Kifle v. Sessions
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS of the Magistrate Judge that the Court DISMISS as moot Kifle's 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, DIRECT the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case, and DENY Kifle in forma pauperis status on appeal. Any party seeking to object to this Report and Recommendation is ordered to file specific written objections within fourteen (14) days of the date on which this Report and Recommendation is entered. (Objections to R&R due by 8/14/2017). ORDER directing service of the REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS of the Magistrate Judge. Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Stan Baker on 7/31/2017. (csr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
SAMUEL HAILE KIFLE,
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 5:17-cv-87
ORDER and MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Petitioner Samuel Kifle (“Kifle”), who was formerly housed at the Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) Processing Center in Folkston, Georgia, filed a Petition for Writ
of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1.) Respondent filed a Response.
(Doc. 5.) For the reasons which follow, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS as moot
Kifle’s Petition, DIRECT the Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case, and DENY Kifle in forma
pauperis status on appeal.
Kifle filed his Petition on July 10, 2017. (Doc. 1.) Kifle asserts he came to the United
States on October 26, 2016, as an émigré from Eritrea and had been under ICE’s custody since
that time. Kifle states an Immigration Judge ordered him to be removed or deported on March
22, 2017, yet he had not been deported within the ninety (90) day period prescribed by law. 1
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, “when an alien is ordered removed, the Attorney General
shall remove the alien from the United States within a period of 90 days.” 8 U.S.C. §1231(a)(1)(A).
During that period, the Attorney General must detain the alien. 8 U.S.C. §1231(a)(2).
(Doc. 1, p. 1.) Kifle requests release from custody pursuant to the United States Supreme
Court’s decision on Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001). 2
On July 26, 2017, Respondent filed his Response to Kifle’s Petition.
maintains Kifle was released from ICE’s custody, pending removal under terms of supervision,
on July 14, 2017. 3 (Doc. 5, p. 1.) Thus, Respondent asserts Kifle’s release from ICE custody
renders his Petition moot, and his Petition should be dismissed.
Whether Kifle’s Petition is Moot
Article III of the Constitution “extends the jurisdiction of federal courts to only ‘Cases’
and ‘Controversies.’” Strickland v. Alexander, 772 F.3d 876, 882 (11th Cir. 2014). This “caseor-controversy restriction imposes” what is “generally referred to as ‘justiciability’ limitations.”
Id. There are “three strands of justiciability doctrine—standing, ripeness, and mootness—that go
to the heart of the Article III case or controversy requirement.” Harrell v. The Fla. Bar, 608
F.3d 1241, 1247 (11th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted). With regard
to the mootness strand, the United States Supreme Court has made clear that “a federal court has
no authority ‘to give opinions upon moot questions or abstract propositions, or to declare
principles or rules of law which cannot affect the matter in issue in the case before it.’” Church
of Scientology of Cal. v. United States, 506 U.S. 9, 12 (1992) (internal citation omitted).
Accordingly, “[a]n issue is moot when it no longer presents a live controversy with respect to
In Zadvydas, the United States Supreme Court held that indefinite detention of aliens raises serious
constitutional concerns. 533 U.S. at 701. Thus, once an order of removal becomes final, ICE should
make every effort to remove the alien within a reasonable time. Id. The Supreme Court found that six
months is a presumptively reasonable period to detain a removable alien awaiting deportation. Id.
Indeed, the Court’s July 13, 2017, Order directing Respondent to show cause as to why Kifle’s Petition
should not be granted was returned as undeliverable to Kifle on July 20, 2017, with the notation
“released” on the envelope. (Doc. 3.)
which the court can give meaningful relief.” Friends of Everglades v. S. Fla. Water Mgmt. Dist.,
570 F.3d 1210, 1216 (11th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted).
justiciability are not answered “simply by looking to the state of affairs at the time the suit was
filed. Rather, the Supreme Court has made clear that the controversy ‘must be extant at all
stages of review, not merely at the time the complaint is filed.’” Christian Coal. of Fla., Inc. v.
United States, 662 F.3d 1182, 1189–90 (11th Cir. 2011) (quoting Preiser v. Newkirk, 422 U.S.
395, 401 (1975)).
As noted above, Respondent has informed the Court in his Response that Kifle has been
released from ICE’s custody. As Kifle only requests his release from the custody of ICE in his
Petition and he has been released from ICE’s custody, there is no longer a “live controversy”
over which the Court can give meaningful relief. Friends of Everglades, 570 F.3d at 1216.
Accordingly, the Court should DISMISS as moot Kifle’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus.
Leave to Appeal in Forma Pauperis
The Court should also deny Kifle leave to appeal in forma pauperis. Though Kifle has,
of course, not yet filed a notice of appeal, it would be appropriate to address these issues in the
Court’s order of dismissal. Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(3) (trial court may certify that appeal of party
proceeding in forma pauperis is not taken in good faith “before or after the notice of appeal is
filed”). An appeal cannot be taken in forma pauperis if the trial court certifies that the appeal is
not taken in good faith. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3); Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(3). Good faith in this
context must be judged by an objective standard. Busch v. Cty. of Volusia, 189 F.R.D. 687, 691
(M.D. Fla. 1999). A party does not proceed in good faith when he seeks to advance a frivolous
claim or argument. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962). A claim or
argument is frivolous when it appears the factual allegations are clearly baseless or the legal
theories are indisputably meritless. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989); Carroll v.
Gross, 984 F.2d 392, 393 (11th Cir. 1993). Stated another way, an in forma pauperis action is
frivolous, and thus, not brought in good faith, if it is “without arguable merit either in law or
fact.” Napier v. Preslicka, 314 F.3d 528, 531 (11th Cir. 2002); see also Brown v. United States,
Nos. 407CV085, 403CR001, 2009 WL 307872, at *1–2 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 9, 2009).
Given the above analysis of Kifle’s Petition and Respondent’s Response, there are no
non-frivolous issues to raise on appeal, and an appeal would not be taken in good faith. Thus,
the Court should DENY in forma pauperis status on appeal.
Based on the foregoing, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS as moot Kifle’s
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, (doc. 1), DIRECT the
Clerk of Court to CLOSE this case, and DENY Kifle leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
The Court ORDERS any party seeking to object to this Report and Recommendation to
file specific written objections within fourteen (14) days of the date on which this Report and
Recommendation is entered. Any objections asserting that the Magistrate Judge failed to address
any contention raised in the pleading must also be included. Failure to do so will bar any later
challenge or review of the factual findings or legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge. See 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985). A copy of the objections must be
served upon all other parties to the action. The filing of objections is not a proper vehicle
through which to make new allegations or present additional evidence.
Upon receipt of objections meeting the specificity requirement set out above, a United
States District Judge will make a de novo determination of those portions of the report, proposed
findings, or recommendation to which objection is made and may accept, reject, or modify in
whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the Magistrate Judge. Objections not
meeting the specificity requirement set out above will not be considered by a District Judge. A
party may not appeal a Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation directly to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Appeals may be made only from a final
judgment entered by or at the direction of a District Judge. The Court DIRECTS the Clerk of
Court to serve a copy of this Report and Recommendation upon the parties.
SO ORDERED and REPORTED and RECOMMENDED, this 31st day of July, 2017.
R. STAN BAKER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
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?