UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
February 6, 2012
MATTHEW CATE, SECRETARY, RESPONDENT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Anthony J. Battaglia U.S. District Judge
(1) SUA SPONTE SUBSTITUTING RESPONDENT; and
PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
Petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has submitted a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, together with a request to proceed in forma pauperis.
(2) GRANTING APPLICATION TO SUBSTITUTION OF RESPONDENT
Petitioner named Timothy Busby, Warden as Respondent. It has come to the Court's attention that Mr. Busby was no longer the Warden at Ironwood State Prison as of November 2011. David Long was recently appointed Acting Warden of that correctional facility.
A writ of habeas corpus acts upon the custodian of the state prisoner. See 28 U.S.C. § 2242; Rule 2(a), 28 U.S.C. foll. § 2254. Because the warden at Petitioner's place of custody has changed, so has his custodian. Accordingly, in order to conform with the requirements of Rule 2(a) of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases and to avoid changing the Respondent again if Petitioner is transferred to another prison or paroled, the Court hereby sua sponte ORDERS the substitution of Matthew Cate, Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, as Respondent in place of "Timothy Busby." See Ortiz-Sandoval v. Gomez, 81 F.3d 891, 894 (9th Cir. 1996) (stating that the respondent in § 2254 proceedings may be the chief officer in charge of state penal institutions); see also FED. R. CIV. P. 25(d)(1) ("When a public official is a party to an action in his official capacity and during its pendency dies, resigns, or otherwise ceases to hold office, the action does not abate and the officer's successor is automatically substituted as a party.") The Clerk of the Court shall modify the docket to reflect "Matthew Cate, Secretary" in place of the former respondent.
MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS
Petitioner has $0.00 on account at the California correctional institution in which he is presently confined. Petitioner cannot afford the $5.00 filing fee. Thus, the Court GRANTS Petitioner's application to proceed in forma pauperis, and allows Petitioner to prosecute the above-referenced action as a poor person without being required to prepay fees or costs and without being required to post security. The Clerk of the Court shall file the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus without prepayment of the filing fee.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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