Tang v. Hassell et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. The Respondents' 9 Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED. A separate order will be entered. Signed by Judge Abdul K Kallon on 3/18/15. (YMB)
2015 Mar-18 AM 10:23
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-01057-AKK-JHE
SCOTT HASSELL, et al.,
On June 4, 2014, Petitioner David Tang (“Tang”) 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, Tang, a native
of China, was incarcerated at the Etowah County Detention Center, in the custody of the Bureau
of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). In his petition, Tang alleged that he was
being illegally detained by ICE pending his deportation to China. On January 28, 2015, Tang
was deported from the United States. (Doc. 9 & 9-1). Respondents have filed a motion to
dismiss the action as moot, since Tang is no longer in ICE custody. (Doc. 9). 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). Tang’s release from ICE
custody rendered his petition moot.
The relief sought by Tang in his petition is to be released from ICE custody. Because
Tang 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
Tang 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
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 Tang, 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 18th day of March, 2015.
ABDUL K. KALLON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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