United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
before the Court is a document filed on behalf of Petitioner
Deterrius Lamont Wilson (“Mr. Wilson”), who is
currently incarcerated in the Grimes Unit of the Arkansas
Department of Correction. Doc. 1. The Court treated
the document as a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus. However, service is not yet appropriate due to
Next Friend Status
the initial filing document, or “Petition, ” is
signed by “Juanita Wilson, ” (“Ms.
Wilson”), who identifies herself as Mr. Wilson's
mother. Ms. Wilson provides no explanation for why Mr. Wilson
did not sign the document filed to initiate this action.
habeas application must be Asigned and verified by the person
for whose relief it is intended or by someone acting in his
behalf.@ 28 U.S.C. § 2242; see Rule 2(c)(5),
Rules Governing § 2254 Cases in United States District
Courts (habeas petition must be Asigned under penalty of
perjury by the petitioner or by a person authorized to sign
it for the petitioner under 28 U.S.C. § 2242@). Standing
to proceed as a “next friend” on behalf of a
habeas petitioner “is by no means granted automatically
to whomever seeks to pursue an action on behalf of
another.” Whitmore v. Arkansas, 495 U.S. 149,
163 (1990). The proposed next friend bears the burden of
establishing the “propriety of his status” in
order to “justify the jurisdiction of the court.”
Id. at 164. Two showings are required: (1) that the
petitioner is unable to prosecute the habeas petition himself
due to “inaccessibility, mental incompetence, or other
disability, ” and (2) that the next friend is
“truly dedicated to the best interest of the person on
whose behalf he seeks to litigate, ” which can be
established by showing “some significant
relationship” between the next friend and that person.
Id. at 163-64.
the Court can assume, at this point, that Ms. Wilson is
committed to her son's best interests, she has not
demonstrated that Mr. Wilson is unable to seek relief on his
own behalf. He is incarcerated in the ADC's Grimes Unit,
the Court sends and receives mail from ADC prisoners on a
daily basis. Thus, Ms. Wilson's request to proceed as
next friend is DENIED.
the “Petition” does not provide sufficient
information for this Court to screen the proposed claims to
determine if they should be allowed to proceed. See
§ 2254 Rule 2(d) (federal habeas petition “must
substantially follow” standard § 2254 form);
§ 2254 Rule 4 (a federal court should summarily dismiss
a habeas petition if it plainly appears from the petition and
any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief in the district court”).
“Petition” consists of two pages, followed by
copies of a Sentencing Order filed on January 3, 2019, and an
Amended Sentencing Order filed on February 19, 2019, entered
in State v. Wilson, Crittenden County Circuit Court
No. 2009-1377 1377 (“Wilson
I”). The “Petition” asserts in a
conclusory fashion that: (1) the sentence imposed in the
Sentencing Order was “illegal”; and (2) the
sentencing court never gave Mr. Wilson “the option to
withdraw his guilty plea on the parole change.”
“Petition” fails to allege why either of these
allegations rises to the level of a cognizable habeas
claim. See Adams v. Armontrout, 896 F.2d
332, 334 (8th Cir. 1990) (a petitioner “must state
specific, particularized facts which entitle him or her to
habeas corpus relief for each ground specified.”). The
“Petition” also makes other allegations which are
clearly inappropriate in a habeas action. Finally, the
“Petition” provides no information as to whether
Mr. Wilson has made any effort to exhaust his state court
remedies before seeking federal habeas relief.
Wilson wishes to pursue habeas relief in connection with this
matter, he must complete and submit the § 2254 form
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Form AO 241).
THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
Juanita Wilson's request to proceed as next friend on
behalf of Mr. Wilson is DENIED.
Clerk of the Court is directed to send Mr. Wilson: (a) a
blank Application to Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees and
Certificate of Prisoner Account (Form AO 240); (b) a blank 28
U.S.C. § 2254 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Form
AO 241); and (c) a copy of the docket sheet and the
Court's ruling in Wilson v. Kelley, No.
5:15-cv-00017-JTR, Doc. 14.
Mr. Wilson wishes to continue with this action, he must,
on or before May 29, 2019,
either: (a) file the completed Application
to Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees (Form AO 240),
including the Certificate of ...