Ohaegbu v. Upton
MEMORANDUM OPINION regarding petitioner's petition. Signed by Judge Thad Heartfield on 7/8/2011. (bjc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:10cv790
Petitioner Paul Ohaegbu, formerly an inmate confined within
the Bureau of Prisons, Georgia, proceeding pro se, filed this
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
The current petition challenges a prison disciplinary
As a result of the disciplinary conviction,
petitioner lost 40 days of previously earned good conduct time
Based on documents filed by the respondent, and the
website operated by the Bureau of Prisons, petitioner was
released from prison on May 27, 2011.
Although an action “is not moot simply because a § 2241
petitioner is no longer in custody,” it is rendered moot “when
the court cannot grant the relief requested by the moving party.”
Salgado v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 220 Fed.Appx. 256, 257 (5th
Cir. Feb. 22, 2007) (citing Brown v. Resor, 407 F.3d 282, 283
(5th Cir. 1969) and Bailey v. Southerland, 821 f.3d 277, 278 (5th
The issue of whether a case is moot presents a
jurisdictional matter because it implicates the Article III
requirement that an actual controversy exist at all states of
federal court proceedings.
Bailey, 821 F.2d at 278.
A moot case
“presents no Article III case of controversy, and a court has no
constitutional jurisdiction to resolve the issue it presents.”
Adair v. Dretke, 150 Fed.Appx. 329, 331 (5th Cir. Oct. 6, 2005)
As petitioner is subject to a term of supervised release,
his release from actual confinement alone does not make this
The possibility that a district court may alter a
period of supervised release “if it determines that [the
defendant] has served excess prison time” may keep a petition
from becoming moot.
Johnson v. Pettiford, 442 F.3d 917, 918 (5th
However, the determination as to whether a
petitioner has served excessive prison time is to be made by the
sentencing court unless a transfer of jurisdiction over
supervised release has been made.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3583.
Petitioner was convicted in the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Florida and jurisdiction over his
supervised release has not been transferred to this court.
court is therefore without jurisdiction to shorten petitioner’s
term of supervised released by determining he served excess
See Lawson v. Berkebile, 308 Fed.Appx. 750 (5th
Cir. Jan. 26, 2009) (distinguishing Pettiford based on the fact
that the district court considering the Section 2241 petition did
not have jurisdiction to determine whether the petitioner served
excessive prison time because it was not the original sentencing
As a result, a finding in petitioner’s favor would not
result in “specific relief through a decree of a conclusive
character” with regard to modification of the sentence.
Carolina v. Rice, 404 U.S. 244, 246 (1971) (citation and internal
quotation marks ommitted).
And, as “federal courts may only hear
cases of controversies under Article III, it is unconstitutional
for the court to issue mere advisory opinions.”
Whichita Falls Indep. School District, 44 F.3d 362, 368 n.5 (5th
As this court cannot grant the relief requested by
petitioner, this petition is moot.
For the reasons set forth above, this petition for writ of
habeas corpus will be dismissed as moot.
An appropriate final
judgment shall be entered.
SIGNED this the 8 day of July, 2011.
United States District Judge
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