United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Brownsville Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
Ignacio Torteya, III United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is Jose Mauricio Garza-Villanueva's Petition
for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241
(hereinafter, Garza-Villanueva's “Petition”).
Dkt. No. 1. For the reasons provided below, it is recommended
that the Court summarily DENY
Garza-Villanueva's request for attorney's fees and
costs and DISMISS his Petition as moot.
Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.
Statement of the Case
filed his Petition on April 22, 2019. Dkt. No. 1. At that
time, he was a federal pretrial detainee awaiting trial in
United States v. Garza-Villanueva, No.
1:16-cr-449-1. The complaint in his criminal case alleged
that he was an alien who had reentered the country illegally,
in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a)(1)(b)(1). CR Dkt. No.
1 at 1. Although he has since been released (see CR
Dkt. No. 55), Garza-Villanueva's Petition took issue with
his pretrial detention, claiming that it violated his
constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.
Dkt. No. 1 at 6-11. In addition to seeking his release,
Garza-Villanueva's Petition asked that he be awarded his
attorney's fees, court costs, and any other relief deemed
appropriate by the Court. Id. at 11.
yesterday, the final pretrial conference in his criminal case
was set for May 28, 2019. CR Minute Entry dated April 2,
2019. However, yesterday afternoon, the Government filed a
Motion to Dismiss Indictment “for the reason that
[Garza-Villanueva] is a citizen of the United States.”
CR Dkt. No. 54. The Court granted the Government's Motion
and closed Garza-Villanueva's criminal case. Dkt. No. 55.
Garza-Villanueva has been released from custody and is no
longer in pretrial detention.
Garza-Villanueva's Requests for Relief.
Petition primarily sought his immediate release. Dkt. No. 1
at 5, 11. This request is now moot as his criminal case has
been dismissed and he is no longer in pretrial detention.
See CR Dkt. No. 55. His Petition also seeks his
attorney's fees and court costs. Id. As detailed
below, a review of Garza-Villanueva's Petition and
supporting submissions makes it clear that the Court should
summarily deny Garza-Villanueva's request for
attorney's fees and costs.
of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases requires a district
court to summarily dismiss a habeas petition without first
requiring a response if it “plainly appears from the
petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not
entitled to relief[.]” See Rule 4 of the Rules
Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts. Rule 4's summary dismissal procedure applies to
§ 2241 petitions pursuant to Rule 1(b) of the Habeas
Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. See Rule 1(b) of
the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States
District Courts (“The district court may apply any or
all of these rules to a habeas corpus petition not covered by
Rule 1(a).”). See also Poff v. Smith, No.
4:18-CV-00759, 2018 WL 2746579, at *1 (S.D. Tex. May 11,
2018) (citing Rule 1(b) and Boutwell v. Keating, 399
F.3d 1203, 1211, n.2 (10th Cir. 2005) for the proposition
that the Rule 4 summary dismissal procedure applies to §
2241 petitions), report and recommendation adopted,
No. 4:18-CV-759, 2018 WL 2725458 (S.D. Tex. June 5, 2018);
Rodriguez v. Rabner, No. CV 18-4431 (JLL), 2018 WL
2059551, at *1 (D.N.J. May 3, 2018) (noting the Rule 4
summary dismissal procedure is “applicable to §
2241 through Rule 1(b)”); Winkelman v.
Longley, No. CIV.A. 11-240E, 2011 WL 5859414, at *1
(W.D. Pa. Nov. 3, 2011) (“Courts have used Rule 4 of
the habeas corpus rules to summarily dismiss facially
insufficient habeas petitions brought under § 2241[
.]”), report and recommendation adopted, No.
1:11-CV-240-SJM-MPK, 2011 WL 5864086 (W.D. Pa. Nov. 22,
2011), aff'd, 462 Fed.Appx. 181 (3d Cir. 2012)
(citations and quotations omitted). Thus, if it is clear from
the face of Garza-Villanueva's Petition and accompanying
exhibits that he is not entitled to relief, this Court may
summarily dismiss his petition. See Id. See also Dietz v.
Bouldin, 136 S.Ct. 1885, 1892, 195 L.Ed.2d 161 (2016)
(noting that “district courts have the inherent
authority to manage their dockets and courtrooms with a view
toward the efficient and expedient resolution of
cases.”) (collecting cases).
Garza-Villanueva's Misuse of 28 U.S.C. §
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3), a district court has the
authority to entertain a petition for a writ of habeas corpus
filed by a petitioner claiming to be “‘in custody
in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.'” Reese v. Warden
PhiladelphiaFDC, 904 F.3d 244, 246 (3d Cir.
2018) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3)). Still, a
district court should not exercise its habeas powers
unreservedly. Id. (citing Munaf v. Geren,
553 U.S. 674, 693 (2008)). In Reese v. Warden
Philadelphia FDC, the Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit recently held, as a matter of first impression, that
a federal pretrial detainee's request for release could
“only be considered under the Bail Reform Act and not
under a § 2241 petition for habeas relief.”
Id. at 245. The Reese Court explained that,