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Linthecome v. Holland

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 18, 2015

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

ORDER DISMISSING PETITION

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). (ECF No. 5).

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 that was the result of a Rules Violation Report ("RVR") which was issued on November 3, 2014.

When the Court mailed Petitioner a second order for consent or request for reassignment, it was returned as undeliverable, paroled. On March 6, 2015, Petitioner submitted a notice of change of address that stated that he had been released and listed his new address. (ECF No. 6). On March 19, 2015, the Court issued an order for Petitioner to show cause why the petition should not be dismissed for mootness and for failure to exhaust state remedies. (ECF No. 7). Petitioner did not submit a response to the order to show cause.

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); Wilson v. Terhune, 319 F.3d 477, 479 (9th Cir. 2003). 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. 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 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).

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).

Here, 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 ...


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