United States District Court, D. Maryland
CATHERINE C. BLAKE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
September 6, 2017, the court received this petition for writ
of habeas corpus. Sanjib Mohapatro challenges his involuntary
commitment to Springfield Hospital Center (SHC). ECF No. 1.
On October 6, 2017, Mohapatro was ordered to pay the $5.00
filing fee or, in the alternative, to move to proceed in
forma pauperis. Respondents were granted an additional sixty
days to answer the petition. ECF No. 2.
December 4, 2017, Respondents filed a show cause response.
ECF No. 3. They allege that because Mohapatro is no longer a
patient at SHC, the petition is moot. They further argue that
Mohapatro was lawfully detained at SHC, failed to sue the
proper custodian, and failed to exhaust his available state
remedies. Id. Mohapatro has not filed a reply.
to the documents provided to the court, on February 16, 2017,
Mohapatro was committed to the Maryland Department of Health
(MDH) by the District Court for Anne Arundel
County after he was found incompetent to stand trial and a
danger to himself and others. ECF No. 3-2. On March 13,
2017, Mohapatro was found incompetent to stand trial and not
restorable and met the criteria for involuntary commitment,
pursuant to a forensic evaluation. ECF No. 3-3. He was
involuntarily committed to the MDH pursuant to Md. Code Ann.,
Crim Proc, § 3-106(d)(1). ECF No. 3-4. Mohapatro
remained civilly committed to the MDH until August 24, 2017,
when he signed an Application for Voluntary Admission. He
agreed to remain at SHC for care and treatment of his mental
disorder as a voluntary patient. ECF No. 3-5.
patient at SHC, Mohapatro was under the care of Drs.
Katherine Cinnamon and Ram Raheja. ECF No. 3-6, Raheja
Affidavit. Members of Mohapatro's treatment team
contacted his brother about his potential discharge and his
brother indicated he would assist Mohapatro in returning to
India upon his release from SHC. On September 29, 2017,
Mohapatro was discharged from SHC to Safe Journey House, a
residential center which offers an alternative to
hospitalization for adult individuals in psychiatric
crisis. On November 27, 2017, Mohapatro emailed
Dr. Raheja and indicated he had returned to India.
habeas corpus petition is moot when it no longer presents a
case or controversy under Article III, § 2, of the
Constitution.” Aragon v. Shanks, 144 F.3d 690,
691 (10th Cir. 1998) (citing Spencer v. Kemna, 523
U.S. 1, 7 (1998)). “This case-or-controversy
requirement subsists through all stages of federal judicial
proceedings, trial and appellate.” Lewis v.
Continental Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477 (1990). The
parties must continue to have a “personal stake in the
outcome” of the lawsuit. Id. at 478 (quoting
Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 101 (1983)).
“This means that, throughout the litigation, the
complainant ‘must have suffered, or be threatened with,
an actual injury traceable to the defendant and likely to be
redressed by a favorable judicial decision.' ”
Spencer, 523 U.S. at 7 (quoting Lewis, 494
U.S. at 477). As noted by the Fourth Circuit, “[T]he
doctrine of mootness constitutes a part of the constitutional
limits of federal court jurisdiction . . . . [A] case is moot
when the issues presented are no longer ‘live' or
the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the
outcome.” Townes v. Jarvis, 577 F.3d 543, 546
(4th Cir. 2009) (quoting United States v. Hardy, 545
F.3d 280, 283 (4th Cir. 2008).
extent that Mohapatro seeks habeas relief from his
involuntary commitment, his claim is moot. As of September
25, 2017, he is no longer in SHC custody and subject to the
conditions of which he complains. See Jackson v. Director
of Patuxent Institution, 360 F.Supp. 138, 139 (D. Md.
1973) (release from institution mooted attack on
determination of defective delinquency). In effect, Mohapatro
has been afforded the relief he seeks. No equitable relief
may be granted. A separate Order shall be entered denying the
petition as moot.
 On July 1, 2017, the Maryland
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene changed its name to
the Maryland Department of Health. See