(HC) Rodriguez-Cardona v. FCI Mendota Warden

Filing 14

FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS to dismiss Petition as moot and deny Respondent's Motion to Dismiss as moot 10 ; ORDER directing Clerk of Court to assign District Judge signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 2/6/2024. Referred to Judge No District Judge; Objections to F&R due within 14-Days. (Lundstrom, T)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ-CARDONA, 11 Case No. 1:23-cv-00953-EPG-HC Petitioner, 12 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AS MOOT AND DENY RESPONDENT’S MOTION TO DISMISS AS MOOT v. 13 FCI MENDOTA WARDEN, 14 Respondent. 15 (ECF No. 10) ORDER DIRECTING CLERK OF COURT TO ASSIGN DISTRICT JUDGE 16 17 Petitioner Francisco Rodriguez-Cardona is proceeding pro se with a petition for writ of 18 19 habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. For the reasons stated herein, the undersigned 20 recommends that the petition be dismissed as moot and Respondent’s motion to dismiss be 21 denied as moot. 22 I. 23 BACKGROUND On January 16, 2020, Petitioner pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the 24 25 Northern District of Oklahoma to unlawful possession of heroin with intent to distribute and 1 26 unlawful reentry after prior removal. (ECF No. 10 at 2. ) In the petition, Petitioner challenges a 27 Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (“BOP”) policy of refusing to allow prisoners with immigration 28 1 Page numbers refer to the ECF page numbers stamped at the top of the page. 1 1 detainers to apply earned time credits (“FTCs” or “ETCs”) under the First Step Act (“FSA”). 2 (ECF No. 1.) Petitioner contends that “the BOP refuses to enable him to apply his ETC’s because 3 he has an immigration detainer file[d] on or about May 30, 2023.” (Id. at 6.) On October 4, 2023, Respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition, arguing, inter 4 5 alia, that “Petitioner’s FSA ETC claim must be jurisdictionally dismissed for lack of 6 constitutional standing and failure to state a claim under law” because “BOP, Department of 7 Homeland Security, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records indicate 8 Petitioner has a ‘final order of removal’.” (ECF No. 10 at 2.) Although Respondent provided a 9 declaration from a Correctional Programs Administrator for the Western Region of the BOP that 10 he has “reviewed and can verify the existence of the Final Order of Removal, dated December 7, 11 2017, that BOP obtained through the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and 12 Customs Enforcement,” (ECF No. 10-1 at 8), the Court was not provided with a copy of the final 13 order of removal itself. On December 21, 2023, the Court ordered Respondent to file a copy of the final order of 14 15 removal and a supplemental brief. (ECF No. 11.)2 On January 19, 2024, Respondent filed a 16 supplement. (ECF No. 12.) Therein, Respondent informs the Court that “after interagency cross17 checks, Respondent determined that on December 15, 2023, Petitioner was released from BOP 18 custody to ICE custody and subsequently removed from the United States to Mexico on 19 December 16, 2023.” (Id. at 2 (footnote omitted).) 20 II. 21 DISCUSSION The Court has “an independent duty to consider sua sponte whether a case is moot.” 22 23 Demery v. Arpaio, 378 F.3d 1020, 1025 (9th Cir. 2004) (citing Dittman v. California, 191 F.3d 24 1020, 1025 (9th Cir. 1999)). The jurisdiction of federal courts is limited to “actual, ongoing cases 25 or controversies.” Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477 (1990). “This case-or26 controversy requirement subsists through all stages of federal judicial proceedings,” which 27 2 This order was mailed to Petitioner. However, on January 17, 2024, the order was returned as undeliverable with a 28 notation that Petitioner was no longer at the address. 2 1 “means that, throughout the litigation, the plaintiff ‘must have suffered, or be threatened with, an 2 actual injury traceable to the defendant and likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial 3 decision.’” Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7 (1998) (quoting Lewis, 494 U.S. at 477). “When 4 subsequent events resolve the dispute, such that no live issues remain or the parties lack a legally 5 cognizable interest in the outcome, a case becomes moot.” Cuviello v. City of Vallejo, 944 F.3d 6 816, 824 (9th Cir. 2019) (citation omitted). “A case that becomes moot at any point during the 7 proceedings is ‘no longer a ‘Case’ or ‘Controversy’ for purposes of Article III,’ and is outside 8 the jurisdiction of the federal courts.” United States v. Sanchez-Gomez, 138 S. Ct. 1532, 1537 9 (2018) (citation omitted). 10 Here, Petitioner asserts that BOP policy is preventing Petitioner from applying his FSA 11 earned time credits toward time in prerelease custody or supervised release. However, Petitioner 12 has been removed from the United States to Mexico. Given that Petitioner is no longer in BOP 13 custody or otherwise in prerelease custody or under supervised release, Petitioner is no longer 14 suffering from an actual injury traceable to Respondent and likely to be redressed by a favorable 15 judicial decision. Accordingly, the Court finds that there is no longer a case or controversy for 16 purposes of Article III and the petition should be dismissed as moot. In light of this 17 determination, the Court will not address the grounds for dismissal set forth in the motion to 18 dismiss and will recommend that Respondent’s motion to dismiss be denied as moot. 19 III. 20 RECOMMENDATION & ORDER 21 Based on the foregoing, the undersigned HEREBY RECOMMENDS that: 22 1. The petition for writ of habeas corpus be DISMISSED as MOOT; and 23 2. Respondent’s motion to dismiss (ECF No. 10) be DENIED as MOOT. 24 Further, the Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to randomly assign a District Court Judge to 25 the present matter. 26 This Findings and Recommendation is submitted to the assigned United States District 27 Court Judge, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(B) and Rule 304 of the Local 28 Rules of Practice for the United States District Court, Eastern District of California. Within 3 1 fourteen (14) days after service of the Findings and Recommendation, any party may file 2 written objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be 3 captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendation.” Replies to the 4 objections shall be served and filed within fourteen (14) days after service of the objections. The 5 assigned United States District Court Judge will then review the Magistrate Judge’s ruling 6 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The parties are advised that failure to file objections within 7 the specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court’s order. Wilkerson v. 8 Wheeler, 772 F.3d 834, 839 (9th Cir. 2014) (citing Baxter v. Sullivan, 923 F.2d 1391, 1394 (9th 9 Cir. 1991)). 10 11 12 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: February 6, 2024 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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