Mahamud v. Hassell et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING 13 MOTION to Dismiss as Moot. Signed by Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins on 7/25/2017. (JLC)
2017 Jul-25 PM 04:01
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
ABDULAHI MUHUMED MAHAMUD,
SCOTT HASSELL, et al.,
Case Number: 4:16-cv-02067-VEH-JHE
On December 22, 2016, Petitioner Abdulahi Muhumed Mahamud (“Muhumed
Mahamud”) 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, Muhumed Mahamud, a native of Ethiopia,1 was incarcerated at
the Etowah County Detention Center, in the custody of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (“ICE”). In his petition, Muhumed Mahamud alleged that he was being illegally
detained by ICE pending his deportation to Jamaica. On May 22, 2017, Muhumed Mahamud
was released on an order of supervision. (Doc. 13-1 at 2). Respondents have filed a motion to
dismiss the action as moot, since Muhumed Mahamud is no longer in ICE custody. (Doc. 13).
For the reasons stated below, Respondents’ motion will be granted and the action be dismissed
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
Muhumed Mahamud’s country of citizenship is somewhat unclear. Respondents assert
Muhumed Mahamud has provided conflicting accounts of his citizenship, claiming at first to be
a citizen and national of Somalia until February 2017, after which he stated he is a citizen of
Ethiopia. (Doc. 9 at 3-4). Muhumed Mahamud asserts in his traverse he was born in a Somali
regional state in Ethiopia and has never been a citizen or national of Somalia. (Doc. 11 at 7-8).
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). Muhumed Mahamud’s release
from ICE custody rendered his petition moot.
The relief sought by Muhumed Mahamud in his petition is to be released from ICE
custody. Because Muhumed Mahamud 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 Muhumed
Mahamud challenges. See Carafas, 391 U.S. at 237. The exception for events “capable of
repetition, yet evading review” does not apply here either. Muhumed Mahamud has been
deported and is no longer in 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 Muhumed Mahamud, his petition is due to be dismissed
Based on the foregoing, the Respondents’ motion to dismiss, (doc. 13), is GRANTED.
A separate order will be entered.
DONE and ORDERED this 25th day of July, 2017.
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS
United States District Judge
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