James v. Lowe et al
MEMORANDUM (Order to follow as separate docket entry).Signed by Honorable Malachy E Mannion on 3/21/17. (bs)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CRAIG A. LOWE, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:17-0197
On February 2, 2017, Petitioner, Joel James, a former detainee of the
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) Office, confined
at the Pike County Correctional Facility, Lords Valley, Pennsylvania, filed the
above captioned petition for writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§2241. (Doc. 1, petition).
James, who is a native and citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, has been
in ICE custody since May 14, 2015. Id. Petitioner challenges his continued
detention and seeks his immediate release from custody. Id.
By Letter dated February 16, 2017, Respondent notified this Court that
Petitioner had been removed from the United States on February 7, 2017.
(Doc. 4, letter).
For the reasons set forth below, the instant petition will be dismissed as
The case or controversy requirement of Article III, §2 of the United
States Constitution subsists through all stages of federal judicial proceedings.
Parties must continue to have a “personal stake in the outcome of the
lawsuit.” Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477–78 (1990);
Preiser v. Newkirk, 422 U.S. 395, 401 (1975). In other words, throughout the
course of the action, the aggrieved party must suffer or be threatened with
actual injury caused by the defendant. Lewis, 494 U.S. at 477.
The adjudicatory power of a federal court depends upon “the continuing
existence of a live and acute controversy.” Steffel v. Thompson, 415 U.S. 452,
459 (1974) (emphasis in original). “The rule in federal cases is that an actual
controversy must be extant at all stages of review, not merely at the time the
complaint is filed.” Id. at n.10 (citations omitted). “Past exposure to illegal
conduct is insufficient to sustain a present case or controversy ... if
unaccompanied by continuing, present adverse effects.” Rosenberg v. Meese,
622 F.Supp. 1451, 1462 (S.D.N.Y. 1985) (citing O’Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S.
“[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). In the context of
federal habeas petitions brought by 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 Fed. Appx. 474 (3d Cir. 2005); Gopaul v. McElroy, 115 Fed. Appx. 530
(3d Cir. 2004). Thus, for example, the deportation of an alien frequently
makes an immigration habeas petition moot. See Lindaastuty v. Attorney
General, 186 Fed. Appx. 294 (3d Cir. 2006).
In the instant case, because James has been removed from the United
States, his request for release from ICE custody pending removal is entirely
moot, and the dismissal of his petition as moot is appropriate. An appropriate
Order will enter.
Certificate of Appealability
Section 102 of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (28
U.S.C. §2253 (as amended)) codified standards governing the issuance of a
certificate of appealability for appellate review of a district court’s disposition
of a habeas petition. Federal prisoner appeals from the denial of a §2241
habeas corpus proceeding are not governed by the certificate of appealability
requirement. United States v. Cepero, 224 F.3d 256, 264–65 (3d Cir.
2000)(en banc) (certificate of appealability not required to appeal from denial
of §2241 petition), abrogated on other grounds by Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565
U.S. 134, 142 (2012); Kornegay v. Ebbert, 502 Fed.Appx. 131, 133 (3d Cir.
2012). Thus, the Court need not address this issue in the current action.
For the reasons stated above, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus
will be DISMISSED. An appropriate order will follow.
s/ Malachy E. Mannion
MALACHY E. MANNION
United States District Judge
Date: March 21, 2017
O:\Mannion\shared\MEMORANDA - DJ\CIVIL MEMORANDA\2017 MEMORANDA\17-0197-01.wpd
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