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Morales-Batres v. Bennett

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Brownsville Division

March 1, 2018

PEDRO ANTONIO MORALES-BATRES, By His Next Friend, ANA JULIA JOVEL DE MORALES, Petitioner,
v.
JANIE E. BENNET, Director, Port Isabel Detention Center, Respondent.

          MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Ignacio Torteya, III United States Magistrate Judge

         The Court is in receipt of the 28 U.S.C. § 2241 Petition for Habeas Corpus and accompanying Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, and Renewed Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, filed by Ana Julia Jovel de Morales on behalf of her alleged husband, Pedro Antonio Morales-Batres (hereinafter, Morales-Batres's “Petition, ” “Motion, ” and “Renewed Motion, ” respectively). Dkt. Nos. 1 and 2. For the reasons provided below, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this civil action. It is, therefore, recommended that the Court: (1) DISMISS Morales-Batres's Petition; (2) DENY Morales-Batres's Motion and Renewed Motion; and (3) DIRECT the Clerk of the Court to close this case.

         I. Procedural History

         After close of business on February 21, 2018, counsel for Ana Julia Jovel de Morales filed Morales-Batres's Petition and Motion. Dkt. Nos. 1 and 2. In his Motion, Morales-Batres indicates that he is subject to a final order of removal from the United States, and seeks a temporary restraining order preventing that removal. Dkt. No. 2 at 1-2. Morales-Batres claims that he has been wrongfully refused asylum and will likely be tortured or killed if he is returned to his native country of El Salvador. Dkt. No. 1 at 3-4.

         In compliance with the Court's Order dated February 22, 2018, Respondent Janie E. Bennet filed a “Response” with accompanying exhibits addressing Morales-Batres's Petition and Motion. Dkt. No. 7. Bennet's Response confirms that Morales-Batres is under a final order of removal, and states that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this case as a result. Id. at 7; Dkt. No. 8-7 at 1. Bennet's Response additionally states that Jovel de Morales has failed to establish that she has standing to file a petition and motion on Morales-Batres's behalf. Dkt. No. 7 at 7, note 8.

         Through counsel, Jovel de Morales filed a Renewed Motion on February 23, 2018. Dkt. No. 9. In this Renewed Motion, Jovel de Morales's counsel stated that he was unable to view Bennet's Response because the Response was filed under seal. Id. at 1.[1] He then suggested that this case should not be decided behind “a veil of secrecy” and renewed his plea for a temporary restraining order. Id. at 2. After the Clerk of the Court provided instructions regarding how to access Bennet's Response, Jovel de Morales's counsel was able to view Bennet's Response. See Clerk's Entry dated February 23, 2018. This case is now ripe for a determination regarding whether the Court possesses subject matter jurisdiction.

         II. Discussion

         Bennet asserts that Jovel de Morales has failed to establish that she possesses standing to file Morales-Batres's instant Motion and Petition. Dkt. No. 7 at 7, note 8. Bennet notes that Jovel de Morales has not shown that Morales-Batres is a minor, an incompetent, or someone otherwise incapable of pursuing his own claims for relief. Id. As Jovel de Morales has not attempted to make this showing, and has not identified any other basis for standing, she has not shown that she is a real party in interest with standing to file a motion or petition on Morales-Batres's behalf. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 17(c).

         Moreover, even if Jovel De Morales were to provide a basis for standing, Morales-Batres is under a final order of removal. See Dkt. No. 8-7 at 1. As such, Morales-Batres's Petition and Motion are subject to 8 U.S.C. § 1252. In relevant part, and as amended by the REAL ID Act, [2] § 1252 provides:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), including section 2241 of Title 28, or any other habeas corpus provision, and sections 1361 and 1651 of such title, a petition for review filed with an appropriate court of appeals in accordance with this section shall be the sole and exclusive means for judicial review of an order of removal entered or issued under any provision of this chapter, except as provided in subsection (e).

8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(5) (emphasis added).

         Subsection (e)(1) provides that no court may enter “declaratory, injunctive, or other equitable relief in any action pertaining to an order to exclude an alien in accordance with section 1225(b)(1) of this title except as specifically authorized in a subsequent paragraph of this subsection.” 8 U.S.C. § 1252(e)(1). Section 1252(e)(2) provides:

Judicial review of any determination made under section 1225(b)(1) of this title is available in habeas corpus proceedings, but ...

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