United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
AARON KEY, OTTONE GURALY, DIANA ZACHER, NIKOLETT GURALY, ANGELA GURALY, and OTTO GURALY, Plaintiffs,
KEVIN MCALEENAN, Acting Secretary, Department of Homeland Security; L. FRANCIS CISSNA, Director, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
BARBER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion to
dismiss the complaint as moot. (Doc. #12). Plaintiffs filed a
response in opposition on October 8, 2019. (Doc. #18). After
reviewing the motion, response, court file, and record, the
Court grants Defendants' motion.
Guraly is a citizen of Hungary. Upon her arrival in the
United States, she married Aaron Key, a U.S. citizen.
Subsequently, Key filed immigration visa petitions on behalf
of Guraly and her four minor children (hereafter
“Plaintiffs”). Plaintiffs were granted
conditional permanent status in 2014. In 2016, Plaintiffs
filed a Form I-751 seeking to remove the conditions placed on
their resident status. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services approved their Form I-751 petition on April 5, 2018,
and issued separate Notices of Action to Plaintiffs. However,
Plaintiffs did not receive their Alien Registration Cards
(“ARCs”) to replace their expired “Green
Cards” that were initially issued to them upon their
admission to the United States as conditional residents.
Rather, on April 18, 2019, Citizenship and Immigration
Services informed Plaintiffs it was reopening their Form
I-751 petitions and issued a decision terminating
Plaintiffs' conditional resident status.
3, 2019, Plaintiffs filed this action requesting that the
Court either (1) issue a writ of mandamus compelling
Defendants to issue Plaintiffs their ARCs, or, in the
alternative, (2) require the agency to place Plaintiffs in
removal proceedings. Defendants moved to dismiss
Plaintiffs' complaint because Plaintiffs' placement
in removal proceedings constitutes receipt of their remedy
and leaves the Court without an actual case and controversy
to adjudicate. Plaintiffs' response in opposition alleges
that Plaintiffs' placement in removal proceedings does
not mean there is no case and controversy.
Constitution of the United States limits the jurisdiction of
federal courts to actual cases and controversies.
See U.S. Const., art. III, § 2, cl. 1;
Florida Ass'n of Rehab. Facilities, Inc. v. Florida
Dep't of Health and Rehab. Servs., 225 F.3d 1208,
1217 (11th Cir. 2000) (“[a]ny decision on the merits of
a moot case or issue would be an impermissible advisory
opinion”). A case is “moot” where a change
in circumstances results in the litigation no longer
presenting a live controversy, thus making it impossible for
the Court to fashion meaningful relief. See Bennett v.
Jefferson Cty., Ala., 899 F.3d 1240, 1245 (11th Cir.
2018) (citing Arizonans for Official English v.
Arizona, 520 U.S. 43, 68 n.22 (1997)); Al Najjar v.
Ashcroft, 273 F.3d 1330, 1336 (11th Cir. 2001).
review, the Court finds it does not have subject matter
jurisdiction in this case. A writ of mandamus is only an
appropriate means of relief where (1) the plaintiff has a
clear right to the relief requested; (2) the defendant has a
clear duty to act; and (3) no other adequate remedy is
available. Gupta v. U.S. Atty. Gen., 439 F.
App'x. 858, 860-61 (11th Cir. 2011) (quoting Cash v.
Barnhart, 327 F.3d 1252, 1258 (11th Cir. 2003)). Here,
Plaintiffs have access to remaining alternate remedies to
adjust their status in removal proceedings; they must exhaust
all such remedies before bringing a claim in federal court.
See Id. at 860-61.
now that Plaintiffs are in removal proceedings, Defendants by
law cannot provide the requested relief because the United
States Immigration Court “has exclusive jurisdiction to
adjudicate any application for adjustment of status the alien
may file.” See 8 C.F.R. § 1245.2(a)(1).
As a result, even if the Court theoretically were to issue
the writ of mandamus that Plaintiffs request, Defendants
could not comply with the Court's Order. Id. at
860 (citing Nyaga v. Ashcroft, 323 F.3d 906, 916
(11th Cir. 2003) (ruling that, if an agency cannot provide
the requested relief, the court should dismiss the mandamus
action as moot)). Consequently, there is no meaningful relief
that the Court can provide, and the case must be dismissed as
hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED,
(1) The Defendants' Motion to Dismiss is
GRANTED. This case is
(2) The Clerk is directed to terminate all pending motions
and close this case.