Rodriguez v. Attorney General of the United States et al
OPINION AND ORDER dismissing without prejudice re: 1 Petition for writ of habeas corpus, granting 13 MOTION to Dismiss for Mootness. The Clerk of Court is directed to enter judgment accordingly, terminate any pending motions and deadlines and close the file. Signed by Judge Sheri Polster Chappell on 12/1/2017. (SLU)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
FORT MYERS DIVISION
Case No: 2:17-cv-628-FtM-38MRM
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE
UNITED STATES, FIELD OFFICE
DIRECTOR, JOHN KELLY,
THOMAS D. HEDMAN, JUAN
ACOSTA and ORESTES CRUZ,
OPINION AND ORDER1
This matter comes before the Court on Respondent Attorney General of the United
States’ Motion to Dismiss for Mootness (Doc. #13) filed on November 30, 2017. On
October 25, 2017, Petitioner Herminio Rodriguez filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus
requesting relief from his detention by the United States Department of Homeland
Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Rodriguez is a citizen of Cuba. He was first taken into custody by ICE on January
18, 2011, and ordered removed on February 15, 2011. On May 17, 2011, Rodriguez was
released from ICE custody. On July 14, 2017, Rodriguez was again taken into custody
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by ICE. Rodriguez filed the instant Petition contesting his detention. On November 9,
2017, Rodriguez was again released under ICE supervision. Rodriguez is currently out
on supervised release.
Article III of the Constitution, known as the case and controversies limitation,
prevents federal courts from deciding moot questions because the Court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction. U.S.C.A. Const. Art. III. Mootness can occur due to a change in
circumstances or a change in law. Coral Springs St. Sys., Inc. v. City of Sunrise, 371 F.3d
1320 (11th Cir. 2004). A case is also moot when the issue presented is no longer live, the
parties lack a legally cognizable interest in its outcome, or a decision could no longer
provide meaningful relief to a party. Troiano v. Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach
County, Fla., 382 F.3d. 1276 (11th Cir. 2004); Christian Coalition of Ala. v. Cole, 355 F.
3d 1288 (11th Cir. 2004); Crown Media LLC v. Gwinnett County, Ga, 380 F.3d. 1317 (11th
Dismissal is not discretionary but “is required because mootness is
jurisdictional. Any decision on the merits would be an impermissible advisory opinion.”
Troiano, 382 F.3d at 1282 (citing Al Najjar v. Ashcroft, 273 F.3d 1330, 1335–36 (11th Cir.
2001)). Although there is an exception to the mootness doctrine for those cases that are
“capable of repetition yet evading review,” “this exception is narrow, and applies only in
exceptional circumstances.” Soliman v. U.S. ex rel. INS, 296 F.3d 1237, 1242 (11th Cir.
2002) (citing Al Najjar, 273 F.3d at 1336). Two conditions must be met to invoke the
exceptions: (1) the challenged action must be of a short duration to be fully litigated; and
(2) there exists a reasonable expectation that the same complaining party would be
subjected to the same action again. Christian Coalition of Ala., 355 F.3d at 1293
(emphasis added). In other words, “[t]he remote possibility that an event might recur is
not enough to overcome mootness, and even a likely reoccurrence is insufficient if there
would be ample opportunity for review at that time.” Al Najjar, 273 F.3d at 1336. In this
instance, it is undisputed that Rodriguez is no long in ICE custody. (Doc. #13-1)
(Respondents’ attached a copy of the Order of Supervision).
Given that Rodriguez’s Petition is seeking relief from ICE detention, his Petition is
now moot. See Hernandez v. Wainwright, 796 F. 2d 389, 390 (11th Cir. 1986) (holding
that when a habeas challenges the length of confinement rather than the underlying
conviction and the petitioner is released, then the petition should be dismissed as moot).
Any claim that Rodriguez's conditional release will be revoked in the future would be
purely speculative. See L'Hommeus v. Mukasey, No. 207CV618FTM29DNF, 2008 WL
11334896, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 13, 2008) (finding that any claim by petitioner released
from ICE custody on supervised release that his conditional release could be revoked
would be speculative). As such, there is no case or controversy for judicial review. The
Petition is moot and the Respondents' Motion to Dismiss is due to be granted.
Accordingly, it is now
(1) Respondent Attorney General of the United States’ Motion to Dismiss for
Mootness (Doc. #13) is GRANTED.
(2) The Petitioner Herminio Rodriguez’s Petition for Habeas Corpus Relief (Doc.
#1) is DISMISSED without prejudice.
(3) The Clerk of Court is directed to enter judgment accordingly, terminate any
pending motions and deadlines and close the file.
DONE and ORDERED in Fort Myers, Florida this 1st day of Decvember, 2017.
All Parties of Record
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