United States District Court, D. Minnesota
H., 8048 James Avenue North, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444 (pro
Voss, Ann M. Bildtsen, and David W. Fuller, Assistant United
States Attorneys, United States Attorney's Office, 300
South Fourth Street, Suite 600, Minneapolis MN 55415 (for
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, William P.
Barr, and Scott Baniecke); and David John Walker, Freeborn
County Attorney's Office, Freeborn County Government
Center 411 South Broadway Avenue, Albert Lea, MN 56007 (for
Respondent Kurt Freitag);
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
N. Leung United States Magistrate Judge District of Minnesota
matter is before the Court, United States Magistrate Judge
Tony N. Leung, on Petitioner Nnodi H.'s Petition for Writ
of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Pet., ECF No.
1). This action has been referred to the undersigned
magistrate judge for a report and recommendation to the
Honorable Eric C. Tostrud, United States District Judge for
the District of Minnesota, under 28 U.S.C. § 636 and
Local Rule 72.1. For the reasons set forth below, this Court
recommends that the petition be denied as moot.
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.). Shortly thereafter, he was terminated
from his program for failure to enroll. (Id.).
December 2017, Petitioner was arrested near Anoka, Minnesota
and charged with four fraud-related offenses. (ECF No. 8-1,
p. 2). Shortly thereafter, Immigrations and Custom
Enforcement (“ICE”) commenced removal proceedings
against him. ICE determined that Petitioner should be
detained pending a final administrative review of his case.
(ECF No. 8-4, p. 3). Petitioner requested that an immigration
judge (“IJ”) review his custody determination.
(ECF Nos. 8-1, p. 3). On February 26, 2018, following a
series of bond hearings, the IJ granted Petitioner's
request for a change in his custody status and set his bond
at $7, 500. (ECF No. 8-4). The IJ denied Petitioner's
subsequent request to lower his bond amount. (ECF No. 8-4).
Petitioner appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration
Appeals. (ECF Nos. 1-1, pp. 9-22; 8-8).
same day that Petitioner appealed the bond decision, he also
signed a joint motion for voluntary departure, in which he
was granted permission to depart voluntarily from the United
States within 120 days, so long as he paid a $1, 500 bond
within 30 days. (ECF No. 8-6). Nearly one month later, he
filed a “motion” to withdraw that agreement with
the Board of Immigration Appeals. (ECF No. 1-1, pp. 23-49;
ECF No. 8-9). In response, ICE asked the Board to dismiss
Petitioner's motion. (ECF No. 8-10).
quickly thereafter filed a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241, asserting that his continued detention
violated his constitutional rights. (ECF No. 1,
passim). In particular, Petitioner argued that the
$7, 500 bond set by the IJ was excessive and that his
detention violated his rights under the Due Process and Equal
Protection Clauses, as well as his substantive rights. (ECF
No. 1, pp. 7-8). Respondents answered on August 27, 2018,
contending that the Court does not have subject matter
jurisdiction to review Petitioner's bond and arguing, in
the alternative, that the Court deny the petition on the
merits. (ECF No. 7). In response, Petitioner filed a series
of exhibits, one of which was a Memorandum of Fact and Law in
Support of Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241. (ECF No. 22-7). Petitioner also
filed with the Court a decision that the Board of Immigration
Appeals reached in his appeal from his motion to withdraw.
(ECF No. 27-1). In that decision, the Board remanded the
proceedings back to the IJ so that Petitioner could
“apply for any available relief.” (Id.
at p. 2). The Board did not address the $7, 500 bond the IJ
March 8, 2019, the Court ordered the parties to provide
additional information regarding Petitioner's appeal of
the IJ's bond decision. (ECF No. 29). Following that
order, the Government filed a supplemental response and
declaration indicating that Petitioner was released from
custody on January 25, 2019 after he posted a $7, 500 bond.
(ECF Nos. 30 & 31-1). The Government included as part of
its filing an exhibit that indicated that Petitioner now
lives in Brooklyn Park. (ECF No. 31-1). The Government
also asked that the petition be denied as moot. (ECF No. 30).
The Court subsequently ordered the Government to serve its
supplemental response and related documents on Petitioner at
his new address and directed Petitioner to respond on or
before May 6, 2019. (ECF No. 33 and 35). Shortly thereafter,
mail sent to Petitioner at his Brooklyn Park address was
returned as “not deliverable as addressed.” (ECF
No. 38). Petitioner did not file any reply to the
Government's supplemental response.
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
limited 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, 687-88 (2001). Federal courts may consider whether an
immigration-related detention violates an alien's
constitutional rights. Id. at 688. They may not,
however, review discretionary decisions made by the
immigration authorities. See id. Discretionary
decisions include the IJ's bond determination. 8 U.S.C.
immigration laws permit the government to arrest an alien
“pending a decision on whether the alien is to be
removed from the United States.” 8 U.S.C. §
1226(a). Subject to certain exceptions that are not relevant
here, and pending ...