Mohammed v. ICE
MEMORANDUM (Order to follow as separate docket entry. Signed by Honorable Matthew W. Brann on 7/6/2017. (jn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
JULY 6, 2017
Yahuza Mohammed filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241 while detained by the Department of Homeland Security,
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) at the York County Prison, York,
Pennsylvania. ICE is named as the sole Respondent. 1 Service of the petition was
Petitioner describes himself as being a native and citizen of the Republic of
Ghana who entered the United States as a non-immigrant seeking asylum on or
about September 29, 2015. On March 3, 2016, an immigration judge denied
The only properly named Respondent in a federal habeas corpus action is Petitioner’s
custodial official. See 28 U.S.C. § 2242. Accordingly, the Warden of the York County Prison
will be deemed the Respondent.
Mohammed’s application for asylum and withholding of removal and ordered his
According to the Petitioner, he has been detained by ICE since his
September 29, 2015 arrival in the United States. It is alleged that ICE has been
unable to deport Mohammed to Ghana in a timely manner. Petitioner’s pending §
2241 petition challenges his indefinite detention pending removal under the
standards announced in Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001). As relief,
Mohammed seeks his immediate release pursuant to an order of supervision.
On June 14, 2017, Respondent filed a “Suggestion of Mootness.” Doc.11, p.
1. The submission states that Petitioner was removed to Ghana on June 13, 2017.
See id. Accordingly, Respondent contends that since Mohammed has been
removed from the United States, dismissal on the basis of mootness is appropriate.
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.).
As relief, Mohammed sought his immediate release from ICE detention. See
Doc. 1, p. 8. Since Petitioner was removed to Ghana on June 13, 2017 and is no
longer being detained by ICE, under the principles set forth in Steffel, the instant
petition is subject to dismissal as moot since it no longer presents an existing case
An appropriate Order follows.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Matthew W. Brann
Matthew W. Brann
United States District Judge
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