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Ahmed I. A. v. Secretary Homeland Security

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

April 11, 2019

Ahmed I. A. Petitioner,
v.
Secretary Homeland Security; William Barr, Attorney General;[1]Scott Baniecke, ICE Field Office; and Kurt Freitag, Freeborn County Sheriff, Respondents.

          Ahmed I. A., Freeborn County Adult Detention Center, P.O. (pro se Petitioner); [2] and

          Ana H. Voss, Ann M. Bildtsen, and Friedrich A. P. Siekert, Assistant United States Attorneys, United States Attorney's Office, (for Respondents Secretary Homeland Security, William Barr, and Scott Baniecke); and

          David John Walker, Freeborn County Attorney, Freeborn County Government Center, (for Respondent Kurt Freitag).

          REPORT & RECOMMENDATION

          Tony N. Leung United States Magistrate Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Petitioner Ahmed I. A.'s Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (“Petition”). (Pet., ECF No. 1). This matter has been referred to the undersigned for a Report and Recommendation to the Honorable Nancy E. Brasel, District Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and D. Minn. LR 72.1. For the reasons that follow, the Court recommends that the Petition be denied as moot and this action be dismissed.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner is a native and citizen of Somalia. (ECF No. 5-1 at 3). Petitioner was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 1996. (ECF No. 5-1 at 3). In 2003, the Department of Homeland Security commenced removal proceedings against Petitioner after he was convicted of terroristic threats. (ECF No. 5-1 at 4). Petitioner then applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture. (ECF No. 5-1 at 4). The immigration court denied Petitioner's application in 2004. (ECF No. 5-1 at 4). In May 2018, Petitioner filed a motion to reopen his application based on changed country condition, which the immigration court granted. (ECF No. 5-1 at 4). In October 2018, the immigration court again denied Petitioner's application and ordered him removed from the United States to Somalia. (ECF No. 5-1 at 4, 18).

         In October 2018, Petitioner filed this Petition. Petitioner argued that his “prolonged and continued detention is unreasonable, and violates [his] substantive rights to due process under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth [Amendment].” (Pet. at 1, 6). Petitioner sought immediate release from custody because “[t]he Government has been unable to effectuate [his] removal and there is no likelihood of [his] removal in the reasonably foreseeable future.” (Pet. at 6-8).

         On November 29, 2018, Petitioner was removed from the United States on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement flight. (ECF Nos. 4 at 3; 5-1 at 22). Respondents request that this matter be dismissed as moot in light of Petitioner's removal. (See generally ECF No. 4).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Mootness

         “Article III of the United States Constitution only allows federal courts to adjudicate actual, ongoing cases or controversies.” Potter v. Norwest Mortg., Inc., 329 F.3d 608, 611 (8th Cir. 2003); see U.S. CONST. art. III, § 2. The case-or-controversy requirement exists at all stages of federal judicial proceedings. Potter, 329 F.3d at 611. It is of no consequence that a claim was live at an earlier stage in the proceedings; a claim must be live when the court decides the issue. South Dakota v. Hazen, 914 F.2d 147, 150 (8th Cir. 1990). “When, during the course of litigation, the issues presented in a case ‘lose their life because of the passage of time or a change in circumstances . . . and a federal court can no longer grant effective relief,' the case is considered moot.” Haden v. Pelofsky, 212 F.3d 466, 469 (8th Cir. 2000) (alteration in original) (quoting Beck v. Mo. State High Sch. Activities Ass'n, 18 F.3d 604, 605 (8th Cir. 1994)). Moot actions must be dismissed. Potter, 329 F.3d at 611.

         In this case, Petitioner seeks release from custody. (Pet. at 8). Petitioner was removed, however, on November 29, 2018. (ECF No. 5-1 at 22). The Court can no longer order Petitioner's release because he has already been removed. Since Petitioner has been removed, nothing in his situation would change by granting the relief that he seeks. “This is the very definition of mootness.” Kargbo v. Brott, No. 15-cv-2713 (PJS/LIB), 2016 WL 3676162, at *2 (D. Minn. July 6, 2016) (citing Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc., 568 U.S. 86, 89 (2013)); see also Estrada-Heredia v. Holder, No. 12-cv-1157 (SRN/SER), 2012 WL 4839113, at *2 (D. ...


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