United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Litkovitz United States Magistrate Judge
through counsel, has filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in this Court. (Doc.
1). This matter is before the Court on the petition,
respondents' return of writ (Doc. 12), and
petitioner's reply (Doc. 13). Also before the Court is
respondents' sur-reply. (Doc. 17).
reasons stated below, it is recommended that the petition be
denied as moot in light of petitioner's release from
February 15, 2019, petitioner filed a petition for habeas
corpus challenging his continued detention by the United
States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE)
pursuant to a final order of removal. (See Doc. 1).
Petitioner was taken into ICE custody on or about October 25,
2018. (Id. at PageID 2). Petitioner argues that his
continued detention is unlawful because he has been detained
for more than six months with no significant likelihood of
his actual removal, in violation of Zadvydas v,
Davis, 553 U.S. 678 (2001). For relief, petitioner seeks
immediate release from custody. (Id. at PageID 3).
2, 2019, after respondents filed a return of writ (Doc. 12)
to which petitioner replied (Doc. 13), the Court ordered
respondents to file a sur-reply addressing the arguments and
evidence submitted in petitioner's reply. (Doc. 14).
Although respondents argued that ICE was waiting for the
Mauritanian Embassy to issue necessary travel documents to
secure petitioner's removal and that it was likely that
petitioner would be removed in the reasonably foreseeable
future, petitioner's reply included June 2019 letters
from the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in
Washington, D.C. stating that the Embassy is unable to
establish petitioner's Mauritanian citizenship in order
to provide petitioner with a passport. (See Doc. 13
at PageID 105, 106). The Court noted its concern that it took
the Mauritanian Government nearly eight years to issue
petitioner's May 8, 2018, expired travel document. (Doc.
25, 2019, respondents filed a sur-reply. (Doc. 17). According
to respondents, petitioner has been released from ICE
custody. Respondents include the Declaration of David Gritte
an ICE Detention and Deportation Officer familiar with the
deportation proceedings against petitioner. (Doc. 17-1,
Gritte Decl. at PageID 116). Gritte attests that on July 23,
2019 petitioner was released from ICE custody after a renewed
travel document could not be secured. (Id.). The
Release Notification is attached to the Declaration. (See
Id. at PageID 117). In light of petitioner's release
from custody, respondents contend that the petition should be
dismissed as moot.
III, § 2 of the United States Constitution limits the
federal judicial power to the adjudication of cases and
controversies. In the context of a habeas corpus petition, a
district court generally lacks jurisdiction over the petition
if the petitioner is not in government custody. Therefore,
except in limited circumstances not applicable to the
case-at-hand,  a petitioner's release from custody
generally moots a habeas petition. See Lane v.
Williams, 455 U.S. 624, 631-32(1982).
does not challenge his removal order in this case. He instead
contests his indefinite detention pending removal.
(See Doc. 1). In these circumstances,
petitioner's July 23, 2019 release renders this action
moot and deprives the Court of jurisdiction. See Felix v.
Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, No.
3:05-cv-2211, 2007 WL 951452, at *1 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 27, 2007)
("When an alien subject to removal challenges only his
detention pending removal, his release pending removal,
whether or not conditional, entails no collateral
consequences. It renders the petition moot because he has
received all the relief he sought and would have been
entitled to."); see also Kahn v. Attorney
General, Nos. 1:15-cv-2014, l:16-cv-85, at *2 (N.D. Ohio
May 17, 2016) ("As Petitioner has received his requested
relief by being released from custody on an order of
supervision, there is no longer an active case or
controversy.") (Report and Recommendation),
adopted, 2016 WL 4009885 (N.D. Ohio June 25, 2016);
Willix v. Holder, No. 1:1 l-cv-894, 2012 WL 463830,
at *1 (W.D. Mich. Jan 24, 2012) (finding habeas petition moot
where petitioner seeking release pending removal is released
pursuant to an order of supervision) (Report and
Recommendation), adopted, 2012 WL 463825 (W.D. Mich.
Feb. 13, 2012). Therefore, because petitioner has been
released and has obtained the relief requested in the
petition, the undersigned recommends that the petition (Doc.
1) be DENIED as moot.
IS SO RECOMMENDED.
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b), WITHIN 14 DAYS after
being served with a copy of the recommended disposition, a
party may serve and file specific written objections to the
proposed findings and recommendations. This period may be
extended further by the Court on timely motion for an
extension. Such objections shall specify the portions of the
Report objected to and shall be accompanied by a memorandum
of law in support of the objections. If the Report and
Recommendation is based in whole or in part upon matters
occurring on the record at an oral hearing, the objecting
party shall promptly arrange for the transcription of the
record, or such portions of it as all parties may agree upon,
or the Magistrate Judge deems sufficient, unless the assigned
District Judge otherwise directs. A party may respond to
another party's objections WITHIN 14
DAYS after being served with a copy thereof. Failure
to make objections in accordance with this procedure may
forfeit rights on appeal. See Thomas v. Am, 474 U.S.
140 (1985); United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947
(6th Cir. 1981).