United States District Court, D. Minnesota
ORDER DECLINING TO ACCEPT REPORT AND
C. Tostrud United States District Judge
case concerns a habeas petition filed by petitioner Mohamed
A., a citizen of Somalia and native of Kenya, challenging his
continued detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(“ICE”) pending removal. See generally
Pet. [ECF No. 1]; Decl. of Angela Minner (“Minner
Decl.”) ¶ 4 [ECF No. 6]. He was initially taken
into ICE custody on December 18, 2017. Minner Decl. ¶
17. On November 20, 2018, the immigration judge issued a
decision in his removal proceedings that granted Mohamed A.
withholding of removal to Somalia based on the likelihood
that he would be persecuted there because of his clan
membership and ordered him removed to any other country that
would accept him. Decl. of Angela Minner Ex. G [ECF No. 6-7].
The Government appealed the immigration judge's order to
the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”), and
Mohamed A., who remained in ICE custody as that appeal
proceeded, filed this habeas petition in federal court,
seeking “immediate and unconditional release from
custody.” Pet. at 8. On May 16, 2019, United States
Magistrate Elizabeth Cowan Wright issued a Report and
Recommendation in this matter, recommending that Mohamed A.
not be granted immediate release but that he be granted a
bond hearing before an immigration judge. Report &
Recommendation (“R&R”) at 14 [ECF No. 15].
one hour after the Report and Recommendation was issued, the
clerk's office docketed an undated notice mailed by
Mohamed A. informing the Court that the BIA had dismissed the
Government's appeal in his parallel removal proceedings.
Notice at 1 [ECF No. 17]. He attached a copy of the BIA
decision, which was dated May 7, 2019. See ECF No.
17-1. In his notice to this Court, Mohamed A. wrote,
“The Respondents want to hold and Detain Petitione[r]
for 90 day[s] to 180 days. Further
Detention is unreas[on]able and Courts Should Grant
Habeas relief.” Notice at 1 (emphasis in
22, 2019, the federal Respondents objected to the Report and
Recommendation, arguing that Mohamed A. had been released
from custody without conditions on May 13, 2019 following the
dismissal of the government's appeal to the BIA, and that
this case therefore is now moot. Obj. at 1 [ECF No. 18];
see also Supp. Decl. of Angela Minner ¶ 4.
Mohamed A. has not responded to those objections. The Report
and Recommendation sent to him by the clerk's office has
been returned as undeliverable. ECF No. 19. That is
unsurprising, given that he is no longer in custody at the
facility to which it was sent and has not provided the Court
with an updated address.
the federal Respondents have filed objections, the Court is
required to review the Report and Recommendation de novo
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule
72.2(b)(3). That de novo review reveals that the Petition is
United States Constitution limits the subject-matter
jurisdiction of federal courts to ongoing cases and
controversies. See U.S. Const. art. III, § 2,
cl. 1. “[A]n actual [case or] controversy must exist
not only at the time the complaint is filed, but through all
stages of the litigation.” Already, LLC v. Nike,
Inc., 568 U.S. 85, 91 (2013) (citations and internal
quotation marks omitted). “When . . . 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.” Ali v. Cangemi, 419 F.3d 722, 723 (8th
Cir. 2005) (quoting Haden v. Pelofsky, 212 F.3d 466,
469 (8th Cir. 2000)). If an action is moot because it no
longer satisfies the case-or-controversy requirement, a
federal court “ha[s] no discretion and must dismiss the
action for lack of jurisdiction.” Ali, 419
F.3d at 724 (citing Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S.
486, 496 n.7 (1969)). There are four exceptions, however. If
any of the following exceptions apply, a court should not
dismiss a habeas petition as moot:
(1) secondary or ‘collateral' injuries survive
after resolution of the primary injury; (2) the issue is
deemed a wrong capable of repetition yet evading review; (3)
the defendant voluntarily ceases an allegedly illegal
practice but is free to resume it at any time; or (4) it is a
properly certified class action suit.
Ahmed v. Sessions, No. 16-cv-02124 (DSD/HB), 2017 WL
3267738, at *2 (D. Minn. July 11, 2017) (citation omitted),
report and recommendation adopted, 2017 WL 3268176
(D. Minn. July 31, 2017).
those exceptions apply here. No collateral consequences
survive Mohamed A.'s allegedly unlawful detention. His
“habeas petition[ ] challenge[s] only his detention[ ],
which ha[s] now ended.” Kargbo v. Brott, No.
15-cv-2713, 2016 WL 3676162, *2 (D. Minn. July 6, 2016).
Neither the second nor third exceptions apply, either. If
Mohamed A. were taken into custody again-for example, if the
Government were to identify a country other than Somalia that
would agree to accept him following removal and initiated a
new round of removal proceedings-any habeas relief Mohamed A.
might seek at that time would be based on new facts and
circumstances surrounding a new detention. See Id.
Finally, this is not a class action. Accordingly, Mohamed
A.'s habeas petition is moot, and the Court lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction over it.
based on all of the files, records, and proceedings in the
above-captioned matter, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED
1. The federal Respondents' Objections [ECF No. 18] are
2. The Court DECLINES TO ACCEPT the Report
and Recommendation [ECF No. 15] because the case has become
3. The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [ECF No. 1] is