United States District Court, S.D. Florida
SUA SPONTE REPORT OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE RECOMMENDING
DISMISSAL OF HABEAS CORPUS PETITION - 28 U.S.C. §
Manahan has filed this pro se emergency petition for
writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on
behalf of Petitioner, Randy Amador, challenging the
constitutionality of Amador's confinement at the
Highlands County Jail in Sebring, Florida. (DE#1).
cause has been referred to the undersigned for consideration
and report, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C);
S.D. Fla. Local Rule 1(f) governing Magistrate Judges; S.D.
Fla. Admin. Order 2019-02; and the Rules Governing Habeas
Corpus Petitions in the United States District Courts.
it is evident that Manahan, who does not allege to be a
licensed attorney, cannot bring this action on Amador's
behalf, and summary dismissal is warranted, no order to show
cause has been issued. See Rule 4, Rules Governing
Section 2254 Proceedings; see also, Broadwater v.
United States, 292 F.3d 1302, 1303-04 (11th Cir. 2002).
to the petition, Randy Amador was unlawfully arrested by the
Highland County Sheriff's Department for an alleged
violation of probation on March 31, 2019. (DE#1:3).
Amador's appointed public defender failed to contact her
regarding the charges, and eventually withdrew from the case
on May 3, 2019. (Id.:3-4, 6). At a hearing on that
same date, the court denied Amador the right to be heard, and
failed to explain the nature of the charges against her.
(Id.:6). The petition alleges that Manahan has filed
various motions in the trial court on Amador's behalf,
all of which have been “ignored.”
to the docket, the state trial court conducted a hearing on
April 1, 2019, and found probable cause for the arrest.
(Highlands County Circuit Court Docket, No.
282007CT000716TTAXMX). On May 15, 2019, Manahan filed the instant
petition in this court. (DE#1).
Discussion and Applicable Law
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that an incompetent
person who does not have a duly appointed representative may
sue by a “next friend.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 17(c)(2).
The plaintiff has the burden to establish standing to proceed
on behalf of the real party and thereby to invoke the
jurisdiction of the federal courts. Whitmore v.
Arkansas, 495 U.S. 149, 162 (1990).
Whitmore, the Supreme Court detailed the
requirements, stressing that “next friend standing is
by no means granted automatically to whomever seeks to pursue
an action on behalf of another.” Whitmore, 495
U.S. at 163. First, the would-be next friend must prove that
the real party in interest cannot pursue his own cause due to
some disability such as mental incompetence or lack of access
to court. Id. at 163-65. Second, the next friend
must show some relationship or other evidence that would
suggest that the next friend is truly dedicated to the
interests of the real party in interest. Id. at
163-64. Ultimately, "the burden is on the 'next
friend' clearly to establish the propriety of his status,
and thereby justify the jurisdiction of the court."
Id. at 164. See also Lonchar v. Zant, 978
F.2d 637 (11th Cir. 1992) (applicable to habeas corpus
Craig Manahan could establish that he should be permitted to
proceed as “next friend, ” because he is not a
lawyer, he cannot bring this action on Amador's behalf.
See Weber v. Garza, 570 F.2d 511, 513 (5th Cir.
1978) (“individuals not licensed to practice law by the
state may not use the ‘next friend' device as an
artifice for the unauthorized practice of law”). In a
similar situation the Eleventh Circuit found that a mother,
who was not an attorney, could not act as legal counsel for
her minor child. Fuqua v. Massey, 615 Fed.Appx. 611
(11th Cir. 2015) (citing Devine v. Indian River Cnty. Sch
Bd., 121 F.3d 576, 581 (11th Cir. 1997)). Since Craig
Manahan cannot proceed as the attorney for the named
petitioner, any pleadings and or motions filed by him are a
the instant case should be dismissed without prejudice. A
dismissal without prejudice does not prevent a party from
amending the complaint nor does it prevent a real party from
asserting her habeas claims on her own behalf, if she is able
to litigate her own cause.