United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE
G. BERNAL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
December 19, 2016, Brandon Favor, a prisoner in state custody
proceeding pro se, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("Petition")
purportedly on behalf of Steven Deon Turner,
(Petition at 1, 2.) The Petition appears to challenge
Turner's 2014 conviction in Los Angeles County Superior
Court case number TA132992-01. (Id.at
forth more fully below, the instant Petition must be
Duty to Screen
Court has a duty to screen habeas corpus petitions. See Rules
Governing § 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts, Rule 4 Advisory Committee Notes. Rule 4 requires a
district court to examine a habeas corpus petition, and if it
plainly appears from the face of the petition and any annexed
exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief, the
judge shall make an order for summary dismissal of the
petition. Jdj see also Local Rule 72-3.2.
The Petition Must Be Summarily Dismissed
purports to file this habeas petition on behalf of Turner.
Under appropriate circumstances, habeas petitions can
"be brought by third parties, such as family members or
agents, on behalf of a prisoner. This species of third-party
habeas standing, known as next-friend standing, was examined
at length by the Supreme Court in Whitmore v.
Arkansas. 495 U.S. 149, 161-64, 110 S.Ct. 1717, 109
L.Ed.2d 135 (1990)." Coalition of Clergy v.
Bush. 310 F.3d 1153, 1158 (9th Cir. 2002). In
Whitmore. the Supreme Court explained the
requirements for next friend standing in habeas cases:
A "next friend" does not himself become a party to
the habeas corpus action in which he participates, but simply
pursues the cause on behalf of the detained person, who
remains the real party in interest. Most important for
present purposes, "next friend-standing is by no means
granted automatically to whomever seeks to pursue an action
on behalf of another. Decisions applying the habeas corpus
statute have adhered to at least two firmly rooted
prerequisites for "next friend" standing. First, a
"next friend" must provide an adequate explanation
- such as inaccessibility, mental incompetence, or other
disability - why the real party in interest cannot appear on
his own behalf to prosecute the action. Second, the
"next friend" must be truly dedicated to the best
interests of the person on whose behalf he seeks to litigate,
and it has been further suggested that a "next
friend" must have some significant relationship with the
real party in interest. The burden is on the "next
friend" clearly to establish the propriety of his status
and thereby justify the jurisdiction of the court.
Whitmore. 495 U.S. at 163-64
(internal citations omitted). Favor does not meet either
requirement to establish "next friend" standing
that would enable him to file a habeas petition on
Turner's behalf. Favor makes no showing that Turner is
unable appear on his own behalf to prosecute a habeas action
or that Favor is truly dedicated to Turner's best
interests or has a special relationship with him.
Favor lacks standing to bring a petition on behalf of Turner,
and the Petition should be dismissed without prejudice for
lack of standing.
AEDPA, a state prisoner seeking to appeal a district
court's final order in a habeas corpus proceeding must
obtain a Certificate of Appealability ("COA") from
the district judge or a circuit judge. 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(1)(A). A COA may issue "only if the applicant
has made a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right." Id. at §
2253(c)(2); accord Williams v. Calderon. 83 F.3d
281, 286 (9th Cir. 1996). "A petitioner satisfies this
standard by demonstrating that jurists of reason could
disagree with the district court's resolution of his
constitutional claims or that jurists could conclude the
issues presented are adequate to deserve encouragement to
proceed further." Miller-El v. Cockrell. 537
U.S. 322, 327 (2003); see also Slack v. McDaniel.
529 U.S. 473, 483-84 (2000).
district court dismisses a petition on procedural grounds,
the reviewing court should apply a two-step analysis, and a
COA should issue if the petitioner can show both: (1)
"that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether
the district court was correct in its procedural
ruling!;]" and (2) "that jurists of reason would
find it debatable whether the petition ...