Issa v. Holder et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins on 8/14/2014. (JLC)
2014 Aug-14 PM 12:31
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
ERIC HOLDER, et al.,
Case No. 4:14-cv-00735-VEH-JHE
On April 22, 2014, Petitioner Gakou Issa (“Issa”) filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1). At the time he filed his petition, Issa, a native of
Senegal, was incarcerated at the Etowah County Detention Center, in the custody of the Bureau
of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). In his petition, Issa alleged that he was
being illegally detained by ICE pending his deportation to Senegal. On August 6, 2014, Issa was
released from ICE custody pursuant to an Order of Supervision. (Doc. 9, 9-1). Respondents
have filed a motion to dismiss the action as moot, since Issa is no longer in ICE custody. (Doc.
For the reasons stated below, Respondents’ motion will be granted and the action be
dismissed as moot.
Article III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of federal courts to the consideration
of “cases or controversies.” U.S. CONST. art. III, § 2. The doctrine of mootness is derived from
this limitation because “an action that is moot cannot be characterized as an active case or
controversy.” Adler v. Duval Cnty. Sch. Bd., 112 F.3d 1475, 1477 (11th Cir. 1997). A case is
moot and must be dismissed if the court can no longer provide “meaningful relief.” Nyaga v.
Ashcroft, 323 F.3d 906, 913 (11th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted).
Issa’s release from ICE
custody rendered his petition moot.
The relief sought by Issa in his petition is to be released from ICE custody. (Doc. 1 at 7).
Because Issa is no longer in ICE custody, his petition has been rendered moot, unless an
exception to the mootness doctrine applies. There are two exceptions to the mootness doctrine:
(1) collateral consequences and (2) “capable of repetition yet evading review.”
LaVallee, 391 U.S. 234, 237, 88 S. Ct. 1556, 1559 (1968); Murphy v. Hunt, 455 U.S. 478, 482,
102 S. Ct. 1181, 1183-84 (1982). Neither exception applies here. The collateral consequences
exception does not apply because there are no “disabilities or burdens which may flow” from the
custody that Issa challenges. See Carafas, 391 U.S. at 237, 88 S. Ct. at 1559. The exception for
events “capable of repetition, yet evading review” does not apply here either. Petitioner has
been released from custody, and the potential circumstances of this case happening again are too
speculative to create an actual controversy sufficient to support a claim for relief. See Weinstein
v. Bradford, 423 U.S. 147, 149, 96 S. Ct. 347, 348-49 (1975) (holding that the “capable of
repetition, yet evading review” exception applies when (1) the challenged action is too short in
duration to be fully litigated prior to its cessation or expiration, and (2) there is a reasonable
expectation that the same complaining party would be subjected to the same action again).
Because there is no longer any relief that can be granted to Issa, his petition is due to be
dismissed as moot.
Based on the foregoing, the Respondents’ motion to dismiss, (doc. 9), is GRANTED. A
separate order will be entered.
DONE this 14th day of August, 2014.
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS
United States District Judge
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