United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Randolph C., Freeborn County Jail, 411 South Broadway Avenue,
Albert Lea, MN, P.O. Box 170  (pro se Petitioner); and
Voss, Ann M. Bildtsen, and Friedrich A. P. Siekert, Assistant
United States Attorneys, United States Attorney's Office,
300 South Fourth Street, Suite 600, Minneapolis MN 55415 (for
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
N. Leung United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the Court, United States Magistrate Judge
Tony N. Leung, on Petitioner Randolph C.'s petition for a
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and 8
U.S.C. § 1231. (Pet., ECF No. 1). This action has been
referred to the undersigned for a report and recommendation
to the Honorable Susan R. Nelson, 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 and
this action be dismissed.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
is a native and citizen of Liberia. (Pet. at 2). Petitioner
entered the United States in February 2004. (Pet. at 2). He
adjusted his status to that of lawful permanent resident in
2016. (Pet. at 2). In October 2018, ICE detained Petitioner
and commenced removal proceedings against him. (Pet. at 2).
An Immigration Judge ordered Petitioner removed to Liberia in
January 2019. (Pet. at 2). Petitioner did not appeal the
order of removal. (Pet. at 2).
15, 2019, Petitioner filed a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, challenging his continued detention
and seeking release. (Pet. passim). Petitioner
asserted that there was no likelihood of his removal in the
reasonably foreseeable future. (Pet. at 2). He argued that
his continued detention violated his due process rights.
(Pet. at 4-6).
was subsequently deported on August 13, 2019 via an ICE
charter flight. (Pryd Decl., p. 2, ECF No. 6). Respondent
answered the Petition on August 21, 2019. (ECF No. 5).
Respondent argued that Petitioner's deportation renders
this matter moot and requested that the petition be
dismissed. (ECF No. 5).
United States Constitution limits the jurisdiction of the
federal courts to ongoing cases and controversies. Haden
v. Pelofsky, 212 F.3d 466, 469 (8th Cir. 2000);
see U.S. Const. art. III, § 2. The
case-or-controversy requirement exists at all stages of
federal judicial proceedings. Potter v. Norwest Mortg.,
Inc., 329 F.3d 608, 611 (8th Cir. 2003). 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
issues. 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, 212 F.3d at 469 (alteration in original)
(quoting Beck v. Mo. State High Sch. Activities
Ass'n, 18 F.3d 604, 605 (8th Cir. 1994)). Federal
courts lack jurisdiction to hear moot cases. Minn. Humane
Soc'y v. Clark, 184 F.3d 795, 797 (8th Cir. 1999).
Thus, when an action is moot because it no longer satisfies
the case-or-controversy requirement, “a federal court
must dismiss the action.” Potter, 329 F.3d at
611 (citing Minn. Humane Soc'y, 184 F.3d at
case, Petitioner seeks release from ICE custody. Petitioner
is no longer in ICE custody, however, because he has been
removed from the United States. There is no longer an
on-going controversy because Petitioner is no longer being
detained. As Petitioner has been removed and is no longer in
ICE custody, any order of release from the Court would be
ineffectual. Because the Court cannot grant Petitioner
effective relief, Petitioner's challenge to his continued
detention pending removal is moot. See, e.g., Ahmed v.
Sessions, No. 16-cv-2124 (DSD/HB), 2017 WL 3267738, at
*2 (D. Minn. July 11, 2017) (habeas petition was moot because
petitioner's removal from the United States left
“nothing for the [c]ourt to grant by way of habeas
relief” as petitioner was no longer in ICE custody),
adopting report and recommendation, 2017 WL 3268176
(D. Minn. July 31, 2017); Estrada-Heredia v. Holder,
No. 12-cv-1157 (SRN/SER), 2012 WL 4839113, at *2 (D. Minn.
Sept. 25, 2012) (habeas petition moot where petitioner was
already repatriated to Mexico), adopting report and
recommendation, 2012 WL 4839019 (D. Minn. Oct. 11,
2012); Mhanna v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec.
Citizenship & Immigration Servs., No. 10-cv-292
(JRT/LIB), 2010 WL 5141803, at *12 (D. Minn. Dec. 13, 2010)
(determining that petitioner's removal from the United
States rendered habeas claim relating to ICE detention moot).
Mootness Exceptions Do Not Apply
if any of the following exceptions apply, a court should not