Bui v. Bradley et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge R David Proctor on 9/11/2017. (KAM)
2017 Sep-11 AM 11:02
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
NGUYEN TRAM BUI,
WARDEN BRADLY, et al.,
Case No.: 7:17-cv-1498-RDP-JHE
This case is before the court on Petitioner’s Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. # 1). Petitioner, who is confined at the federal prison in
Aliceville, Alabama, asserts that the unconstitutional placement of an immigration detainer
against her violates her protected liberty interests and entitles her to relief under § 2241. (Id. at
1). After careful review of Petitioner’s petition, the court concludes that it lacks subject matter
jurisdiction to entertain this petition.
Background and Claims in the Habeas Petition
In her habeas petition, Petitioner states that she pled guilty to conspiracy to manufacture
and distribute marijuana.1 (Id. at 1-2). Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) issued a
detainer against her. (See id. at 2). According to Petitioner, the detainer has prevented her from
participating in certain programs administered by the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”). (Id. at 3).
Petitioner claims that the detainer must be removed because the United States does not
have a “prisoner exchange treaty” with Vietnam. (Id. at 1). Moreover, she claims that the
Petitioner has not specified which federal district she was convicted in. The petition states, though, that
she is incarcerated at FCI Aliceville. (Doc. # 1 at 1). The Bureau of Prison’s inmate locator also states that
Petitioner is incarcerated at FCI Aliceville.
detainer violates the Supreme Court’s ruling in Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001). (Id. at
2). Finally, she asserts that she cannot participate in programs administered by the Bureau of
Prisons due to the detainer, such as the program authorized by 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e)(2)(B). (Id. at
As an initial matter, the court must determine whether it possesses subject matter
jurisdiction over this petition. The court is not required to direct Respondents to respond to the
petition if it is facially apparent that Petitioner is not entitled to relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 2243.
Indeed, because Petitioner is currently a prisoner and seeks relief from a governmental entity and
a government employee, the court must screen his petition and dismiss it if it fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
Under some circumstances, a petitioner may challenge a detainer issued by ICE under §
2241. Roberts v. INS, 372 F. App’x 921, 924 (11th Cir. 2010) (citing Orozco v. INS, 911 F.2d
539, 541 (11th Cir. 1990)). But, the mere filing of a detainer by ICE does not place an individual
under ICE’s custody for purposes of conferring subject matter jurisdiction under § 2241. Id. In
Roberts, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a federal prisoner’s § 2241 petition
challenging an immigration detainer where the petitioner did not allege that she had been taken
into ICE’s custody or that removal proceedings against her had commenced. Id. See also
Quintanilla v. U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, 551 F. App’x 497 (11th Cir. 2013)
(affirming the dismissal of a federal prisoner’s § 2241 petition that challenged an immigration
As in Roberts and Quintanilla, Petitioner is a federal prisoner challenging the
imposition of an immigration detainer. And, Petitioner has not alleged that she is in ICE’s
custody or that her removal proceedings have commenced. (See generally Doc. # 1). Therefore,
this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to review the immigration detainer under § 2241. 2 See
Roberts, 372 F. App’x at 924.
Petitioner alleges that the detainer has prevented her from participating in programs
administered by the BOP. (Doc. # 1 at 3). Her ineligibility for prison programs, though, does
not establish this court’s jurisdiction to review ICE’s immigration detainer against her. The
Eleventh Circuit has held that the § 3621(e)(2)(B) transitional program creates no
constitutionally protected liberty interest. Cook v. Wiley, 208 F.3d 1314, 1322-23 (11th Cir.
2000). Moreover, Petitioner has not contested the eligibility rules for transitional programs.
(See Doc. # 1 at 3). Rather, she contests the immigration detainer itself because she claims it
cannot be enforced due to the lack of a treaty between the United States and Vietnam that would
allow for her deportation. (Id.). This claim cannot be considered by the court under § 2241
because Petitioner is not in ICE’s custody and has not been subjected to removal proceedings.
Because a facial review of Petitioner’s habeas petition (Doc. # 1) reveals that the court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claims in it, this case is due to be dismissed without
prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. An Order consistent with this Memorandum
Opinion will be entered.
DONE and ORDERED this September 11, 2017.
R. DAVID PROCTOR
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Petitioner’s reliance on Zadvydas does not establish this court’s subject matter jurisdiction over her §
2241 petition. Zadvydas addressed whether the government may indefinitely detain an alien subject to a final order
of removal. See 533 U.S. at 682. Petitioner has not alleged that she currently is being detained pursuant to a final
order of removal. Therefore, Zadvydas is inapplicable here.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?