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Benitez v. Mendoza-Powers

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


April 14, 2010

VICTOR BENITEZ, PETITIONER,
v.
KATHY MENDOZA-POWERS, RESPONDENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lawrence J. O'Neill United States District Judge

ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AS MOOT

[Doc. 1]

Petitioner is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

Petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus on May 8, 2008, and challenges the Board of Parole Hearings' 2005 decision finding him unsuitable for release. (Court Doc. 1.) Respondent filed an answer to the petition on September 8, 2008, and Petitioner filed a traverse on October 8, 2008. (Court Doc. 10, 12.)

The Court takes judicial notice of the proceedings in a prior petition for writ of habeas corpus filed by Petitioner in this Court, case number 1:06-cv-00142-LJO SMS (HC) Benitez v. Rawers*fn1 There, Petitioner challenged a prior the Governor's 2003 decision,*fn2 and Respondent submitted evidence that subsequent to Petitioner's release on parole on April 9, 2009, Petitioner was removed from the United States by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. (1:06-cv-00142-LJO-SMS (HC), Court Document No. 36, Notice of Removal.) Therefore, the Petition for Writ of habeas Corpus in 1:06-cv-00142 LJO SMS HC was dismissed as moot on April 9, 2010. (Id. at Court Docs. 37-38.)

For the same reasons the instant Petition is also MOOT. The case or controversy requirement of Article III of the Federal Constitution deprives the Court of jurisdiction to hear moot cases. Iron Arrow Honor Soc'y v. Heckler, 464 U.S. 67, 70 104 S.Ct. 373, 374-75 (1983); NAACP., Western Region v. City of Richmond, 743 F.2d 1346, 1352 (9th Cir. 1984). A case becomes moot if the "the issues presented are no longer 'live' or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome." Murphy v. Hunt, 455 U.S. 478, 481, 102 S.Ct. 1181, 1183 (1984). The Federal Court is "without power to decide questions that cannot affect the rights of the litigants before them" North Carolina v. Rice, 404 U.S. 244, 246, 92 S.Ct. 402, 406 (1971) per curiam, quoting Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Hayworth, 300 U.S. 227, 240-241, 57 S.Ct. 461, 463-464 (1937). To satisfy the Article III case or controversy requirement, a litigant "must have suffered some actual injury that can be redressed by a favorable judicial decision." Iron Arrow, 464 U.S. at 70, 104 S.Ct. at 375; Simon v. Eastern Ky. Welfare Rights Org., 426 U.S. 26, 38, 96 S.Ct. 1617, 1924 (1976); NAACP, Western Region, 743 F.2d at 1353. Because Petitioner has been removed from the United States, the instant challenge to the Board's 2005 decision finding him unsuitable for release on parole is MOOT because he has been removed from the United States.*fn3

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is DISMISSED as MOOT; and

2. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate this action in its entirety.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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