Kimereng v. Hassell et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins on 5/10/2016. (JLC)
2016 May-10 AM 11:37
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
VINCENT NJILOL KIMERENG,
SCOTT HASSELL, et al.,
Case No.: 4:15-cv-02277-VEH-JHE
On December 17, 2015, Petitioner Vincent Njilol Kimereng (“Kimereng”)
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, Kimereng, a native of Kenya, was incarcerated at
the Etowah County Detention Center, in the custody of the Bureau of Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). In his petition, Kimereng alleged that he was
being illegally detained by ICE pending his deportation to Kenya. On March 29,
2016, Kimereng was deported from the United States.
(Doc. 7 & 7-1).
Respondents have filed a motion to dismiss the action as moot, since Kimereng is
no longer in ICE custody. (Doc. 7). 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). Kimereng’s release from ICE custody
rendered his petition moot.
The relief Kimereng seeks in his petition is to be released from ICE custody.
Because Kimereng 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 (1968);
Murphy v. Hunt, 455 U.S. 478, 482 (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 Kimereng challenges. See
Carafas, 391 U.S. at 237. 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 (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 Kimereng, his petition is due to be dismissed as moot.
Based on the foregoing, the Respondents’ motion to dismiss, (doc. 7), is
GRANTED. A separate order will be entered.
DONE this 10th day of May, 2016.
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS
United States District Judge
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