Denman v. Coosa County Jail (INMATE2)

Filing 10

RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that this 1 Inmate Complaint be dismissed as moot since a more favorable decision on the merits would not entitle plaintiff to any additional relief. The Clerk of court is directed to send a copy of the Recommendation to defendants Bradley, Roberson, Owens, and Libscomb.Objections to R&R due by 8/29/2005. Signed by Judge Charles S. Coody on 8/16/05. (sl, )

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Denman v. Coosa County Jail (INMATE2) Doc. 10 Case 2:05-cv-00684-MHT-CSC Document 10 Filed 08/16/2005 Page 1 of 4 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA NORTHERN DIVISION __________________________________ TANGELA DENMAN Plaintiff, v. COOSA COUNTY JAIL, et al., Defendants. * __________________________________ RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE Plaintiff, Tangela Denman, filed this 42 U.S.C. 1983 complaint on July 26, 2005 while incarcerated in the Coosa County Jail. She alleges a violation of her right to equal protection due to the Coosa County Jail and/or its employees' failure to permit female inmates to work as trustees in the jail. Plaintiff requests only injunctive relief. Since filing this action, Plaintiff has been released from custody. (See Doc. No. 9.) DISCUSSION Courts do not sit to render advisory opinions. North Carolina v. Rice, 404 U. S. 244, 246 (1971). An actual controversy must exist at all times when the case is pending. Steffel v. Thompson, 415 U. S. 452, 459 n.10 (1974). In a case such as this where the only relief requested is injunctive in nature, it is possible for events subsequent to the filing of the complaint to make the matter moot. National Black Police Assoc. v. District of Columbia, 108 F.3d 346, 350 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (change in statute); Williams v. Griffin, 952 F.2d 820, * * * CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:05-CV-684-T (WO) * Case 2:05-cv-00684-MHT-CSC Document 10 Filed 08/16/2005 Page 2 of 4 823 (4th Cir. 1991) (transfer of prisoner); Tawwab v. Metz 554 F.2d 22, 23 (2nd Cir. 1977) (change in policy). A claim becomes moot when the controversy between the parties is no longer alive because one party has no further concern in the outcome. Weinstein v. Bradford, 423 U.S. 147 (1975). Article III of the United States Constitution confers jurisdiction on the district courts to hear and determine "cases" or "controversies." Federal courts are not permitted to rule upon questions which are hypothetical in nature or which do not affect the rights of the parties in the case before the court. Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp., 494 US. 472, 477 (1990). Furthermore,"[t]his case-or-controversy requirement subsists through all stages of federal judicial proceedings, trial and appellate . . . [I]t is not enough that a dispute was very much alive when the suit was filed." Id. In Saladin v. Milledgeville, 812 F.2d 687, 693 (11th Cir. 1987), the court determined: A case is moot when the issues presented are no longer "live" or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome of the litigation, such as where there is no reasonable expectation that the violation will occur again or where interim relief or events have eradicated the effects of the alleged violation. (citations omitted). Plaintiff's ultimate objective in filing this action was to be granted the opportunity to become a trustee in the Coosa County Jail. Since she has been released from custody, her request for injunctive relief has been rendered moot. See County of Los Angeles v. Davis, 440 U.S. 625, 631 (1979); see also Cotterall v. Paul, 755 F.2d 777, 780 (11th Cir. 1985) (past exposure to even illegal conduct does not in and of itself show a pending case or controversy 2 Case 2:05-cv-00684-MHT-CSC Document 10 Filed 08/16/2005 Page 3 of 4 regarding injunctive relief if unaccompanied by any continuing present injury or real and immediate threat of repeated injury). CONCLUSION Accordingly, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge that this 42 U.S.C. 1983 complaint be DISMISSED as moot since a more favorable decision on the merits would not entitle Plaintiff to any additional relief. The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to SEND a copy of this Recommendation to Defendants Bradley, Roberson, Owens, and Libscomb. It is further ORDERED that the parties are DIRECTED to file any objections to the said Recommendation on or before August 29, 2005. Any objections filed must specifically identify the findings in the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation objected to. Frivolous, conclusive or general objections will not be considered by the District Court. The parties are advised that this Recommendation is not a final order of the court and, therefore, it is not appealable. Failure to file written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations in the Magistrate Judge's report shall bar the party from a de novo determination by the District Court of issues covered in the report and shall bar the party from attacking on appeal factual findings in the report accepted or adopted by the District Court except upon grounds of plain error or manifest injustice. Nettles v. Wainwright, 677 F.2d 404 (5th Cir. 1982). See Stein v. Reynolds Securities, Inc., 667 F.2d 33 (11th Cir. 1982). See also Bonner v. City of 3 Case 2:05-cv-00684-MHT-CSC Document 10 Filed 08/16/2005 Page 4 of 4 Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206 (11th Cir. 1981, en banc), adopting as binding precedent all of the decisions of the former Fifth Circuit handed down prior to the close of business on September 30, 1981. Done this 16th day of August, 2005. /s/Charles S. Coody CHARLES S. COODY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 4

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