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Linthecome v. Holland

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 19, 2015

MARCUS LEON LINTHECOME, Petitioner,
v.
KIM HOLLAND, Warden, et. al., Respondents.

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL (ECF No. 1)

GARY S. AUSTIN, Magistrate Judge.

Petitioner is a former state prisoner proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner has consented to the jurisdiction of the Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

I.

BACKGROUND

Petitioner was formerly an inmate at the California Correctional Institution located in Tehachapi, California, pursuant to a judgment of the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

On January 5, 2015, Petitioner filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus in this Court. Petitioner challenges a disciplinary proceeding on November 21, 2014, that was the result of a Rules Violation Report (RVR) which was issued on November 3, 2014. Petitioner argues that he was given a false RVR, he was not afforded a fair and impartial hearing, he was not allowed to defend himself, he was not allowed to present evidence, he was not allowed to present witnesses, and he was not allowed to confront his accusers.

II.

DISCUSSION

Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases requires the Court to make a preliminary review of each petition for writ of habeas corpus. The Court must dismiss a petition "[i]f it plainly appears from the face of the petition... that the petition is not entitled to relief." Rule 4 of the Rules Governing 2254 Cases. The Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 8 indicate that the Court may dismiss a petition for writ of habeas corpus, either on its own motion under Rule 4, pursuant to the respondent's motion to dismiss, or after an answer to the petition has been filed.

A. Mootness

The case or controversy requirement of Article III of the Federal Constitution deprives the Court of jurisdiction to hear moot cases. See Iron Arrow Honor Soc'y v. Heckler, 464 U.S. 67, 70, 104 S.Ct. 373, 374-75 (1983) (per curiam). Article III requires a case or controversy in which a litigant has a personal stake in the outcome of the suit throughout all stages of federal judicial proceedings and has suffered some actual injury that can be redressed by a favourable judicial decision. Id. A case becomes moot if "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 (1982) (per curiam) (internal citations omitted). Federal courts are "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, 404 (1971) (per curiam).

A petition for writ of habeas corpus becomes moot when it no longer presents a case or controversy under Article III, 2 of the Constitution. See Wilson v. Terhune, 319 F.3d 477, 479 (9th Cir. 2003). A petition for writ of habeas corpus is moot where a petitioner's claim for relief cannot be redressed by a favourable decision of the court issuing a writ of habeas corpus. Burnett v. Lampert, 432 F.3d 996, 1000-01 (9th Cir. 2005) (quoting Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7, 118 S.Ct. 978, 140 L.Ed.2d 43 (1998)). Mootness is jurisdictional. See Cole v. Oroville Union High School District, 228 F.3d 1092, 1098-99 (9th Cir. 2000). Thus, a moot petition must be dismissed because nothing remains before the Court to be remedied. When, because of intervening events, a court cannot give any effectual relief in favor of the petitioner, the proceeding should be dismissed as moot. See Calderon v. Moore, 518 U.S. 149, 150, 116 S.Ct. 2066, 135 L.Ed.2d 453 (1996).

Upon a review of the docket, it appears that the claims initially alleged by Petitioner are no longer in controversy. Petitioner has been released from custody. When the Court mailed a second order for consent or request for reassignment to Petitioner on February 23, 2015, the mail was returned as undeliverable, paroled. On March 6, 2015, Petitioner submitted a notice of change of address for after his release from prison. (ECF No. 6). Although a habeas claim for credit on a sentence may be mooted by the petitioner's release, it is also possible that the claim remains viable. For example, a habeas "challenge to a term of imprisonment is not mooted by a petitioner's release where the petitioner remains on supervised release and there is a possibility that the petitioner could receive a reduction in his term of supervised release." See Reynolds v. Thomas, 603 F.3d 1144, 1148 (9th Cir. 2010) (internal citations omitted).

It appears that the only relief that Petitioner seeks is invalidation of the findings and associated sanctions as a result of his November 21, 2014, disciplinary hearing. Petitioner has not described any collateral consequences that may exist from his former custody that are relevant to whether the instant petition is moot. Therefore, Petitioner must inform the Court whether there are any ...


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