Law School Case Brief
Manning v. United States - Civil Action No. 4:14-CV-513-Y, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99204 (N.D. Tex. July 22, 2014)
The only district that may consider a habeas corpus challenge pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 2241 is the district in which the prisoner is confined at the time the § 2241 petition is filed.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 2241, Christopher Donnelly filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus as "next friend" on behalf of petitioner Bradley Manning, aka Chelsea Manning. Donnelly asserted that petitioner was in custody in Leavenworth, Kansas. However, an inmate search on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website reflected zero results for search "Bradley Manning," concluding that petitioner's whereabouts were unknown.
Should the federal district court grant the "next friend" petition for the writ of habeas corpus?
The District Court dismissed the "next friend" petition for a writ of habeas corpus for lack of jurisdiction. The Court held that the only district that may consider a habeas corpus challenge pursuant to § 2241 is the district in which the prisoner is confined at the time the § 2241 petition is filed. Considering there was no evidence that petitioner Manning was confined in the district or that he was confined in the district when the petition was filed, the Court lacked jurisdiction over the petition. Even if it were shown that petitioner was incarcerated in this district at the time of filing, Donnelly failed to establish the propriety of his status as "next friend." 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.
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