United States District Court, C.D. California
PRESENT: HONORABLE SUZANNE H. SEGAL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
ENTRY: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE SHOULD
NOT RECOMMEND THAT THIS ACTION BE DISMISSED AS MOOT
April 6, 2017, Petitioner, a federal detainee represented by
counsel, filed a habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2241. (Dkt. No. 1). Petitioner alleged that his continued
detention by the United States Immigration and Customs
Enforcement Agency (“ICE”) violated his rights
under Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001),
because he had been in detention for over eight months after
his final removal order had issued and the Government could
not prove that there was a significant likelihood of his
removal to India in the reasonably foreseeable future.
(Petition at 3-4). However, on June 14, 2017, Respondents
filed a Notice that Petitioner Has Been Removed from the
United States and Suggestion of Mootness. (“Notice,
” Dkt. No. 8). The Notice included evidence that
Petitioner had been removed to New Delhi on June 8, 2017.
(Id., Exh. 1, at 4).
III, Section 2 of the United States Constitution establishes
the scope of federal court jurisdiction, which includes
“all Cases . . . arising under this Constitution . . .
[and] Controversies to which the United States shall be a
Party.” The Article III case or controversy requirement
prevents federal courts from deciding “questions that
cannot affect the rights of litigants in the case before
them.” Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp., 494
U.S. 472, 477 (1990) (internal quotation marks omitted).
Where a federal court cannot redress the plaintiff's
injury with a favorable decision, the case is considered moot
and must be dismissed. See, e.g., Spencer v.
Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7 (1998) (“[T]hroughout 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.” (internal quotation marks omitted)). Thus, a
habeas petition is moot where the petitioner “seeks
relief [that] cannot be redressed by a favorable decision of
the court issuing a writ of habeas corpus.” Burnett
v. Lampert, 432 F.3d 996, 1000-01 (9th Cir. 2005)
(internal quotation marks and ellipses omitted).
“Mootness is jurisdictional.” Id. at
alien's removal from the United States does not
necessarily moot a pending habeas petition. “[W]here an
alien habeas petitioner is deported after he files
his petition, the fact of his deportation does not render the
habeas petition moot where there are collateral consequences
arising from the deportation that create concrete legal
disadvantages.” Zegarra-Gomez v. I.N.S., 314
F.3d 1124, 1125 (9th Cir. 2003) (emphasis in original);
see also Handa v. Clark, 401 F.3d 1129, 1132 (9th
Cir. 2005) (same). However, for there to be a continuing case
or controversy that survives removal, the collateral
consequences of removal must be capable of being redressed by
success on the petition as presented to the court. Abdala
v. I.N.S., 488 F.3d 1061, 1064 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing
Spencer, 523 U.S. at 7). “[W]here 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.” Abdala, 488 F.3d at 1064.
Ninth Circuit has specifically held that where an alien's
habeas petition challenges only indefinite detention, the
alien's removal from the United States fully resolves the
pending claim and there is no longer any relief the court may
provide. (Id. at 1064-65). The Court explained:
Abdala's deportation does not give rise to collateral
consequences that are redressable by success on his original
petition. That petition, filed September 11, 2000, challenged
only the length of his detention at the INS facility. Abdala
was subsequently deported six weeks later, thereby curing his
complaints about the length of his INS detention. Abdala
asserts no collateral consequences of deportation that his
original petition could have redressed. As of the date of his
deportation, there was no extant controversy for the district
court to act upon and Abdala's petition was moot.
Id. at 1065; see also Hose v. I.N.S., 180
F.3d 992, 995 (9th Cir. 1999) (en banc) (alien's request
for stay of deportation mooted by the petitioner's
removal from the United States); Picrin-Peron v.
Rison, 930 F.2d 773, 775-76 (9th Cir. 1991) (alien's
release on immigration parole in the United States rendered
habeas petition moot where the only relief requested was
release from custody).
mootness doctrine is subject to an exception where the
wrongful conduct alleged is “capable of repetition yet
evading review.” Spencer, 523 U.S. at 17.
“[A]n action is capable of repetition yet evading
review when ‘(1) the challenged action [is] in its
duration too short to be fully litigated prior to cessation
or expiration, and (2) there [is] a reasonable expectation
that the same complaining party [will] be subject to the same
action again.'” Carty v. Nelson, 426 F.3d
1064, 1072 (9th Cir. 2005) (quoting Hubbart v.
Knapp, 379 F.3d 773, 777 (9th Cir. 2004) (brackets in
Petitioner challenged only the Government's ability to
detain him for more than six months after his final removal
order issued. Accordingly, in light of Petitioner's
removal, it does not appear that there is any relief the
Court can provide. Additionally, although ICE could,
theoretically, detain Petitioner at some indefinite point in
the future if he were ever to re-enter the United States,
whether and when Petitioner will actually ever attempt to
return to this country is entirely speculative. Further, even
if Petitioner did re-enter the United States and was detained
again by ICE, the Court cannot determine at this time whether
any future detention would violate Petitioner's
constitutional rights, as that determination would require an
individualized, fact-specific inquiry into the circumstances
of that particular detention. Accordingly, the “capable
of repetition yet evading review” exception does not
appear to apply.
Petitioner is ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE, within seven (7) days of
the date of this Order, why this action should not be
dismissed without prejudice as moot. Petitioner may satisfy
this Order by filing a response setting forth any reason the
instant Petition is not barred as moot.
of filing a response to the instant Order, Petitioner may
request a voluntary dismissal of this action pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a). A Notice of
Dismissal form is attached for Petitioner's
convenience. However, Petitioner is advised that any
dismissed claims may later be subject to the statute of
limitations under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), as amended by
AEDPA, which provides that “[a] 1-year period of
limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas
corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a
State court.” Petitioner is expressly warned that
failure to timely file a response to this Order may result in
a recommendation that this action be dismissed with prejudice
for failure to comply with Court orders and failure to
prosecute. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b).
Clerk of the Court is directed to serve a copy of this Order
upon counsel for ...