Druzanovic v. Lynch et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER entered and GRANTING 6 MOTION to Dismiss 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus as Moot. The petition for a writ of habeas corpus is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. (Signed by Judge Kenneth M Hoyt) Parties notified. (wbostic, 4)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
JEFFERSON SESSIONS III, et al,
August 21, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL ACTION NO. 4:16-CV-2870
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Petitioner Alen Druzanovic filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenging the
length of his detention in connection with proceedings to remove him from the United States.
Respondents filed a motion to dismiss the petition. For the following reasons, the respondents’
motion is granted and the petition is dismissed.
On September 23, 2016, petitioner filed his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. On
September 26, 2016, this Court ordered respondents to answer within 60 days. On November
17, 2016, respondents filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule
12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Petitioner did not respond to the motion.
Respondents contend that petitioner was removed from the United States on November 7,
2016. See Respondents’ Motion, Exh. 1. They contend that, because Druzanovic is no longer in
the United States, his petition is moot.
Standard of Review
Rule 12(b)(1) provides for dismissal, in relevant part, when the court lacks subject matter
“Without jurisdiction the court cannot proceed at all in any cause.
Jurisdiction is power to declare the law, and when it ceases to
exist, the only function remaining to the court is that of announcing
the fact and dismissing the cause.” Ex parte McCardle, 7 Wall.
506, 514 (1868).
Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environment, 523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998).
Druzanovic’s petition contends that his pre-removal detention exceeded a permissible
duration. Respondents argue that he has since been removed to Bosnia and is no longer in
“[F]ederal courts are without power to decide questions that cannot affect the rights of
litigants in the case before them.” North Carolina v. Rice, 404 U.S. 244, 246 (1971). When the
interest at stake at the commencement of litigation ceases to exist, a case becomes moot. “The
requisite personal interest that must exist at the commencement of the litigation (standing) must
continue throughout its existence (mootness).” United States Parole Comm’s v. Geraghty, 445
U.S. 388, 397 (1980) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). When a claim becomes
moot, there no longer remains an actual controversy, and federal courts thus lack jurisdiction
under Article III of the Constitution. Iron Arrow Honor Society v. Heckler, 464 U.S. 67, 70
Druzanovic’s petition challenged only the length of his detention, not the fact of his
impending removal. Because he has now been removed and is no longer in detention, there is no
relief that this Court can provide. Therefore, Druzanovic’s petition is moot, and this Court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction.
For the foregoing reasons, respondents’ motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 6) is GRANTED and
the petition for a writ of habeas corpus (Dkt. No. 1) is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
SIGNED on this 21st day of August, 2017.
Kenneth M. Hoyt
United States District Judge
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