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Mendoza Rodriguez v. Moore

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

May 17, 2019

MARK J. MOORE, Acting Field Director, et al. Respondents.



         I. Introduction

         This matter is before the Court on Jesus Mendoza Rodriguez's (“Petitioner”) pro se amended petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (DE#18) and his Motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief. (DE#12). Petitioner challenges the length of his civil detention while he awaits removal from this country. Petitioner poses a specific question to this Court: whether his prolonged mandatory detention pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1225 without access to a bond hearing violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. (DE#18).

         This case has been referred to the Undersigned for consideration and report pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636; S.D. Fla. Local Rule 1(f) governing Magistrate Judges; S.D. Fla. Admin. Order 2019-2; and the Rules Governing Section 2241 Cases in the United States District Courts.

         Since Petitioner is no longer in federal custody, this Court has no further jurisdiction and should DISMISS the matter as MOOT.

         II. Discussion

         For a federal court to have subject matter jurisdiction over a habeas proceeding, the petitioner must be “in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3); accord Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S. 488, 490-91 (1989). The “in custody” determination is made at the time the section 2241 petition is filed. Carafas v. LaVallee, 391 U.S. 234, 238 (1968). Petitioner had clearly met the “in custody” requirement in that he was confined when he filed the instant petition.

         “Article III of the Constitution limits federal ‘Judicial Power,' that is, federal-court jurisdiction, to “‘Cases' and ‘Controversies.'” United States Parole Comm'n v. Geraghty, 445 U.S. 388, 395 (1980); Soliman v. United States ex rel. INS, 296 F.3d 1237, 1242 (11th Cir. 2002) (citation omitted); see also Al Najjar v. Ashcroft, 273 F.3d 1330, 1335 (11th Cir. 2001) (same). “This case-or-controversy requirement subsists through all stages of federal judicial proceedings, trial and appellate.” Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477 (1990). The parties must continue to have a “personal stake in the outcome” of the lawsuit. Id. at 478 (quoting Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 101 (1983)). In other words, a petitioner “must have suffered, or be threatened with, an actual injury traceable to the defendant and likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.” Lewis, 494 U.S. at 477.

         A case becomes moot “when the issues presented are no longer ‘live' or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome.” Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, 496 (1969). Thus, a case is moot when it no longer presents a live controversy with respect to which the court can give meaningful relief. Therefore, if events that occur after the filing of a lawsuit or an appeal deprive the court of the ability to give the moving party meaningful relief, then the case is moot and must be dismissed. In fact, dismissal is required because mootness is jurisdictional.

         Since a habeas petition challenges prison officials' or, more accurately in this case, immigration officials' authority to keep a prisoner in custody, the petitioner's release moots the petition. See generally Lane v. Williams, 455 U.S. 624, 632 (1982). Generally, where an alien is released from ICE custody pending removal from the United States, his petition for habeas relief is moot. See generally He v. Gonzales, No. Civ.A.05-1912, 2006 WL 1687796, *1 (W.D. La. 2006). See also Revan v. Mukasey, No. 08-20289-CIV, 2008 WL 3992291, *2 (S.D.Fla. 2008), citing, He v. Gonzales, supra; Ismaila v. Department of Homeland Sec., No. CA 09-0184, 2009 WL 1635781, *1 (S.D. Ala. 2009), citing, He v. Gonzales, supra.

         As to the instant proceeding, on March 25, 2019, Petitioner was released from ICE custody on parole pending the completion of his immigration proceedings. (DE#31-1:2). Petitioner was released without bond. (Id.). The venue of his immigration case was also transferred to the immigration court in Los Angeles, California. (Id. at 4).

         Accordingly, there is “nothing for us to remedy, even if we were disposed to do so.'” Soliman, supra, 296 F.3d at 1243, quoting Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 18 (1998). This action thus no longer presents a justiciable case or controversy within the meaning of Article III. This federal petition should, therefore, be DISMISSED as MOOT.

         III. Recommendation

         Based on the foregoing, it is recommended that the amended petition for writ of habeas corpus (DE#18) filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 be DISMISSED AS MOOT without prejudice to Petitioner's right to file a future petition if circumstances change and that Petitioner's pending motion for injunctive relief (DE#12) be DENIED as MOOT. Given the order of the ...

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