Audain v. Decker et al
MEMORANDUM and OPINION - As such, we will grant Respondent's motion and will dismiss the Petition as moot. An appropriate Order follows.Signed by Honorable Robert D. Mariani on 10/15/13. (jfg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
TRAVIS KLEON AUDAIN,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:12·CV·02301
Petitioner Travis Kleon Audain (,'Petitioner" or "Audain") initiated the above action pro
5e by filing a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ("Petition") under the provisions of 28
U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. 1). He seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to review the lawfulness
of his prolonged detention by the United States Department of Homeland Security,
Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"). (Jd.).
For the reasons discussed below, we will grant Respondent's motion and we will
dismiss the Petition as moot because Petitioner has been release from confinement and
any relief by way of habeas is no longer available.
Petitioner challenges his prolonged detention at the York County Prison Jail in York,
Pennsylvania. (Id.). He alleges that he was in custody for more than fourteen (14) months
which unreasonably subjected him to an unconstitutionally excessive period of prolonged
detention. (Id.). As relief, he seeks an order "to show cause"; an order U[d]eclaring that
Petitioner's prolonged detention is not authorized by the INA and/or violated the Fifth
Amendment"; an order granting the Petition and "ordering that Petitioner be given bond
and/or releasing Petitioner under an order of supervision"; and any other and further relief
the Court deems appropriate. (Id. at p. 4).
On December 10, 2012, we issued an Order to Show Cause on Respondent. (Doc.
5). Respondents sent their response on December 31, 2012. (Doc. 7). Petitioner filed a
traverse on January 8,2013. (Doc. 8). On May 14, 2012, Respondents filed a motion to
dismiss suggesting mootness, or alternative, to dismiss the Petition and a brief in support.
(Docs. 11, 12). In the brief in support, Respondent explains that "the Board of Immigration
Appeals denied Audain's appeal, and the Third Circuit rejected Audain's request for a stay
of removal. Because Audain's detention status has therefore changed from pre-final order
to post-final order, [Respondent alleged that the Petition was] now moot, and the Court
should dismiss the Petition." (Doc. 12, p. 1).
Audain never responded to Respondent's motion. Thus, this Court issued an Order
directing Petitioner to respond. (Doc. 16). The Order was returned as undeliverable. Acall
to ICE confirmed that Audain was deported to Guyana on August 6, 2013. On September
26,2013, the Respondents filed a document entitled "Notice of Suggestion of Mootness"
that explained that Audain had been deported 1 and, as such, the habeas petition should be
dismissed as moot. (Doc. 18).
In light of the action recently taken by immigration officials, removing Audain from the
United States, this case is now moot and should be dismissed. The mootness doctrine
recognizes a fundamental truth in litigation: "[i]f developments occur during the course of
adjudication that eliminate a plaintiffs personal stake in the outcome of a suit or prevent a
court from being able to grant the requested relief, the case must be dismissed as moot."
Blanciak v. Allegheny Ludlum Corp., 77 F.3d 690,698-99 (3d Cir. 1996). In the context of
habeas corpus petitions mootness questions frequently turn on straightforward factual
[A] petition for habeas corpus relief generally becomes moot when a prisoner is
released from custody before the court has addressed the merits of the petition.
Lane v. Williams, 455 U.S. 624, 631(1982). This general principle derives from the
case or controversy requirement of Article III of the Constitution, which "subsists
through all stages of federal judicial proceedings, trial and appellate ... the parties
must continue to have a personal stake in the outcome of the lawsuit." Lewis v.
Cont'! Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477-78 (1990) (internal citations and quotations
omitted). In other words, throughout the litigation, the plaintiff "must have suffered, or
be threatened with, an actual injury traceable to the defendant and likely to be
redressed by a favorable judicial decision." Id. at 477(citations omitted).
DeFoy v. McCullough, 393 F.3d 439, 441-442 (3d Cir. 2005).
The mootness doctrine often applies with particular force to habeas petitions filed in
immigration matters. In the context of federal habeas corpus petitions brought by
Attached to the notice was the warrant of removal/deportation. (Doc. 18, Ex. A).
immigration detainees, it is well-settled that administrative action by immigration officials
addressing the concerns raised by an alien's petition renders that petition moot. Burke v.
Gonzales, 143 F. App'x 474 (3d Cir. 2005); Gopaul v. McElroy, 115 F. App'x 530 (3d Cir.
2004). Thus, for example, the release of an immigration detainee from ICE custody renders
moot any further complaints regarding the fact of that detention. Sanchez v. Attorney
General, 146 F. App'x 547 (3d Cir. 2005). Similarly, the deportation of an alien also makes
an immigration habeas corpus petition moot. See Undaastuty v. Attorney General, 186 F.
App'x 294 (3d Cir. 2006). As the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit aptly
noted in Undaastuty V. Attorney General, 186 F. App'x 294 (3d Cir. 2006), when confronted
with this precise situation: Ubecause [the petitioner] has already been deported and is,
therefore, no longer in custody, the challenge to her detention is moot and the habeas
petition must be dismissed. UId. at 298.
While the Undaastuty decision is not precedential, it is highly persuasive as a
uparadigm of the legal analysis [this Court] should ... follow." Drinker v. Colonial Sch. Dist.,
78 F.3d 859,864 n.12 (3d Cir. 1996). We find the reasoning in Undaastutycompelling and
conclude, consistent with Undaastuty, that since Audain has been removed uand is,
therefore, no longer in custody, the challenge to h[is] detention is moot and the habeas
petition must be dismissed." Id. at 298. As such, we will grant Respondent's motion and
will dismiss the Petition as moot. An appropriate Order follows.
Rooe . Mariani
United States District Judge
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