Dominguez v. BOP
MEMORANDUM (Order to follow as separate docket entry) re 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Robert Dominguez. Signed by Honorable Matthew W. Brann on 4/6/2017. (jn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CIVIL NO. 4:CV-15-2488
April 6, 2017
Robert Dominguez filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241 while confined at the Cannan United States Penitentiary,
Waymart, Pennsylvania (USP-Canaan). The USP-Canaan Warden has been
deemed to be the sole proper Respondent in this matter.1 Service of the Petition
was previously ordered .2
Petitioner sought habeas corpus relief on the grounds that the BOP allegedly
acted improperly because it calculated his sentence under the Prison Litigation
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is listed as the Respondent in the
Petitioner was transferred to a halfway house in Laredo, Texas shortly
after service of the petition was ordered.
Reform Act of 1996 rather than the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. The
Petitioner also raised a claim that his due process rights were violated during an
institutional disciplinary hearing which resulted in a loss of good conduct time.
Respondent’s initial response (Doc. 12) asserted that calculation of
Petitioner’s sentence under the PLRA was appropriate because Petitioner’s federal
sentence was imposed on September 12, 2007 well after the PLRA’s effective date
of April 25, 1996. The response additionally argued that Dominguez was afforded
all due process protections to which he was entitled during his institutional
Respondent has filed a “Suggestion of Mootness.” Doc. 13, p. 1. The
notice provides that Petitioner was released from his federal sentence on July 29,
2016. See id. at p. 2. In light of Dominguez’s release from custody, Respondent
naturally asserts that this matter is moot.
Habeas corpus review under § 2241 “allows a federal prisoner to challenge
the ‘execution’ of his sentence.” Woodall v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d
235, 241 (3d Cir. 2005). A habeas corpus petition may be brought by a prisoner
who seeks to challenge either the fact or duration of his confinement in prison.
Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475 (1973), Telford v. Hepting, 980 F.2d 745, 748
(3d Cir.), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 920 (1993). Federal habeas relief is available only
“where the deprivation of rights is such that it necessarily impacts the fact or
length of detention.” Leamer v. Fauver, 288 F.3d 532, 540 (3d Cir. 2002).
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. 488, 495-96 (1974));
see also Gaeta v. Gerlinski, Civil No.3:CV-02-465, slip op. at p. 2 (M.D. Pa. May
17, 2002) (Vanaskie, C.J.).
According to a copy of Petitioner’s BOP inmate locator records, which has
been submitted by the Respondent, Petitioner was released from federal custody
on July 29, 2016. See Doc. 13-1. Since Dominguez has been granted release
from federal custody, relief is no longer available with respect to his claims
seeking recalculation of the service of his federal sentence and reinstatement of
good time credit. As such, under the principles set forth in Steffel, this matter is
subject to dismissal as moot since it no longer presents an existing case or
controversy. An appropriate Order will enter.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Matthew W. Brann
Matthew W. Brann
United States District Judge
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