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Can a family member sign a 2255 petition on behalf of a defendant?

Petitioner Cardin's 28 U.S.C. section 2255 deadline was fast coming due.  But at the wrong time, disaster struck.  Cardin was hospitalized.  So he did the only thing he could - he had his sister (who had power of attorney for him) sign a draft of the 2255 he was preparing, and had her file it for him.  She did not disguise her signature as his; rather, she wrote "Walter Cardin by Natalie J. Cardin".  A couple of months after this filing, the district court sua sponte questioned whether the 2255 should be dismissed, as it was not signed by the petitioner.  Cardin filed a response, in which he attached: (1) a latter from his case manager at the BOP showing that he was in the hospital during the deadline time-frame, and (2) the power of attorney he had previously executed for his sister.  He also offered to amend the document with his actual signature.  The district court rejected this, and dismissed the 2255.

On appeal, the Court explored the "next friend doctrine.&qu…

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