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Garcia v. Unnamed

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


October 14, 2009

JOSE GARCIA, PETITIONER,
v.
UNNAMED, RESPONDENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING PETITIONER LEAVE TO FILE A MOTION TO AMEND THE PETITION AND NAME A PROPER RESPONDENT

Petitioner is detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") and is proceeding with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.

DISCUSSION

For a court to hear a petition for writ of habeas corpus, it must have jurisdiction over the prisoner or his custodian. United States v. Giddings, 740 F.2d 770, 772 (9th Cir.1984). A failure to name the proper respondent deprives a habeas court of personal jurisdiction. Brittingham v. United States, 982 F.2d 378, 379 (9th Cir. 1992); Dunne v. Henman, 875 F.2d 244, 249 (9th Cir.1989). The proper respondent in a federal habeas corpus petition is the petitioner's "immediate custodian." Brittingham, 982 F.2d at 379, quoting Demjanjuk v. Meese, 784 F.2d 1114, 1115 (D.C.Cir.1986) (Bork, J., in chambers). The custodian "is the person having a day-to-day control over the prisoner. That person is the only one who can produce 'the body' of the petitioner." Brittingham, 982 F.2d at 379, quoting Guerra v. Meese, 786 F.2d 414, 416 (D.C.Cir.1986) (Parole Commission is not custodian despite its power to release petitioner).

Normally, the custodian of an incarcerated petitioner is the warden of the prison in which the petitioner is incarcerated because the warden has "day-to-day control over" the petitioner. Brittingham v. United States, 982 F.2d 378, 379 (9th Cir. 1992); see also Stanley v. California Supreme Court, 21 F.3d 359, 360 (9th Cir. 1994). In a case such as this where a detainee is challenging his indefinite detention by ICE, the appropriate respondent would be the Attorney General of the United States.

Petitioner does not name a respondent in this matter. Therefore, the petition must be dismissed. However, the Court will give Petitioner the opportunity to cure the defect by amending the petition to name a proper respondent. See West v. Louisiana, 478 F.2d 1026, 1029 (5th Cir.1973), vacated in part on other grounds, 510 F.2d 363 (5th Cir.1975) (en banc) (allowing petitioner to amend petition to name proper respondent); Ashley v. State of Washington, 394 F.2d 125 (9th Cir. 1968) (same). In the interest of judicial economy, Petitioner need not file an amended petition. Instead, Petitioner may file a motion entitled "Motion to Amend the Petition to Name a Proper Respondent" wherein Petitioner may name the proper respondent in this action.

ORDER

Accordingly, Petitioner is GRANTED thirty (30) days from the date of service of this order in which to file a motion to amend the instant petition and name a proper respondent. Failure to amend the petition and name a proper respondent will result in a recommendation that the petition be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20091014

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