UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WESTERN DIVISION
October 2, 2012
EMANUEL TIMOTHY VAUGHN, PETITIONER,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. Kronstadt United States District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DISMISSING PETITION AS MOOT
On September 7, 2012, petitioner, who was released on bond pending trial, filed this habeas petition challenging the indictment filed against him in case number 11-CR-859(A) GAF. As relief, petitioner seeks dismissal of the charges in the indictment and release from custody. [Petition at 19].*fn1
Petitioner's trial began on July 31, 2012, and on August 2, 2012, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. [11-CR-859(A)GAF Docket Nos. ("DN") 210, 220].*fn2 On the same date, judgment was entered discharging petitioner on all counts of the indictment and petitioner's bond was exonerated. [DN 235 & DN 237].
Federal court jurisdiction is limited to adjudication of actual cases and live controversies. Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477 (1990); see Cox v. McCarthy, 829 F.2d 800, 803 (9th Cir. 1987). Federal courts lack jurisdiction over moot questions. North Carolina v. Rice, 404 U.S. 244, 246 (1971)(per curiam). When a federal court lacks the power to grant the relief requested, the case is moot. Picrin-Peron v. Rison, 930 F.2d 773, 775 (9th Cir. 1991).
A petition for habeas corpus becomes moot when a prisoner who requests release from custody is released before the court has addressed the merits of the petition. Lane v. Williams, 455 U.S. 624, 631 (1982); see Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7 (1998) ("Once a 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.").
As set forth above, petitioner seeks release from custody and dismissal of the charges against him. Because petitioner already has been discharged from custody on all counts of the indictment, there is no additional relief that this Court could grant him. Consequently, he no longer has any legally cognizable interest in the resolution of this petition, and the petition is dismissed as moot.
It is so ordered.