Eric v. Kelly et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION Signed by Chief Judge Karon O Bowdre on 6/23/17. (SAC )
2017 Jun-23 PM 02:05
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
JOHN E. KELLY, et al.,
Case No.: 4:17-cv-00878-KOB-JHE
On May 30, 2017, Petitioner Boateng Eric 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, the petitioner, a native
of Ghana, was incarcerated at the Etowah County Detention Center, in the custody of the Bureau
of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). In his petition, the plaintiff alleged that he
was being illegally detained by ICE pending his deportation to Ghana. On June 13, 2017, the
petitioner was released from ICE and removed to Ghana. (Doc. 7, 7-1). Respondents have filed a
motion to dismiss the action as moot, because the petitioner 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). The petitioner release from ICE
custody rendered his petition moot.
The relief sought by the petitioner in his petition is to be released from ICE custody.
Because the petitioner 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 the petitioner 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 the
petitioner, 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 and ORDERED this 23rd day of June, 2017.
KARON OWEN BOWDRE
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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