United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
OPINION AND ORDER
POLSTER CHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Petitioner Jose Mendez Martinez a native citizen of Cuba,
filed this Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. 1) on January 24, 2018. The
Petition has not been served on the Respondent and no
response has been filed.
was born in Cuba on November 26, 1963. He immigrated to the
United States on August 5, 1980 as part of the Mariel boat
lift. He was paroled, obtained legal status, and took up
residence in Miami, Florida. Petitioner was subsequently
convicted of a crime and was ordered deported on February 20,
1986. However, United States Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) authorities were unable to obtain the necessary
travel documents to deport Petitioner to Cuba.
was in custody of INS from 1984 until 1987 and again from
1998 until 2000. Petitioner was again sought for deportation
by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in
2017 and self-reported on July 14, 2017. From that date
forward, Petitioner was detained at Glades County Detention
Center until he was recently transferred to Krome Service
Processing Center Field Office (Krome). To date ICE has been
unable to deport Petitioner because the United States does
not have a formal or informal repatriation agreement with
Cuba. On March 21, 2018, the Court was informed by Krome that
Petitioner was released from ICE custody on January 17, 2018.
reasons set forth below, the Court concludes that this action
must be dismissed as moot. “[A] case is moot when the
issues presented are no longer live or the parties lack a
legally cognizable interest in the outcome.” Al
Najjar v. Ashcroft, 273 F.3d 1330, 1335-36 (11th Cir.
2001)(internal punctuation omitted). “If events that
occur subsequent to the filing of a lawsuit or an appeal
deprive the court of the ability to give the plaintiff or
appellant meaningful relief, then the case is moot and must
be dismissed.” Id. at 1336.
dismissal after release is not automatic; a habeas petition
continues to present a live controversy after the
petitioner's release or deportation when there is some
remaining “collateral consequence” that may be
redressed by success on the petition. See Spencer v.
Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7-8 (1998) (“Once the
convict's sentence has expired, however, some concrete
and continuing injury other than the now-ended incarceration
or parole-some ‘collateral consequence' of the
conviction-must exist if the suit is to be
maintained.”); Lopez v. Gonzales, 549 U.S. 47,
52 n.2 (2006) (case not mooted by petitioner's
deportation because the petitioner could still benefit by
pursuing his application for cancellation of removal). This
exception to the mootness doctrine applies when: (1) the
challenged action is too short in duration to be fully
litigated prior to its cessation or expiration; and (2) there
is a reasonable expectation that the same complaining party
would be subjected to the same action again. Weinstein v.
Bradford, 423 U.S. 147, 149 (1975); Carafas v.
LaVallee, 391 U.S. 234, 237 (1968); Murphy v.
Hunt, 455 U.S. 478, 482 (1982).
Petitioner does not challenge the underlying deportation
order from 1986. Instead he only seeks release from ICE
custody. Therefore, when Petitioner was released from ICE
custody, his claim was resolved. Because Petitioner was
released from custody pending removal from the United States,
the chances of his extended detention happening again are too
speculative to create a controversy sufficient to support a
claim for relief, and the exception to the mootness doctrine
does not apply. See Ijaoba v. Holder, No.
4:12-cv-3792-JHH-RRA, 2013 WL 1490927, at *1 (N.D. Ala. 2013)
(holding “[s]ince the petitioner has been released
pending his deportation to Nigeria, the circumstances of this
case happening again are too speculative to create an actual
controversy sufficient to support a claim for
the Court can no longer give Petitioner any meaningful
relief, his § 2241 Petition is moot and “dismissal
is required because mootness is jurisdictional.”
See Al Najjar, 273 F.3d at 1336, 1253; Riley
v. I.N.S., 310 F.3d 1253 (10th Cir. 2002) (release from
detention under an order of supervision moots a
petitioner's challenge to the legality of his extended
detention); Nunes v. Decker, 480 Fed.Appx. 173, 175
(3d Cir. 2012) (release of alien under order of supervision
who challenged only his extended detention mooted § 2241
habeas petition because the alien “achieved the result
he sought in his habeas petition”).
it is now
Petitioner Jose Mendez Martinez Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. 1) is
DISMISSED as moot. The Clerk of the Court is
directed to enter judgment accordingly, terminate any pending
motions, and close the file.
and ORDERED in Fort Myers, Florida this 22nd