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Enriquez-Perdomo v. Sessions

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Covington

February 16, 2018



          David L. Banning United States District Judge.

         This action combines a habeas corpus petition with a demand for injunctive relief and a federal Bivens[1] action. For the reasons below, the Court will grant Defendants Jeff Sessions and Elaine Dukes' Motion to Dismiss, and sua sponte dismiss the action against the unnamed and unidentified federal agents.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Plaintiff was born in Honduras on July 28, 1995, and arrived in the United States as a minor with her mother around April 2004. (Doc. 12 at ¶ 9). According to Plaintiff, she has resided in Kentucky since 2016, most recently in Florence, Kentucky. Id. at ¶¶ 9, 11. Plaintiff further alleges that she has two minor children who were born in the United States. Id. at ¶ 10. Plaintiff alleges that she was approved under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program in March 2015, and was subsequently renewed for a two-year period in January 2017. Id. at ¶¶ 13.

         Plaintiff alleges that on August 17, 2017, she was unlawfully detained in Louisville, and thereafter detained at an unknown location until she was released on August 25, 2017. Id. at ¶¶ 12, 16. Plaintiff also asserts that after she was released, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) refused to return all of her state and federal identification documents. Id. at ¶ 17.

         Following Plaintiff's detention, she initially filed petition for a writ of habeas corpus on August 23, 2017, naming Defendants Sessions, Dukes, and then-interim U.S. Attorney Carleton Shier. (Doc. # 1). The next day, Plaintiff filed an amended petition and a motion to stay. (Docs. # 3 and 4). On August 31, 2017, Plaintiff filed her second amended complaint, adding as defendants several unnamed and unidentified ICE agents, and indicating that Defendant Shier was named only for the purpose of service. (Doc. # 12). In addition to the original petition for a writ of habeas corpus, this latest complaint sought an injunction requiring the Defendants to return her state and federal documentation, and alleged that Defendants had violated her Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment Constitutional rights. Id.

         Defendants Sessions and Dukes filed a Motion to Dismiss this action on October 30, 2017. (Doc. # 15).[2] The next day, Plaintiff's counsel served counsel for Defendants Session and Dukes with Plaintiff's first request for production of documents and first set of interrogatories. (Doc. # 16-1). Plaintiff responded to the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 16), and Defendants Sessions and Dukes replied (Doc. # 17). The Court having heard oral argument on the Motion on December 21, 2017 (Doc. # 23), this matter is now ripe for decision.

         II. Analysis

         A. Standard of Review

         “Motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction fall into two general categories: facial attacks and factual attacks.” United States v. Ritchie, 15 F.3d 592, 598 (6th Cir. 1994). While factual attacks focus on the factual existence of subject matter jurisdiction, facial attacks challenge the sufficiency of the pleadings. Id. In considering a factual attack, “the court is free to weigh the evidence and satisfy itself of the existence of its power to hear the case.” Id. Because mootness is a “threshold jurisdictional issue, ” WJW-TV, Inc. v. City of Cleveland, 878 F.2d 906, 909 (6th Cir.1989) (citing Speer v. City of Oregon, 847 F.2d 310, 311 (6th Cir.1988)), the Court reviews the Defendants' Motion on mootness as a factual attack. Similarly, because “[s]overeign immunity is jurisdictional in nature, ” F.D.I.C. v. Meyer, 510 U.S. 471, 475 (1994), the Court reviews Defendants' Motion on Plaintiff's Bivens claim as a factual attack.

         B. Plaintiff's petition for a writ of habeas corpus is dismissed as moot.

         Plaintiff has stated that “[b]y reason of her release from ICE detention in 8/25/2017, [she] dismissed this [petition for writ of habeas corpus] as moot insofar as her detention is concerned.” (Doc. # 12 at 7). It is undisputed that Plaintiff is no longer in the custody of the United States. (Doc. # 12 at 5; Doc. # 15-2 at 4). Thus, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's petition for a writ of habeas corpus is well-taken.

         C. Plaintiff's request for equitable relief in the return of her documents is denied as moot.

         The jurisdiction of the federal courts is limited to resolving “the legal rights of litigants in actual controversies.” Genesis Healthcare v. Symczyk, 569 U.S. 66, 71 (2013) (quoting Valley Forge Christian Coll. v. Ams. United for Separation of Church and State, Inc., 454 U.S. 464, 471 (1982)). An actual controversy must exist throughout the litigation, not just when the complaint is filed; thus, if “an intervening circumstance deprives the plaintiff of a personal stake in the outcome of the lawsuit … the action can no longer proceed and must be dismissed as moot. Id. (quoting Lewis v. Cont'l Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 477-78) (internal citations omitted). “[A] ‘case becomes moot only when it is ...

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