Dixson v. Beard

Northern District of California, cand-4:2014-cv-05069


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1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 DEMETROIS TERRELL DIXSON, 4 Case No. 14-cv-05069-CW (PR) Petitioner, 5 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR v. LEAVE TO PROCEED AS "NEXT 6 FRIEND" JEFFREY BEARD,, 7 Respondent. 8 9 Petitioner, Demetrois Terrell Dixson, an inmate incarcerated 10 at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler, 11 Mississippi, filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus 12 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his state criminal Northern District of California United States District Court 13 conviction from the Alameda County Superior Court. In an Order 14 dated January 12, 2015, the Court directed Respondent to show 15 cause why the petition should not be granted. Respondent has 16 filed a motion to dismiss the petition on the grounds that it is 17 procedurally defaulted or, in the alternative, that it is 18 untimely. In an Order dated August 5, 2015, the Court granted 19 Petitioner's request for a sixty-day extension of time to file 20 his opposition. Petitioner has since filed a motion for leave to 21 grant a friend, James C. Lewis, leave to file papers and assist 22 Petitioner in the instant matter as his "next friend." (Docket 23 No. 16.) 24 A person other than the detained person may file an 25 application for a writ of habeas corpus and establish standing as 26 a "next friend." Whitmore v. Arkansas, 495 U.S. 149, 163 (1990). 27 A next friend does not himself become a party to the habeas 28 petition, "but simply pursues the cause on behalf of the detained 1 person, who remains the real party in interest." Id. There are 2 two firmly rooted prerequisites to "next friend" standing: 3 First, a next friend must provide an adequate 4 explanation--such as inaccessibility, mental incompetency, or other disability--why the real 5 party in interest cannot appear on his own behalf to 6 prosecute the action. Second, the next friend must be truly dedicated to the best interests of the 7 person on whose behalf he seeks to litigate and it has been further suggested that a next friend must 8 have some significant relationship with the real party in interest. The burden is on the next friend 9 clearly to establish the propriety of his status and 10 thereby justify the jurisdiction of the court. 11 Id. at 163-64 (citations omitted). Petitioner has not met the 12 Northern District of California first prong. He does not show inaccessibility, mental United States District Court 13 incompetency,1 or other disability. Rather, his request seems to 14 be based on the fact that because he is incarcerated in a 15 "private prison outside of California" and pro se, it takes extra 16 time to send work product to and from Mr. Lewis, who is not an 17 attorney2 but who "informally" assisted Petitioner "since the last 18 superior court filing [on] October 21, 2013," and this makes it 19 difficult to meet court deadlines. Pet'r Next Friend Mot. at 1- 20 2. These circumstances make Petitioner no different from the 21 many pro se prisoners who appear in federal court. To the extent 22 Petitioner requires more time to meet court deadlines, he may 23 obtain extensions of time upon a showing of good cause, like the 24 25 1 Petitioner's claim of incompetency is unavailing as it is not 26 based on mental incompetency and, instead, it is based on the fact that the state superior court denied his pro se petition as 27 "improperly brought" and "untimely." Pet'r Next Friend Mot. at 3. 2 28 Petitioner states that Mr. Lewis is a "person with a paralegal history." Pet'r Next Friend Mot. at 2. 2 1 extension he was granted in the Court's August 5, 2015 Order. 2 Petitioner seems to meet the second prong of the test, which 3 requires that the putative next friend have both a significant 4 relationship with the real party in interest and true dedication 5 to his or her interests. See Coalition of Clergy, Lawyers and 6 Professors v. Bush, 310 F.3d 1153, 1161-62 (9th Cir. 2002). 7 Petitioner has included a document entitled, "Proxy Agreement," 8 which describes the nature of their relationship or avers that he 9 trusts that Mr. Lewis is truly dedicated to his interests. Pet'r 10 Next Friend Mot., Attach. at 5-7. The Court notes that Mr. Lewis 11 has submitted a declaration indicating that he is willing to 12 "accept the proxy" and continue helping Petitioner, who he Northern District of California United States District Court 13 believes is an "innocent man." Id. at 10. However, given the 14 ready availability of reasonable time extensions to allow 15 Petitioner to continue to receive help from Mr. Lewis if he 16 wishes to do so and still meet Court deadlines, and his failure 17 to satisfy the first prong of the "next friend" test, 18 Petitioner's motion is DENIED. 19 As mentioned above, Petitioner has been granted an extension 20 of time to file his opposition to Respondent's pending motion to 21 dismiss. His opposition is due on October 5, 2015. Respondent 22 shall file with the Court and serve on Petitioner a reply within 23 fourteen days of receipt of an opposition. 24 This Order terminates Docket No. 16. 25 IT IS SO ORDERED. 26 Dated: September 9, 2015 27 ___________________________ CLAUDIA WILKEN 28 United States District Judge 3 1 2 UNITED D STATES D DISTRICT C COURT 3 NORTHER RN DISTRIC CT OF CALIIFORNIA 4 DEMETROIS D S TERRELL L DIXSON, 5 Case No. 114-cv-050699-CW Plaintiff, 6 v. CERTIFIC CATE OF S SERVICE 7 JE EFFREY BE EARD, 8 Defendant.. 9 10 I, the un ndersigned, hereby certify that I am an employeee in the Offiice of the Clerk, U.S. 11 Disstrict Court, Northern Diistrict of Callifornia. 12 Northern District of California That on n September 9, 2015, I SERVED S a trrue and correect copy(ies) of the attacched, by United States District Court 13 plaacing said co opy(ies) in a postage paid d envelope aaddressed to the person(ss) hereinafteer listed, by 14 dep positing said d envelope in n the U.S. Mail, M or by plaacing said coopy(ies) intoo an inter-off ffice delivery y 15 recceptacle locaated in the Cllerk's office.. 16 17 Deemetrois Terrrell Dixson ID: I DOC No o. F-23400 La Palma Correctional Cen nter (LPCC) 18 55001 North La Palma Road d Elo oy, AZ 85131 19 20 21 Daated: Septem mber 9, 2015 22 Suusan Y. Soonng 23 Cllerk, Unitedd States Distrrict Court 24 Byy:_________ __________________ 25 N Nichole Pericc, Deputy Cleerk to the 26 H Honorable CL LAUDIA WIILKEN 27 28 4