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Somers v. Schwartz

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


August 26, 2010

KEITH A. SOMERS, PETITIONER,
v.
TERESA SCHWARTZ, RESPONDENT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: James K. Singleton, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER

Petitioner Keith A. Somers, a state prisoner represented by counsel, appealed the judgment of this Court denying his Petition for Habeas Corpus Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the judgment of this Court, and remanded for reconsideration in light of the decision in Hayward v. Marshall, 603 F.3d 546 (9th Cir. 2010) (en banc).*fn1 At Docket No. 45 this Court ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs addressing Hayward. At Docket No. 47 Somers filed a Status Report indicating that the Board of Parole Hearings ("Board") granted Somers parole calculating his term at 330 months, less good time credit of 60 months. The Governor left the grant of parole undisturbed. Somers did, however, challenge the Board's calculation in the state courts. Upon remand from the Los Angeles Superior Court, the Board recalculated Somers's term, setting Somers's release date as February 23, 2011. Somers has not indicated any disagreement with the recalculated release date.

In a subsequent separate proceeding before this Court, Somers challenged a later denial of parole by the Board in Somers v. Schwartz ("Somers II").*fn2 On April 8, 2010, this Court, upon the motion of Respondent, dismissed Somers II as moot.*fn3 The basis for the dismissal was that the Board had granted Somers parole, the Governor had declined to review the grant, and the sole remaining issue was whether the Board had incorrectly calculated Somers's release date. In dismissing Somers II, this Court determined that, given the sole remaining issue, it could not grant any further effective relief. Somers did not appeal that order and it is now final.

Federal courts lack jurisdiction to consider moot claims.*fn4 "If there is no longer a possibility that [a party] can obtain relief for his claim, that claim is moot and must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction."*fn5 "The basic question in determining mootness is whether there is a present controversy as to which effective relief can be granted."*fn6

This Court may appropriately dismiss the Petition in this case as moot sua sponte on two bases: (1) the dismissal of Somers II, which involved the same parties, is res judicata on the issue of whether this Court can grant any further effective relief; and (2) in any event, as stated in Somers's Status Report, the sole remaining controversy between the parties has been resolved.*fn7

There being no basis upon which this Court can grant effective relief, the matter is moot.*fn8

Accordingly,

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT the Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus is DISMISSED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT the Court declines to issue a Certificate of Appealability.*fn9 Any further request for a Certificate of Appealability must be addressed to the Court of Appeals.*fn10

The Clerk of the Court is to enter final judgment accordingly.


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