United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AS
MOOT Re: Dkt. No. 1
NATHANAEL M. COUSINS United States Magistrate Judge
Korng See petitioned the Court for a writ of habeas corpus on
January 17, 2017, challenging his “indefinite
detention” in immigration custody. Dkt. No. 1. In a
Joint Status Report filed with the Court, the parties
reported See had been released from custody on March 16,
2017. Dkt. No. 21 at 3. The Court ordered the parties to file
briefing as to whether the case was moot after See's
release. The Court finds that under the current record, the
petition for the writ is MOOT, and that no exception to the
mootness doctrine applies. Thus, the Court DENIES See's
petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
III, Section 2, of the Constitution requires the existence of
a “case” or “controversy” through all
stages of federal judicial proceedings. This means that,
throughout the litigation, the plaintiff “must have
suffered, or be threatened with, an actual injury traceable
to the defendant and likely to be redressed by a favorable
judicial decision.” Lewis v. Continental Bank
Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477 (1990). A case becomes moot
“when the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in
the outcome.” Johnson v. Rancho Santiago Cmty.
Coll. Dist., 623 F.3d 1011, 1020 (9th Cir. 2010)
(quotation marks omitted). An exception to mootness is the
voluntary cessation doctrine, where the defendant voluntarily
ceases engaging in the challenged practice. Friends of
the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Envtl. Servs. (TOC), Inc.,
528 U.S. 167, 189 (2000) (citing City of Mesquite v.
Aladdin's Castle, Inc., 455 U.S. 199, 203 (1968)).
Yet for this exception to apply, the government's
“voluntary cessation ‘must have arisen because of
the litigation.'” Sze v. I.N.S., 153 F.3d
1005, 1008 (9th Cir. 1998) (quoting Public Utilities
Comm'n of State of Cal. v. F.E.R.C., 100 F.3d 1451,
1460 (9th Cir. 1996)).
“[f]or a habeas petition to continue to present a live
controversy after the petitioner's release or
deportation, . . . there must be some remaining
‘collateral consequence' that may be redressed by
success on the petition.” Abdala v. I.N.S.,
488 F.3d 1061, 1064 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing Spencer v.
Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7 (1998)). “By contrast, where
the grounds for habeas relief will not redress collateral
consequences, a habeas petition does not continue to present
a live controversy once the petitioner is released from
custody.” Id. As relevant here, the Ninth
Circuit has found that a petitioner's “release from
detention under an order of supervision ‘moot[ed] his
challenge to the legality of his extended
detention.'” Id. at 1064-65 (quoting
Riley v. INS, 310 F.3d 1253, 1256-57 (10th Cir.
2002) and citing Sayyah v. Farquharson, 382 F.3d 20,
22 n.1 (1st Cir. 2004)).
taken into ICE custody on June 2, 2016. Dkt. No. 1 at 4.
Beginning in September 2016, at each hearing, See
unsuccessfully moved to terminate the proceedings against him
because of the failure to locate a Lahu Yellow interpreter.
Id. at 5. On March 15, 2017, the immigration judge
again denied See's motion to terminate the proceedings
against him, but administratively closed See's case
because of the failure to find an interpreter. Dkt. No. 21 at
2. The next day, March 16, 2017, ICE voluntarily released See
from custody on supervision with conditions. Id. at
3, 4. The government continues to search for a Lahu Yellow
interpreter, and will not re-calendar See's removal
proceedings until such an interpreter is found. Id.
Court finds that under the record as developed thus far, the
petition for a writ does not present a case or controversy
now that See has been released from custody and his removal
proceeding is administratively closed. The immigration court
is still in the process of locating a Lahu Yellow
interpreter. Dkt. Nos. 23, 23-1. See was released under
supervision with specific conditions, and ICE has the
authority to re-detain him if he violates the conditions of
his release. See Dkt. No. 25-1. Upon his release
under supervision, his petition for a writ has been mooted.
Abdala, 488 F.3d at 1064. In addition, See was
released the day after the immigration court administratively
closed the removal proceedings, substantially lessening the
likelihood that See was released because of this
litigation rather than as a result of the immigration
court's decision. Sze, 153 F.3d at 1008.
petition for a writ of habeas corpus is therefore DENIED as
moot. The clerk will terminate the file. Should circumstances
change in the future, See may file a new petition.
 All parties consented to the
jurisdiction of a magistrate judge under 28 U.S.C. §
636(c). Dkt. ...