United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
OLAWOLE OLAJIDE AMOS, Register No. A-207-400-489, Petitioner,
JEFF SESSIONS, et al., Respondents.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
LAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
petitioner, Olawole Olajide Amos, also known as Olajide Amos
Olawole (A-207-400-489), filed a Petition for a Writ of
Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241
("Petition") (Docket Entry No. 1) challenging his
continued detention by immigration officials while awaiting
his removal from the United States. The respondents have
filed a Motion to Dismiss the Petition for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted
("Respondents' Motion") (Docket Entry No. 8).
The petitioner has not filed a response and his time to do so
has expired. The Petition will be dismissed for the reasons
explained briefly below.
December 16, 2016, the petitioner was convicted of conspiracy
to commit wire fraud and sentenced to serve a year and a day
in federal prison. See United States v. Olajide Amos
Olawole, Crim. No. H-16-0162-01 (S.D. Tex.) (Docket
Entry No. 67). As a native and citizen of Nigeria, the
petitioner was taken into custody of immigration officials on
February 8, 2017, and placed in removal
proceedings. An immigration judge entered an order of
removal against him on July 18, 2017. On November 7, 2017, the
petitioner executed the pending Petition, seeking release
from his continued detention under 28 U.S.C. §
January 23, 2018, the respondents moved to dismiss the
Petition for failure to state a claim, arguing that the
petitioner's continued detention was proper and that his
removal was reasonably foreseeable, among other
things. The petitioner was ordered to respond
within twenty days to any dispositive motion filed by the
respondents. The petitioner was warned that his failure
to respond would result in the dismissal of this action for
want of prosecution under Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). The petitioner
has failed to respond as directed and officials at the
detention center where the petitioner was confined when he
executed his Petition have confirmed that he has been removed
from the United States and is no longer in custody. The
petitioner's release from custody necessarily calls into
question whether the court retains jurisdiction over the
subject matter of the Petition. Federal courts are
"'courts of limited jurisdiction, having "only
the authority endowed by the Constitution and that conferred
by Congress."'" Halmekangas v. State Farm
Fire and Casualty Co., 603 F.3d 290, 292 (5th Cir. 2010)
(citations omitted). As such, the existence of subject matter
jurisdiction may be challenged at any stage in the litigation
and may be raised by the district court on its own motion.
See Nguyen v. District Director, Bureau of Immigration
and Customs Enforcement, 400 F.3d 255, 260 (5th Cir.
2005) (citations omitted). "If the court determines at
any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court
must dismiss the action." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
III of the United States Constitution limits federal court
jurisdiction to "cases" and
"controversies." U.S. Const. art. Ill. § 2.
The Supreme Court has explained that a case becomes moot if
it "no longer present[s] a case or controversy under
Article III, § 2, of the Constitution." Spencer
v. Kemna, 118 S.Ct. 978, 983 (1998). Under the
case-or-controversy requirement, "' [t]he parties
must continue to have a "personal stake in the
outcome" of the lawsuit.'" Id.
(quoting Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp., 110 S.Ct.
1249, 1254 (1990)). "This means that, throughout the
litigation, the plaintiff 'must have suffered, or be
threatened with, an actual injury traceable to the defendant
and likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial
decision.'" Id. (quoting Lewis,
110 S.Ct. at 1253). Because the petitioner challenged only
his continued detention, his release from custody leaves
nothing for this court to remedy. Absent a case or
controversy, the Petition is moot and must be dismissed.
See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
Conclusion and Order
on the foregoing, the court ORDERS as
Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 filed by Olawole Olajide Amos, also known as
Olajide Amos Olawole, (Docket Entry No. 1) is
DISMISSED without prejudice for lack of
Respondents' Motion to Dismiss (Docket Entry No. 8) is
Clerk is directed to provide a copy of this Memorandum
Opinion and Order to the parties of record.
Petition, Docket Entry No. 1, p.