Diaz v. Almeida et al
ORDER dismissing this action without prejudice, and withdrawing 3 Order, by Judge Christine M. Arguello on 2/25/14. (dkals, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Christine M. Arguello
Civil Action No. 14-cv-00197-CMA-CBS
TOMAS CUENCA DIAZ,
CORINA E. ALMEIDA,
JOHN LONGSHORE, and
ERICK HOLDER, JR.,
ORDER DENYING APPLICATION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
This matter is before the Court on a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. # 1), filed by Petitioner Tomas Cuenca Diaz
(“Petitioner”). Petitioner is a non-citizen 1 who has been detained as he challenges
his removal from the United States. Petitioner is proceeding pro se, and thus the
Court liberally construes his pleadings. See Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th
Cir.1991). So construed, this Court interprets Petitioner to advance two claims: (1) the
Attorney General’s authority to detain him under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c), and (2) the
The Supreme Court has used the term "noncitizen" to refer to immigrants such as Mr. GomezHermosillo. See Moncrieffe v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 1678, 1678 (2013) (analyzing the immigration
consequences for "noncitizens" convicted of crimes). This Court adheres to the convention
used by the Supreme Court, unless quoting from an authority that uses a different term.
constitutionality of his detention while in immigration removal proceedings. For the
following reasons, both of these claims fail.
First, Petitioner’s claim relating to the statutory authority for his detention under
§ 1226 is now moot because Petitioner is not detained under that provision. On August
28, 2013, an Immigration Judge (“IJ”) found Petitioner removable from the United
States, a determination that Petitioner appealed on numerous grounds to the Board
of Immigration Appeals (BIA). (Doc. 10-1, at 18-19.) On December 31, 2013, the BIA
affirmed the IJ’s decision. (Id.) He is therefore subject to a final order of removal. See
8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(47)(B); 8 C.F.R. § 1241.1(a) (“An order of removal made by the
immigration judge at the conclusion of proceedings . . . shall become final . . . [u]pon
dismissal of an appeal by the Board of Immigration Appeals.”). Further, once an order
of removal is administratively final, ICE’s detention authority is based on §1231(a), not
§ 1226. See Gomez-Hermosillo v. Holder, No. 13-cv-02865-CMA, 2013 WL 6690002,
at *2 (D. Colo. Dec. 19, 2013).
A case becomes moot if an event occurs during the pendency of the action that
“makes it impossible for the court to grant any effectual relief whatever to a prevailing
party.” Church of Scientology v. United States, 506 U.S. 9, 12 (1992). Because any
finding by this Court about the scope of the detention authority in § 1226(c) would not
entitle Petitioner to any form of relief, this claim is now moot.
Second, any challenge to Petitioner’s current detention under § 1231(a) is
premature. As just noted, Petitioner’s removal order became administratively final on
December 31, 2013, which means that what is termed the “removal period” began on
the same date. See 8 U.S.C. § 1231(a)(1)(B). Under Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678,
701 (2001), there is a presumptively reasonable six-month removal period during which
detention under § 1231(a) is presumed to be constitutional. Because Petitioner is still
within that six-month period, his constitutional challenge to his detention is therefore
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (Doc. # 1) is DENIED, and this action is DISMISSED
FURTHER ORDERED that the January 24, 2014 Order (Doc. # 3) requiring
Petitioner to remain in custody until further court order is WITHDRAWN.
BY THE COURT:
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO
United States District Judge
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