IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
November 14, 2008
KEVIN EDWARDS, PETITIONER,
JOHN EVANS AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, RESPONDENTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Petitioner Kevin Edwards, currently incarcerated in the Big Muddy River Correctional Center, brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to challenge the constitutionality of his confinement. He also seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, and the Court finds that he is indigent. Therefore, the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2) is GRANTED.
In 2002, Edwards was convicted of first-degree murder for the shooting death of Clarence Jordan, whom Edwards found naked in bed with Edwards's estranged wife; he is currently serving a 20-year sentence. In this petition, he argues that his conviction was "against the manifest weight of the evidence," that trial counsel was ineffective in failing to introduce evidence in support of either second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter, that the trial court erred by failing to instruct the jury on adultery, that the trial court erred in failing to provide the jury "with a proper understanding of the law" with respect to second-degree murder, and that trial counsel was ineffective by failing to request additional jury instructions on the parameters of adultery.
Before further proceedings are ordered, a few words about the named respondents are necessary. Petitioner names as a respondent not only the warden of his prison but also the Attorney General of Illinois. This practice is quite common among pro se litigants in this District, but the only proper respondent in a collateral attack is Petitioner's custodian. As stated clearly by the Seventh Circuit, The Attorney General of [Illinois] is the state's lawyer, not the prisoner's custodian. If the petitioner is in prison, the warden is the right respondent. If the petitioner is on parole, the parole board or equivalent should be named. A state's attorney general is a proper party only if the petitioner is not then confined, but expects to be taken into custody.
Hogan v. Hanks, 97 F.3d 189, 190 (7th Cir. 1996) (emphasis added). See also Cruz v. Warden of Dwight Correctional Center, 907 F.2d 665, 665 n. 1 (7th Cir. 1990); Rules 2(a) and (b) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts. Because Petitioner is incarcerated, the only proper respondent is Warden Evans. The Illinois Attorney General is DISMISSED as a party and should not appear as a litigant in any future § 2254 case except under the conditions specified in Rule 2(b).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Respondent shall, within twenty-three (23) days of receipt of this application for Writ of Habeas Corpus, answer and show cause why the writ should not issue.
Service upon the Illinois Attorney General, Criminal Appeals Bureau, 100 West Randolph, 12th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60601 shall constitute sufficient service.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that pursuant to Local Rule 72.1(a)(2), this cause is referred to a United States Magistrate Judge for further pre-trial proceedings.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this entire matter be REFERRED to a United States Magistrate Judge for disposition, as contemplated by Local Rule 72.2(b)(2) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), should all the parties consent to such a referral.
Petitioner is ADVISED of his continuing obligation to keep the Clerk and each opposing party informed of any change in his whereabouts during the pendency of this action. This notification shall be done in writing and not later than seven (7) days after a transfer or other change in address occurs.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
G. PATRICK MURPHY United States District Judge
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