the challenged act of the defendant, and likely to be redressed by a favorable decision in the federal court." Navegar, Inc. v. United States, 103 F.3d 994, 998 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (quoting Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555 (1992)). "[T]he injury alleged cannot be conjectural or hypothetical, remote, speculative, or abstract." Nat'l Treasury Employees Union v. United States, 101 F.3d 1423, 1427 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Here, petitioner articulates no legally protected interest of his own; rather, he purports to bring this action on Mr. McBride's behalf. Although he may represent himself as a pro se litigant, petitioner is a lay person who is not qualified to appear in this Court on behalf of another person. See 28 U.S.C. § 1654; Georgiades v. Martin-Trigona, 729 F.2d 831, 834 (D.C. Cir. 1984). Standing may be denied where, as here, this pro se litigant seeks to assert the rights of a third party. See Navegar, Inc., 103 F.3d at 998.
Even if petitioner had standing to bring this action, this Court cannot entertain a challenge to the legality of Mr. McBride's custody. Habeas actions are subject to jurisdictional and statutory limitations. See Braden v. 30th Judicial Cir. Ct. of Ky., 410 U.S. 484 (1973). The proper respondent in a habeas corpus action is the warden. Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 434-35 (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)), who is identified as Sheriff Karnes of Columbus, Ohio. "[A] district court may not entertain a habeas petition involving present physical custody unless the respondent custodian is within its territorial jurisdiction." Stokes v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 374 F.3d 1235, 1239 (D.C. Cir. 2004).
An Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.
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