United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Hollander, United States District Judge
Sanchu Stanley filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus on
March 13, 2019, alleging that he had been detained pending
removal from this country and that the length of his
detention surpassed the presumptively reasonable period of
time for detention pending removal under Zadvydas v.
Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001). ECF 1. Stanley sought
immediate release until the United States Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) obtained the
necessary paperwork for his deportation. Id.
2, 2019, Respondent filed an answer, asserting that the
Petition should be dismissed for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. ECF 6. Specifically, Respondent asserts that
the instant dispute is now moot because ICE obtained a travel
document and removed Stanley from the United States to
Cameroon on April 9, 2019. Id. at 4.
reasons set forth below, the Petition will be DISMISSED, as
a native and citizen of Cameroon, applied for admission to
the United States on November 14, 2015, but did not have a
valid, unexpired immigrant visa or other valid entry
document. See ECF 6-1. On November 15, 2015, the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”)
found Stanley to be inadmissible under the Immigration and
Nationality Act, § 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), for entering the
United States without a valid entry document, and detained
him for expedited removal. Id.; ECF 1, ¶ 11.
was provided a credible fear interview with an asylum officer
after expressing fear of returning to Cameroon. See
ECF 6-2 at 2. On December 14, 2015, DHS found that Stanley
did not have a credible fear of persecution. Id.
Stanley appealed DHS's adverse credible fear
determination to the immigration judge, who affirmed
DHS's determination on January 12, 2016, and returned the
immigration case to DHS for removal. Id. at 3; ECF
6-3. DHS detained Stanley on January 12, 2016, pending
removal. See ECF 6-2 at 3.
February 1, 2019, Stanley filed a motion with the immigration
court to reopen his proceedings, so he could apply for
deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture.
See Id. at 2. The immigration judge denied the
motion on February 13, 2019. Id. at 3-4.
filed his Petition on March 13, 2019, while he was detained
at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center in Glen Burnie,
Maryland. See ECF 1. On March 27, 2019, ICE obtained
a travel document and, on April 9, 2019, removed Stanley from
the United States to Cameroon. ECF 6-4.
Standard of Review
Civ. P. 12(b)(1) governs motions to dismiss for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. See Khoury v. Meserve,
628 F.Supp.2d 600, 606 (D. Md. 2003), aff'd, 85
Fed.Appx. 960 (4th Cir. 2004). Under Rule 12(b)(1), the
plaintiff bears the burden of proving, by a preponderance of
evidence, the existence of subject matter jurisdiction.
See Demetres v. E. W. Constr., Inc., 776 F.3d 271,
272 (4th Cir. 2015); see also Evans v. B.F. Perkins
Co., 166 F.3d 642, 647 (4th Cir. 1999). “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); see also Ellenburg v. Spartan
Motors Chassis, Inc., 519 F.3d 192, 196 (4th Cir. 2008).
Thus, the court may properly grant a motion to dismiss for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction “where a claim
fails to allege facts upon which the court may base
jurisdiction.” Davis v. Thompson, 367
F.Supp.2d 792, 799 (D. Md. 2005) (citing Crosten v.
Kamauf, 932 F.Supp. 676, 679 (D. Md. 1996)).
argues that the Petition should be dismissed because Stanley
is no longer in the United States, thus rendering the
Petition moot. ECF 6. The United States Constitution limits
the jurisdiction of federal courts to actual cases or
controversies that are present at all stages of review. U.S.
Const., art. III, § 2; Lewis v. Continental Bank
Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477-78 (1990); Honig v.
Doe, 484 U.S. 305, 317 (1988). “[W]hen the issues
presented are no longer ‘live' or the parties lack
a legally cognizable interest in the outcome, ” a case
is deemed moot. United States v. Hardy, 545 F.3d
280, 283 (4th Cir. 2008) (quoting Powell v.
McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, 496 (1969)). In the context of
habeas corpus, a case is rendered moot when the inmate has
been released from the custody being challenged, without
collateral consequences, and the court can no longer remedy
the inmate's grievance. See, e.g., Spencer v.
Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7 (1998); Alston v. Adams,
178 Fed. App'x. 295 (4th Cir. 2007); Alvarez v.
Conley, 145 Fed. App'x. 428 (4th Cir. 2005).
Stanley is no longer being detained. Rather, he has been
removed to Cameroon. Thus, the court is unable to remedy the
grievance presented in his Petition. As the case is now moot,
the court lacks subject ...