Wang v. Hassell et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Abdul K Kallon on 11/2/2018. (AFS)
2018 Nov-02 AM 09:33
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
JIA FU WANG,
SCOTT HASSEL, ET AL.,
CIVIL ACTION NO.:
On October 26, 2017, Petitioner Jia Fu Wang 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, Wang, 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, Wang alleged that he was being illegally
detained by ICE pending his deportation to China. On March 26, 2018, Wang was
released from ICE custody to the New York Police Department due to an active
warrant. Docs. 9 and 9-1. Respondents have filed a motion to dismiss the action
as moot, since Wang is no longer in ICE custody. Doc. 9. 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).
Wang’s release from ICE custody
rendered his petition moot.
The relief sought by Wang in his petition is to be released from ICE custody.
Because Wang 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) events “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 Wang challenges. See Carafas,
391 U.S. at 237. The exception for events “capable of repetition, yet evading
review” does not apply here either. Wang has been released to the custody of the
New York Police Department due to an active warrant, 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 Wang, 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 the 2nd day of November, 2018.
ABDUL K. KALLON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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