United States District Court, E.D. California
August 27, 2014
ISAAC ARANO, Petitioner,
THE PEOPLE, Respondent.
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY PETITION SHOULD NOT BE DISMISSED (ECF No. 1)
STANLEY A. BOONE, Magistrate Judge.
Petitioner is proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases requires the Court to make a preliminary review of each petition for writ of habeas corpus. The Court must dismiss a petition "[i]f it plainly appears from the face of the petition... that the petitioner is not entitled to relief." Rule 4 of the Rules Governing 2254 Cases; see also Hendricks v. Vasquez , 908 F.2d 490 (9th Cir. 1990). A petition for habeas corpus should not be dismissed without leave to amend unless it appears that no tenable claim for relief can be pleaded were such leave granted. Jarvis v. Nelson , 440 F.2d 13, 14 (9th Cir. 1971).
A. Proper Respondent
A petitioner seeking habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 must name the state officer having custody of him as the respondent to the petition. Rule 2 (a) of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases; Ortiz-Sandoval v. Gomez , 81 F.3d 891, 894 (9th Cir. 1996); Stanley v. California Supreme Court , 21 F.3d 359, 360 (9th Cir. 1994). Normally, the person having custody 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). However, the chief officer in charge of state penal institutions is also appropriate. Ortiz , 81 F.3d at 894; Stanley , 21 F.3d at 360. Where a petitioner is on probation or parole, the proper respondent is his probation or parole officer and the official in charge of the parole or probation agency or state correctional agency. Id.
In this case, petitioner names the People of the State of California as Respondent. Although Petitioner may have been convicted by the State of California, the State cannot be considered the person having day-to-day control over Petitioner.
Petitioner's failure to name a proper respondent requires dismissal of his habeas petition for lack of jurisdiction. Stanley , 21 F.3d at 360; Olson v. California Adult Auth. , 423 F.2d 1326, 1326 (9th Cir. 1970); Billiteri v. United States Bd. Of Parole , 541 F.2d 938, 948 (2d Cir. 1976). However, in this case, the Court will give petitioner the opportunity to cure his 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).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Petitioner SHALL SHOW CAUSE why the Petitioner should not be dismissed by AMENDING the Petition to name a proper respondent within thirty (30) days of the date of service of this order. To comply with this directive petitioner need only submit a pleading titled "Amendment to Petition" in which he amends the petition to name a proper respondent. As noted above, that individual is the person having day to day custody over the petitioner - usually the warden of the institution where he is confined. The Amendment should be clearly and boldly captioned as such and include the case number referenced above, and be an original signed under penalty of perjury.
IT IS SO ORDERED.