Raza v. Hassell et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge James H Hancock on 12/3/2014. (JLC)
2014 Dec-03 AM 08:48
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
) Case No. 4:14-cv-00843-JHH-JHE
SCOTT HASSELL, et al.,
On May 6, 2014, Petitioner Asif Raza (“Raza”) 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, Raza, a native of Pakistan, was incarcerated at the Etowah County
Detention Center, in the custody of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (“ICE”). In his petition, Raza alleged that he was being illegally
detained by ICE pending his deportation to Pakistan. On October 7, 2014, Raza
was removed from the United States. (Docs. 7-1). Respondents have filed a
motion to dismiss the action as moot, since Raza is no longer in ICE custody.
(Doc. 7). For the reasons stated below, Respondents’ motion will be GRANTED
and the action 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).
Raza’s release from ICE custody
rendered his petition moot.
The relief sought by Raza in his petition is to be released from ICE custody.
Because Raza 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.” Carafas v. 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 Raza 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. Raza has been released from custody and removed from the
United States, 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 Raza, his petition is due to be dismissed
Based on the foregoing, the Respondents’ motion to dismiss, (doc. 7), is
GRANTED. A separate order will be entered.
DONE this the 3rd
day of December, 2014.
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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