United States District Court, D. Minnesota
H, Worthington, (pro se Petitioner)
Voss, Ann M. Bildtsen, and David W. Fuller, Assistant United
States Attorneys, United States Attorney's Office, (for
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, William P.
Barr, and Scott Baniecke); and
John Walker, Freeborn County Attorney's Broadway Avenue,
Albert Lea, (for Respondent Kurt Freitag).
N. LEUNG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court, United States Magistrate Judge
Tony N. Leung, on Petitioner Nnodi H.'s Motion to
Subpoena, Produce Documents, Electronically Stored
Information (ESI), or Other Tangible Items (ECF No. 10). For
the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny the motion.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
is a native and citizen of Nigeria. (ECF No. 8, p. 2).
Petitioner entered the United States on a student visa in
2013. (Id.). He was subsequently terminated from his
program in September 2013 for failure to enroll.
(Id.). Following his December 2017 arrest on fraud
charges, Immigrations and Custom Enforcement
(“ICE”) commenced removal proceedings against
him. Petitioner was ultimately ordered detained, subject to a
bond of $7, 500. He filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus, challenging his detention and the bond imposed upon
then filed a Motion for Issuance of a Subpoena, in which he
seeks to compel the production of certain materials and
evidence under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26 and 45.
(ECF No. 10). Petitioner seeks documents and information that
would show he is not a danger to the community or flight
risk, including documents from the Dallas, Irving police
department and the Fridley, Minnesota police department.
Respondents contend the motion is not proper in a proceeding
for habeas corpus, nor contemplated by the Court's order
setting forth a briefing schedule for this case.
person detained by the government may file a writ of habeas
corpus to challenge the legality of his confinement and, if
successful, obtain his release. See Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 485 (1973). Federal courts have
jurisdiction to hear habeas challenges to the lawfulness of
immigration-related detentions. 28 U.S.C. § 2241;
see also Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 687
(2001). Federal district courts may not, however, review
discretionary decisions made by the immigration authorities.
Id. at 688; see also 8 U.S.C. §
Rule of Civil Procedure 26 permits parties in civil
litigation to “obtain discovery regarding any
nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the
case.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Relevance is
“construed broadly to encompass any matter that bears
on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter that could
bear on, any issue that is or may be in the case.”
Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351
(1978). Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 45 is also used by parties in civil litigation to
seek documents, information, and testimony by serving a
subpoena on a third party.
habeas petitioner, unlike the usual civil litigant in federal
court, is not entitled to discovery as a matter of ordinary
course.” Bracy v. Gramley, 520 U.S. 899, 904
(1997). “Rule 6(a) [of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases], however, provides that “[a petitioner] shall be
entitled to invoke the processes of discovery available under
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure if, and to the extent
that, the judge in the exercise of his discretion and for
good cause shown grants leave to do so, but not
otherwise.” Newton v. Kemna, 354 F.3d 776, 783
(8th Cir. 2004). Thus, if the specific allegations of a
petition show that the Petitioner may be entitled to relief
if the facts are more fully developed, then the Court may
“provide the necessary facilities and procedures for an
adequate inquiry.” Harris v. Nelson, 394 U.S.
286, 300 (1969).
case, Petitioner seeks discovery regarding certain criminal
files related to him and audio copies of his previous bond
hearings, which he argues are relevant to this proceeding
because they are necessary to show he is not a danger to the
community or a flight risk. The information that Petitioner
seeks could very well be relevant to a renewed bond hearing
before an Immigration Judge. But this Court has no
jurisdiction to review decisions that are left to the
discretion of the Attorney General. Zadvydas, 533
U.S. at 687. Any evidence as to whether Petitioner is a
flight risk or a danger to the community would go to factual
findings that the IJ would need to make in the bond hearing.
Those findings constitute the type of discretionary decisions
that are not subject to review by this Court. 8 U.S.C. §
1226(e). Petitioner provides no reason explaining why the
information he seeks is necessary for him to seek habeas
Court will therefore deny Petitioner's motion. Nothing in
this decision, of course, should be taken to prohibit
Petitioner from seeking any discovery that may be permitted
in immigration ...